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NCAA Bracket 2017: Saint Mary’s gets No. 7 seed in the West region

The Gaels are staying in the West.

NCAA Basketball: West Coast Conference Tournament-Saint Mary's vs Portland Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Saint Mary’s Gaels, after a 28-4 season, have been rewarded with the No. 7 seed in the West regional in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. They’ll square off against the the VCU Rams in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 16. The tip off time has not been announced as of yet.

The Gaels’ opponent, VCU, earned the No. 10 seed thanks to a 26-8 record.

Of the Gaels’ four losses on the season, three came against Gonzaga, one of the best teams in the country and a No. 1 seed in this year’s tournament. Saint Mary’s added a win against Dayton on the road, and held serve against the lesser teams on its schedule, going a flawless 26-0 against teams outside of the RPI top 50. The Gaels RPI (#17) and KenPom rank (#13) were unquestionably the strength of their résumé.

Their only non-Gonzaga loss was a 14-point defeat at home to Sun Belt regular season champion UT-Arlington.

For a Saint Mary’s team that was among the first left out of the NCAA Tournament last year, and perhaps one of the more deserving of those on the outside looking in, there will be a little extra juice to prove its worth.