For the third-straight year, it would appear the Gonzaga Bulldogs and the Saint Mary’s Gaels are on a collision course for the West Coast Conference Tournament Championship game. The WCC Tournament begins today and concludes on March 6.
Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s, the top two seeds in the tournament, receive first-round byes and begin play on Saturday. Both teams are considered sort-of locks for the NCAA Tournament, in varying degrees. The Gonzaga Bulldogs appear safe for an at-large bid, barring a catastrophic loss early in the tournament.
Saint Mary’s, on the other hand, could use the benefit of an automatic bid. The Gaels are most likely a safe lock into the NCAA Tournament, but if the bubbles burst the wrong way, a lack of quality wins could send them to a less prestigious postseason tournament.
Other schools, maybe BYU (???) could possibly find themselves in the championship game, but most likely it will be the bragging rights contest for Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s. The gap between the top teams and the rest of the conference was rather amplified this season.
We profiled a few of the players to watch throughout the tournament for those national folks who might just be turning their eyes to the WCC for the first time.
If you want a bracket, print this one and put it on the cubby wall.
First round - March 2
- Game 1: No. 8 LMU vs. No. 9 Portland, 6:00 pm, Spec SN/ NBC SN/ ROOT NW/ ATT RM/ BYUtv/ TheW.tv
- Game 2: No. 7 Santa Clara vs. No. 10 Pepperdine, 8:00 pm, Spec SN/ NBC SN/ ROOT NW/ ATT RM/ BYUtv/ TheW.tv
Quarterfinals - March 3
- Game 3: No. 3 BYU vs. No. 6 San Diego, 1:00 pm, Spec SN/ NBC SN/ ROOT NW/ ATT RM/ BYUtv/ TheW.tv
- Game 4: No. 4 San Francisco vs. No. 5 Pacific, 3:00 pm, Spec SN/ NBC SN/ ROOT NW/ ATT RM/ BYUtv/ TheW.tv
- Game 5: No. 1 Gonzaga vs. Winner Game 1, 7:00 pm, ESPN2/ WatchESPN
- Game 6: No. 2 Saint Mary’s vs. Winner Game 2, 9:00 pm, ESPN2/ WatchESPN
Semifinals - March 5
- Game 7: Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 4, 6:00 or 8:30 pm, ESPN or ESPN2/ WatchESPN
- Game 8: Winner of Game 6 vs. Winner of Game 3, 6:00 or 8:30 pm, ESPN or ESPN2/ WatchESPN
Championship Game - March 6
- Game 9: Winner of Game 7 vs. Winner of Game 8, 6:00 pm, ESPN