Feb. 27, 2005
SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- With the conclusion of the West Coast Conference regular season, WCC basketball teams turn their attention to the conference tournament, which begins on Thursday, March 3rd at Santa Clara University's Leavey Center.
Gonzaga University captured the WCC regular season title on both the men's and the women's side, earning the league's No. 1 seed heading into the conference tournament. Since 1992, the first year of the WCC Women's Tournament, only one school has entered the conference tournament with a No. 1 seed in both the men's and women's brackets. Pepperdine University accomplished the feat twice, earning the top seeds on both the men's and women's sides in 2000 and 2002.
On the men's side, the Gaels from Saint Mary's College are the No. 2 seed for the second consecutive season. By virtue of winning the top two seeds, Saint Mary's and Gonzaga earn byes until the semifinals of the tournament.
The host Santa Clara Broncos enter the tournament as the No. 3 seed and earn a first round bye. In the 18 previous WCC Men's Tournaments, the host institution has captured the tournament title only once. In 2003, San Diego University hosted the conference championship and captured the tournament crown and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
This year, the Toreros enter the tournament as the No. 4 seed and will also receive a first round bye. Rounding out the seeds are the Pepperdine Waves at No. 5, the University of San Francisco Dons at No. 6, the University of Portland Pilots at No. 7, and the Loyola Marymount Lions at No. 8. Pepperdine will take on LMU, while USF will face Portland in the first round of the tournament on Friday, March 4th.
On the women's side, Loyola Marymount, who won its first conference tournament last year, enters the championship as the No. 2 seed, while host Santa Clara, like its male counterparts, is the No. 3 seed. This year's tournament will mark the 10th time that the Santa Clara women have hosted the conference championship, the most of any WCC institution. Pepperdine is the No. 4 seed, followed by No. 5 seed Saint Mary's, No. 6 seed San Francisco, No. 7 seed San Diego and No. 8 seed Portland.
Unlike the men's tournament, the women's championship will use the traditional No. 1 versus No. 8 seed format with no teams receiving byes. The teams receive a rest day after the first round and are reseeded before the semifinals. First round matchups include No. 1 Gonzaga versus No. 8 Portland, No. 2 LMU versus No. 7 San Diego, No. 3 Santa Clara versus No. 6 USF, and No. 4 Pepperdine versus No. 5 Saint Mary's.