Oct. 13, 2008
LAS VEGAS, Nevada - The West Coast Conference announced today that tickets for the WCC Basketball Championships on March 6-9, 2009, at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas will go on sale to the public on Wednesday, October 15th at 11:00 a.m.
To purchase tickets or find more information about the 2009 WCC Basketball Championships, fans are encouraged to visit wccsports.com. Tickets can also be purchased by calling the Orleans Arena Box Office at 1-888-234-2334.
"We're very excited about the WCC Basketball Championships at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas this March," said WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich. "With the quality and profile of WCC basketball at an all-time high, we expect tickets to go quickly. The championships will span 4 days and include 14 games, with tickets less than $10 per game."
Last season, the West Coast Conference advanced a record three schools into the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. San Diego, which defeated Connecticut in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, received the automatic bid by virtue of winning the WCC Tournament, while Gonzaga and Saint Mary's each received at-large selections. On a percentage basis, the WCC qualified 37.5 percent of its teams for the NCAA Tournament, which ranked fifth in the nation behind only the Pac-10, Big East, Big 12 and the SEC.
The Gaels, Toreros and Bulldogs combine to return 12 of their 15 starters for the 2008-09 season, and in total, the conference returns a record eight All-WCC first team selections. Highlighting the returning All-WCC selections are Patrick Mills of Saint Mary's, who starred for Australia in the 2008 Olympic Men's Basketball Tournament, and Jeremy Pargo of Gonzaga, the reigning WCC Player of the Year. The conference also welcomes three new head coaches in Bill Bayno at Loyola Marymount, Tom Asbury at Pepperdine and Rex Walters at the University of San Francisco.
The 2007-08 women's basketball season was also a success as the WCC finished with the highest RPI of any non-BCS conference. The women's season concluded with third-seeded San Diego defeating top-seeded Gonzaga 70-66 in the championship game of the West Coast Conference Tournament to advance to its first NCAA Tournament in eight years. The conference also earned two post-season bids for the 10th straight year as Gonzaga advanced to the second round of the WNIT.
Gonzaga returns WCC Player of the Year Heather Bowman, WCC Defensive Player of the Year Jami Bjorklund and WCC Newcomer of the Year Courtney Vandersloot from last year's team that finished 25-9 and won the WCC regular season title. San Diego returns All-WCC selection Amber Sprague and All-Freshman selection Sam Child. In addition to Bowman, Sprague and Vandersloot, 2008 all-conference selections Miranda Ayim of Pepperdine and Jontelle Smith of Saint Mary's return this year. The conference also adds one new coach this season as Jennifer Mountain, who was most recently an assistant at Gonzaga, is now the head coach at Santa Clara.
2009 WCC Championships @ Las Vegas
Friday, March 6
Women: No. 5 vs. No. 8, 12:00 p.m.
Women: No. 6 vs. No. 7, 2:00 p.m.
Men: No. 5 vs. No. 8, 6:00 p.m.
Men: No. 6 vs. No. 7, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 7
Women: No. 5/8 vs. No. 4, 12:00 p.m.
Women: No. 6/7 vs. No. 3, 2:00 p.m.
Men: No. 5/8 vs. No. 4, 6:00 p.m.
Men: No. 6/7 vs. No. 3, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 8
Women: No. 5/8/4 vs. No. 1, 12:00 p.m.
Women: No. 6/7/3 vs. No. 2, 2:00 p.m.
Men: No. 5/8/4 vs. No. 1, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Men: No. 6/7/3 vs. No. 2, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Monday, March 9
Women: Championship Game, 12:00 p.m. (ESPNU)
Men: Championship Game, 6:00 p.m. (ESPN)