Favorite(s)- Gonzaga 29-2 16-0
The Zags are taking things to another level this season. After over a decade of post season success but not being able to get past the Elite 8, Mark Few’s squad is now a serious contender to make its first Final Four. First they have some business to take care of in the WCC. After finishing league play the Zags are hoping to regain its throne as tournament champion.
Contender(s)- St. Mary’s 26-5 14-2
The Gaels are again Gonzaga’s main competition in the conference and are looking to keep the tournament title after knocking off the Zags in last year’s final. With the reputation of the WCC the increased expectations has received over the years a 25+ win team with two league losses (both two Gonzaga) is considered on the bubble for the NCAA tournament.
Team Likely to pull an upset- Santa Clara 21-10 9-7
With seniors Kevin Foster and Marc Trasolini finally healthy at the same time the Broncos have a dangerous inside-out combination that can knock off the conference favorites.
3 Key Players-Kelly Olynyk-Gonzaga, Matthew Dellavedova-St. Mary’s, Tyler Haws-BYU
After struggling his first two seasons, Kelly Olynyk red shirted last season and man has it paid off. The 7-0 Canadian has exploded averaging 17.7 points and 7 rebounds while vaulting Gonzaga to a #2 ranking nationally and into the conversation for a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament. Olynyk is clearly the country’s most improved player and is among the candidates for National POY.
To continue the international theme, Matthew Dellavedova the senior Aussie point guard for St. Mary’s has led the Gaels to a #2 seed in the WCC tourney. His 16.5 points and 6.2 assists has St. Mary’s on the verge of yet another NCAA tournament bid, the only thing standing in their way is the only team to beat them in conference play, Gonzaga.
Sophomore Tyler Haws has returned from his Mormon mission, and is the BYU basketball program ever glad he has. As the saying goes as Haws goes so go the Cougars. He has averaged 20.9 points a contest this season, but in their 6 league losses he has only scored 16.3 a game, and in the wins he has failed to reach 20 points just once when he netted 19.
2013 WEST COAST TOURNAMENT
March 6-11 Las Vegas, NV
#8 Portland vs. Loyola Marymount
#5 San Francisco vs. #8/9
#6 San Diego vs. #7 Pepperdine
#4 Santa Clara vs. #5/8/9
#3 BYU vs. #6/7
#1 Gonzaga vs.
#2 St. Mary’s vs.