In a great month for Moraga-based hoopsters a local high school squad – the Cougars of Campolindo – were christened state champions while the Gaels of Saint Mary’s surprised their arch-rival Gonzaga to earn a trip to the NCAA Championships and a shot at No. 6 Villanova Thursday afternoon.
The upstart Gaels will meet Villanova at 4:20 p.m. Pacific Time Thursday – their second appearance at “The Dance” in the past three seasons.
Gael fans have high hopes for their side this year, pointing to the 2010 tournament showdown in which the 10-seed Gaels – with Omar Samhan in the engine room – upset the 2-seed Wildcats 75-68 to advance to the Sweet 16.
Villanova, however, is currently ranked No. 25 in the latest AP poll. The team won won the NCAA Tournament in 2016 and did it again last year.