WCC Basketball Tournament To Return To San Diego In 2002

June 13, 2001

SPOKANE, Wash. - Commissioner Michael Gilleran announced Tuesday that the West Coast Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Championships will return to the University of San Diego campus in 2002.

The WCC will assemble a task force to explore the possibility of holding the championships at a neutral site in subsequent years.

Tuesday's announcement came 10 months after the WCC Executive Committee and President's had agreed to a new merit based format which rewarded the regular season champion with hosting the final four teams.

But the issue came to light again this past spring and last August's vote was rescinded in lieu of returning to the format that has been in place since the 1988-89 season, the second year of the WCC men's tournament. The women's tournament was begun in 1992 with a four-team format and modified to an eight-team tournament in 1995. The two tournaments have been held jointly the previous 10 seasons.

Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth said Gonzaga strongly supported the merit-based format and Gonzaga President Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., voted to institute the merit-based format when the issue was re-addressed and voted upon again this past spring.

The University of San Diego will host the championships for the second consecutive season in the picturesque Jenny Craig Pavilion on the USD campus. "Our member institutions were impressed with USD's new facility, and the USD staff did a great job managing the event," Gilleran said.

The 2002 WCC Basketball Championships will take place Feb. 28-March 4, and will include all 16 men's and women's teams competing for the conference's automatic bids to the NCAA Tournaments. The women's tournament will begin Thursday, Feb. 28 with four first-round games, followed by the semifinals on Friday. The women's championship game will be Sunday, March 3. The men's first round will be held Saturday, March 2, the semifinals will be on Sunday and the title game will be Monday, March 4. The men's and women's champions receive the WCC's automatic berth into their respective NCAA Tournament.



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