WCC basketball championships: Zags will be top seed for 18th time

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MEN

SAN BRUNO, Calif. — The West Coast Conference has announced the brackets and game times for the 2019 WCC Basketball Championships at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

The men’s tournament will begin with a first-round matchup at 6 p.m. on Thursday, and continue through the championship game on March 12. All nine games will be televised live nationwide, and all nine will be streamed online.

With a new format at the 2019 edition of the championship, the top two seeds (No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 Saint Mary’s) receive byes all the way through to the semifinals on Monday, March 11.

Thursday features first-round games, with seeds 7-10 playing on the tournament’s first day.

Friday will see seeds 5-6 enter the competition. Saturday introduces seeds 3-4 with third-round games beginning at 7 p.m. following the Saturday morning Hall of Honor ceremony at the Orleans Hotel & Casino.

There will be no games on Sunday, and the tournament resumes with the semifinals on Monday, March 11. The champions will be crowned on Tuesday, March 12.

No. 1 Gonzaga finished as the WCC men’s basketball regular season champion with a perfect 16-0 record, the first undefeated conference season for a WCC team since the 2012-13 season. Saint Mary’s and Brigham Young followed with 11-5 records with the Gaels claiming the two seed by virtue of a tiebreaking split series against San Francisco, giving BYU the three seed for the fifth consecutive season.

San Francisco is the fourth seed at 9-7, followed by Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara with identical 8-8 records. The Lions swept the Broncos to earn the five seed. San Diego (seven), Pepperdine (eight), Pacific (nine) and Portland (10) round out the men’s seeds and will start tournament play on Thursday night in the first round.

The two third-round games will be televised on ESPN2 beginning at 7 p.m. PST. On Monday, March 11, one semifinal will air at 6 p.m. on ESPN, with the other semifinal immediately to follow on ESPN2.

On Tuesday, March 12 at 6 p.m., the West Coast Conference championship game will air live on ESPN.

The winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

WCC MEN’S TOURNAMENT

Thursday, March 7

FIRST ROUND

Game 1: No. 8 Pepperdine vs No. 9 Pacific, 6 p.m. (Spectrum SportsNet, NBCSports California, ROOT Northwest, AT&T Rocky Mountain, BYUtv, TheW.tv)

Game 2: No. 7 San Diego vs No. 10 Portland, 8 p.m. (Spectrum SportsNet, NBCSports California, ROOT Northwest, AT&T Rocky Mountain, BYUtv, TheW.tv)

Friday, March 8

SECOND ROUND

Game 3: No. 5 Loyola Marymount vs Game 1 Winner, 6 p.m. (NBCSports Bay Area, Spectrum SportsNet, BYUtv, TheW.tv)

Game 4: No. 6 Santa Clara vs Game 2 Winner, 8 p.m. (NBCSports Bay Area, Spectrum SportsNet, BYUtv, TheW.tv)

Saturday, March 9

THIRD ROUND

Game 5: No. 4 San Francisco vs Game 3 Winner, 7 p.m. (ESPN2, WatchESPN)

Game 6: No. 3 Brigham Young vs Game 4 Winner, 9 p.m. (ESPN2, WatchESPN)

Monday, March 11

SEMIFINALS

No. 1 Gonzaga vs Game 5 Winner, 6 p.m. (ESPN, WatchESPN)

No. 2 Saint Mary’s vs Game 6 Winner, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2, WatchESPN)

Tuesday, March 12

FINALS

Championship Game, 6:00 p.m. (ESPN, WatchESPN)

WOMEN

Gonzaga top WCC tourney seed for third straight season

With a new format for the women’s tourney similar to the men’s, WCC regular-season champion Gonzaga receives a bye up until the semifinals on Monday, March 11.

Thursday features first-round games on both the women’s and men’s sides. Seeds 7-10 will play in the tournament’s first day beginning with the women’s session at 12 p.m. and the men’s session at 6 p.m.

Friday will see seeds 5-6 enter the competition with the women’s session again beginning at 12 p.m. followed by the men’s session at 6 p.m. Saturday introduces seeds 3-4 with third round games beginning at 1 p.m. following the Saturday morning Hall of Honor ceremony at the Orleans Hotel & Casino.

There will be no games on Sunday, and the tournament resumes with women’s and men’s semifinals on Monday, March 11. The two champions will be crowned on Tuesday, March 12.

Gonzaga secured its third straight No. 1 seed in the tournament and its 13th regular-season title in the last 14 seasons with a 16-2 WCC record. BYU earned the second seed with a 15-3 conference record. Both secured byes into the semifinal round on Monday, March 11.

Pepperdine and Saint Mary’s each finished 12-6, but the Waves earn the third seed due to a tiebreaker with a season sweep against fifth-seeded Loyola Marymount. The Lions and Pacific also tied with each going 10-8, but LMU earned the fifth seed thanks to its 1-1 record against BYU.

Santa Clara (seven), Portland (eight), San Francisco (nine) and San Diego (10) round out the women’s bracket and will start tournament play on Thursday afternoon in the first round.

On Tuesday, the women’s championship game will be shown at 1 p.m. on ESPNU. All ESPN Networks telecasts can also be seen live on WatchESPN.

The winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

WCC WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT

Thursday, March 7

FIRST ROUND

Women’s Game 1: No. 8 Portland vs No. 9 San Francisco, 12 p.m. (BYUtv, TheW.tv)

Women’s Game 2: No. 7 Santa Clara vs No. 10 San Diego, 2 p.m. (BYUtv, TheW.tv)

Friday, March 8

SECOND ROUND

Women’s Game 3: No. 5 Loyola Marymount vs Game 1 Winner, 12 p.m. (BYUtv, TheW.tv)

Women’s Game 4: No. 6 Pacific vs Game 2 Winner, 2 p.m. (BYUtv, TheW.tv)

Saturday, March 9

THIRD ROUND

Women’s Game 5: No. 4 Saint Mary’s vs Game 3 Winner, 1 p.m. (BYUtv, TheW.tv)

Women’s Game 6: No. 3 Pepperdine vs Game 4 Winner, 3 p.m. (BYUtv, TheW.tv)

Monday, March 11

SEMIFINALS

Women’s Semifinal: No. 1 Gonzaga vs Game 5 Winner, 12 p.m. (BYUtv, TheW.tv)

Women’s Semifinal: No. 2 Brigham Young vs Game 6 Winner, 2 p.m. (BYUtv, TheW.tv)

Tuesday, March 12

CHAMPIONSHIPS

Women’s Championship Game, 1 p.m. (ESPNU, WatchESPN)

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