NCAA Bracket 2012: How Gonzaga Basketball Got To March Madness

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 05: Head coach Randy Few of the Gonzaga Bulldogs gestures to his players as they take on the Saint Mary's Gaels during the championship game of the Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball tournament at the Orleans Arena March 5, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Saint Mary's won 78-74 in overtime. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Gonzaga is back in the NCAA Tournament despite falling to Saint Mary's in the WCC Championship. The Bulldogs finished second in the WCC this year as Saint Mary's took over the throne.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are back in the NCAA Tournament this season despite losing their grip on the West Coast Conference. Gonzaga not only finished second to Saint Mary's in the regular season, falling a game short, but also lost in the conference tournament final to the Gaels. It may not be the strongest Gonzaga squad in recent memory, but the Bulldogs are always dangerous come March Madness.

Gonzaga split its season series with Saint Mary's, losing on the road and winning at home, while also slipping up two other times in conference play. Newcomer BYU knocked the Zags off in Provo, Utah, in early February and San Francisco put away the Bulldogs two weeks later.

In the non-conference schedule, Gonzaga only lost twice while playing a strong, but not brutal slate of teams. The losses came in back-to-back fashion to two Big Ten teams -- Illinois and Michigan State -- a week apart. The Bulldogs built up a solid resume and it was needed after the slip-up in the WCC Championship prevented Gonzaga from taking the auto-bid. Nevertheless, they earned the No. 7 seed in the East, and will face No. 10 West Virginia in their first game.

For more on the Bulldogs, visit The Slipper Still Fits and SB Nation Seattle. Join our 2012 NCAA Bracket pool to compete against the best and brightest from around the network.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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