Feb. 24, 2002
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's basketball team will enter this weekend's West Coast Conference as the league's third seed and will play sixth-seeded Saint Mary's College Saturday at approximately 8:30 p.m., the league announced late Saturday night.
The Broncos tied in the regular-season standings with the University of San Francisco with identical 8-6 records and all tie-breakers were exhausted. The two teams split the season series with a win apiece and achieved the same results against each of the other six teams in the conference to force the coin flip.
"It's a new season and it's anybody's ballgame now," said Santa Clara head coach Dick Davey. "Winning three games in the WCC Tournament is always a challenge both mentally and physically since you have to play three games in three days. Certainly there are two teams at the top that will be the favorites. But, you never know what is going to happen at this time of year. There are eight teams who all look at this tournament as a chance to advance to the NCAA Tournament and will be ready to play.
"As far as we are concerned, we have to be focused and ready to play on Saturday then take it from there. Saint Mary's is playing with a lot of confidence and is really going to be a challenge for us in the first round."
Saturday's first game will feature second-seeded Gonzaga against number seven Loyola Marymount at noon, followed by top-seeded Pepperdine taking on number eight Portland at approximately 2:30 p.m. Host San Diego is the fifth seed and will play fourth-seeded San Francisco at 6 p.m. followed by the Santa Clara game.
All games, including the seven games of the women's tournament, will be played at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the campus of the University of San Diego. For tickets, contact the Santa Clara University ticket office at 408/554-4660.
Santa Clara and Saint Mary's have have not met in the WCC Tournament since the 1993 event, which was hosted by San Francisco. Since the tournament's inception in 1987, the Broncos and the Gaels met in six of the first seven events with Santa Clara winning five of those six meetings. The Broncos won both meetings between the two schools this season, taking a 63-60 victory in Moraga and ending their home schedule with a 56-49 win at the Leavey Center.