Feb 23 2012; Spokane, WA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs mascot Spike poses for the camera at the end of a game against Brigham Young Cougars at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs would go onto defeat the Cougars by a final score of 74-63. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-US PRESSWIRE
Gonzaga and Saint Mary's, the top seeds, have multi-round byes in the West Coast Conference tournament.
The West Coast Conference is a league with nine teams, which does not lend itself to a nice, even conference tournament. There should be a simple solution to this issue. Most conferences would have the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds play in a playoff, then have the winner play the No, 1 seed in the quarterfinals. Instead, the WCC uses a convoluted format where the top two teams do not play until the semifinals. The No. 3 and No. 4 seeds get byes to the "quarterfinals", at which point six teams are remaining, not eight.
It makes sense for a mid-major to want to protect their top seeds, but the top three seeds in the WCC this year are likely locks for at-large bids anyway. It will be interesting to see how high of a seed Saint Mary's or Gonzaga can get if they take advantage of the tournament setup and win the tournament.
First Round - Wednesday, Feb. 29 (all times ET)
No. 8 Portland vs. No. 9 Santa Clara - 9 p.m.
Second Round - Thursday, March 1 (BYUtv)
No. 5 San Fransisco vs. Portland/Santa Clara - 9 p.m.
No. 6 San Diego vs. No. 7 Pepperdine - 11 p.m.
Quarterfinals - Friday, March 2 (ESPNU)
Second Round Game 1 Winner vs. No. 4 Loyola Marymount - 9 p.m.
Second Round Game 2 Winner vs. No. 3 BYU - 11 p.m.
Semifinals - Saturday, March 3 (ESPN2)
QF1 Winner vs. No. 1 Saint Mary's - 9 p.m.
QF2 Winner vs. No. 2 Gonzaga - 1 p.m.
Championship - Monday, March 5 (ESPN)
SF1 Winner vs. SF2 Winner - 9 p.m.