The 2019 West Coast Conference women’s tournament begins on Thursday and Gonzaga is looking to repeat as champions for a third straight year. After a 16-2 regular season, the Bulldogs grabbed the top seed and will have a bye into the semi-finals. They beat every team this season by double digits, except for BYU, who they lost to both times.
Will Gonzaga Get Revenge?
Both Gonzaga-BYU games were decided by two points. In Provo, the Zags had a good look to tie the game at buzzer but could not finish. In Spokane, the Cougars hit 10 threes in the first half and hit two free throws with two seconds left to win. Gonzaga is hoping the old saying of “it’s hard to beat a team three times in a season” rings true.
Winning the WCC Tournament will secure a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament and the likelihood of hosting the first two rounds in the McCarthey Athletic Center. To do it, Gonzaga must get past (most likely) their two heated rivals – Saint Mary’s and BYU.
Will BYU Even Make the Finals?
BYU gets up to play Gonzaga. Head Coach Jeff Judkins always has something up his sleeve when he faces the Zags. The problem is that BYU doesn’t always get up for the other teams in the conference. Once they beat Gonzaga the first time in Provo, they proceeded to drop three straight games. They have also won several one or two possession games against bottom tier WCC teams.
In the semi-finals, BYU will most likely be facing off with Pepperdine. In their last meeting, the Waves were able to run BYU’s three shooters off the three point line and beat the Cougars by 16 in Malibu. Pepperdine also has the WCC Player of the Year on their squad. Yasmine Robinson-Bacote averaged 19.5 points in their two contests and 20 points for the season.
Another note: the number two seed has not made the championship game since 2014. Last year, BYU was upset by the 6 seed in the quarterfinals. The year before that, they were taken to overtime by the 7 seed and then fell to the 3 seed in the semi-finals.
BYU is also playing for their NCAA Tournament lives. In the latest bracketology, BYU is a 9 seed. They should make the tournament even if they lose their semi-final game, but they shouldn’t leave it up to the committee. Everyone wants to see a Gonzaga-BYU final so hopefully both teams take care of business.
Round One – Thursday March 7
Game 1: No. 8 Portland vs No. 9 San Francisco – 12 pm (theW.tv)
Game 2: No. 7 Santa Clara vs No. 10 San Diego – 2 pm (theW.tv)
Round Two – Friday March 8
Game 3: No. 5 Loyola Marymount vs Game 1 winner – 12 pm (theW.tv)
Game 4: No. 6 Pacific vs Game 2 winner – 2 pm (theW.tv)
Quarterfinals – Saturday March 9
Game 5: No. 4 Saint Mary’s vs Game 3 winner – 1 pm (theW.tv)
Game 6: No. 3 Pepperdine vs Game 4 winner – 3 pm (theW.tv)
Semi-Finals – Monday March 11
No. 1 Gonzaga vs Game 5 winner – 12 pm (theW.tv)
No. 2 BYU vs Game 6 winner – 2 pm (theW.tv)
Championship – Tuesday March 12
Women’s Championship Game – 1 pm (ESPNU)