Dozens of students gave the basketball team a rousing welcome home after a thrilling overtime victory over arch-rival Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference championship game.
Monday night's heroes got off the bus with a big smile, the conference trophy, and an automatic berth to the big dance.
"Punching our own ticket feels amazing. This is my first time I'm going to be able to go to the NCAA tournament so I'm so happy right now, St. Mary's forward Kenton Walker said.
"Unbelievable feeling. First year here, first year, getting it done. Still living on a high," Center Kyle Rowley said.
This is the first time St. Mary's has won the conference tournament and finished with the best regular season record. The Gaels must wait until Sunday to find out who they will play in the NCAA tournament.