Top Seed Zags Will Face USF, LMU Or Pepperdine In Semifinals
Feb. 28, 2010
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Gonzaga University's men's basketball team won't learn its semifinal opponent in the 2010 Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships until Saturday, but there's a good chance the Bulldogs will be meeting one of the two teams to down the Bulldogs during their run to a 10th straight regular-season title and top seed into the tournament.
As the No. 1 seed the Bulldogs receive a bye into Sunday's 5:30 p.m. semifinal, and the Zags will face either No. 4 seed University of San Francisco, No. 5 seed Loyola Marymount University or No. 8 seed University of Pepperdine. LMU faces Pepperdine Friday at 6 p.m. at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. That winner faces USF, which downed the Bulldogs 81-77 in overtime at USF, Saturday at 6 p.m. with the winner earning another shot at the Bulldogs. Gonzaga swept Pepperdine during the regular season while splitting with USF and LMU with home victories in the McCarthey Athletic Center. LMU downed the Bulldogs 74-66 in Los Angeles late in the season.
Gonzaga secured the top seed, posting a 12-2 record in conference play to win its record 10th consecutive WCC regular season title and the Bulldogs' 12th in the last 13 seasons. Gonzaga moved into a tie with Connecticut (1951-60 Yankee Conference) and UNLV (1983-92 Big West) for the second-longest conference regular season title winning streak in NCAA history. UCLA is first with 13 straight Pacific-10 Conference titles from 1967-79. Saint Mary's owns the No. 2 seed and like Gonzaga will earn a bye until the semifinals on March 7, the Gaels meeting either No. 3 seed University of Portland, No. 6 University of San Diego or No. 7 Santa Clara University. USD and SCU meet Friday following the LMU-Pepperdine matchup, with that winner faces Portland in Saturday's second quarterfinal for the right to face SMC.
The WCC made a successful debut in Las Vegas last year when it sold out The Orleans Arena for the 2009 WCC Basketball Championships. The 2009 championship, which was the WCC's inaugural event at a neutral site, set conference records for both total championship attendance (33,320) and single session championship attendance (7,845). The 2010 basketball championships will be the 24th annual event on the men's side and the 18th annual women's tournament. The WCC advanced three teams to the postseason in 2009 with Gonzaga advancing to the NCAA Tournament, Saint Mary's earning an invitation to the NIT, and Portland playing in the inaugural Collegeinsider.com Tournament.
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