Friday, March 2, 2018

West Coast Conference tournament preview

This is part 11 of a 32-part series.

Gonzaga 17-1
St Mary's 16-2
BYU 11-7
San Diego 9-9
San Francisco 9-9
Pacific 9-9
Santa Clara 8-10
Loyola Marymount 5-13
Portland 4-14
Pepperdine 2-16

March 2-6.  Neutral site in Las Vegas, which annually hosts about 375 D1 conference tournaments.

1) Gonzaga vs. 8/9) Loyola Marymount/Portland
4) San Francisco vs. 5) Pacific
3) BYU vs. 6) San Diego
2) St Mary's vs. 7/10) Santa Clara/Pepperdine

The stakes:
Gonzaga is merely playing for seeding, with a pretty wide possibility from 5 to 9, IMO.  It will largely depend on what other teams seeded around them do in the next week, whether or not they pick up signature wins.

I think St Mary's is home free.  The non-con SoS of 180 is juuuuust good enough, and while there's not much meat in the resume....they mostly avoided bad losses (neutral site to Wazzu notwithstanding) that I think they'll survive  into the at-large field somewhere.  It's not like the bubble is teeming with solid candidates at the moment.

With those two things out in the open, there's not much drama going on here.  I suppose BYU as a NIT bubble team if you like that drama.  They might even be out, as 3 conference losses outside of the big two might be too many.  San Diego and San Francisco are merely CIT fodder this year.  And this conference is well down, which is hurting the profiles of Gonzaga and St Mary's.  However, since they lost a combined once to the rest of the conference, I don't think the committee will punish them as much as most people think.

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