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With a road wins over Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine, Gonzaga clinched the WCC conference championship and the number one seed for the WCC tournament in Spokane. The Bulldogs head into Saturday's game against San Diego four full games up on second place LMU. There is an intriguing 3-way log jam for third place in the conference standings, with St. Mary's, San Diego and USF all sporting 6-6 conference records. Two of these teams will avoid the dreaded Friday game at the conference tournament, one will end up in fifth place and face the daunting prospect of having to win four games in four days to earn an NCAA tournament bid.
If league play ends with the teams holding their current standings, then St. Mary's and Santa Clara will be in different brackets and could only meet in the event both make it to the championship, a most unlikely scenario. True wrestling fans are hoping that SMC and SCU will square off in the first or second round so that they can see the Niesen/Kickert rematch.
Just for fun, here's how the teams would be seeded for the WCC Tournament based on current standings and applying the league's tie-breaker rules.
Projected Seedings and Tournament Matchups Based on Present Standings and Tiebreakers:
1. Gonzaga (12-0)
2. LMU (8-4)
3. SMC (6-6)
4. USD (6-6)
5. USF (6-6)
6. Portland (4-8)
7. Pepperdine (3-9)
8. SCU (3-9)
First Session Games:, Friday, March 3rd:
Game 1: #5 USF v. #8 SCU
Game 2: #6 Portland v. #7 Pepperdine
Second Session Games, Saturday, March 4th:
Game 3: #3 SMC v. Portland/Pepperdine winner
#4 USD v. USF/SCU winner
Semi-finals, Sunday, March 5th:
First Semi-final: #2 LMU v. winner of SMC v. Portland/Pepperdine winner
Second Semi-final: #1 Gonzaga v. winner of USD v. USF/SCU winner
Note: Both of the WCC semi-final games will televised on ESPN2.
Finals, Monday, March 6th:
Winner of Game 5 v. winner of Game 6, played on Monday night, March 7th at 6:00 PM, on ESPN.
At stake: the WCC Tournament Championship and resulting automatic NCAA bid.