WCC Tournament Preview: With semifinals set, Gonzaga looks to make statement

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 08 Women’s Gonzaga at St Mary’s Jill Townsend looks to win a conference tournament title with Gonzaga. | Photo by Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Gonzaga Bulldogs have dominated the WCC regular season, winning 15 of the last 16 regular season titles, but hav won just four of the last eight tournament titles.

The No. 12 Gonzaga Bulldogs (28-2, 17-1 WCC) are the only team in the West Coast Conference that will be able to make the NCAA tournament as an at-large bid. That said, the Bulldogs are slated as a No. 3-seed based according to ESPN Bracketology, which likely factors in a tournament championship.

Day 1 of the tournament saw the higher seeds advance, with the Santa Clara Broncos (12-19, 5-13 WCC) winning in overtime over the San Francisco Dons (12-19, 5-13 WCC) and the Saint Mary’s Gaels (12-19, 6-12 WCC) beating the Loyola Marymount Lions (7-25, 3-15 WCC).

In the second round, the higher seeds once again prevailed as the Pacific Tigers (17-14, 9-9 WCC) beat Santa Clara and the Pepperdine Waves (16-14, 8-10 WCC) took down Saint Mary’s.

The quarterfinals brought us the first upset of the tournament as Pepperdine beat the Brigham Young University Cougars (18-11, 13-5 WCC), who had finished third in the conference. The Portland Pilots (19-11, 11-7 WCC) advanced to the semifinals with a win over Pacific.

Gonzaga will face Portland as the No. 2-seed San Diego Toreros play against Pepperdine. Gonzaga’s last game of the regular season was against Portland, which the Bulldogs won easily. The Toreros and the Waves split their two regular season matchups, with San Diego winning most recently.


WCC Tournament Schedule

First Round — Thursday, March 5, 3 p.m. ET

* All games at Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

Game 1: No. 8-seed Santa Clara, 72 vs. No. 9-seed San Francisco, 65, 3 p.m. ET (BYUTV)

Game 2: No. 7-seed Saint Mary’s, 72 vs. No. 10-seed LMU, 63, 5 p.m. ET (BYUTV)

Second Round — Friday, March 6, 3 p.m. ET

Game 3: No. 5-seed Pacific, 67 vs. No. 8-seed Santa Clara, 49, 3 p.m. ET (BYUTV)

Game 4: No. 6-seed Pepperdine, 87 vs. No. 7-seed Saint Mary’s, 72, 5 p.m. ET (BYUTV)

Quarterfinals — Saturday, March 7, 4 p.m. ET

Game 4: No. 4-seed Portland, 76 vs. No. 5-seed Pacific, 69, 4 p.m. ET (BYUTV)

Game 5: No. 3-seed BYU 51 vs. No. 6-seed Pepperdine, 62, 6 p.m. ET (BYUTV)

Semifinals— Monday, March 9, 3 p.m. ET

Game 6: No. 1-seed Gonzaga, vs. No. 4-seed Portland, 3 p.m. ET (BYUTV)

Game 7: No. 2-seed San Diego vs. No. 6-seed Pepperdine 5 p.m. ET (BYUTV)

Final — Tuesday, March 10, 4 p.m. ET

Game 10: Winner of Game 6 vs. Winner of Game 7, 4 p.m. ET (ESPNU)