Gonzaga, BYU entering WCC tournament with clear agendas

The West Coast Conference tournament begins Friday at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas

There are clear agendas when the West Coast Conference tournament begins Friday.

Gonzaga's is to repair the damage done by an upset loss to Brigham Young last week. And there is the flip side, as BYU tries to build on that victory and strengthen its NCAA tournament resume.

Any other conference team would have to win the tournament to have any chance of making the 68-team NCAA field. WCC tournament games will be played at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

Gonzaga was projected as a regional top seed in the NCAA tournament before its loss to BYU. The Bulldogs (29-2) might regain that stature by winning the WCC tournament. BYU (23-8) started the week with a rating percentage index of 35. If the Cougars can hold that, they too should he headed to March Madness.

St. Mary's (21-8) finished third behind Gonzaga and BYU during the conference regular season, but the Gaels' No. 61 RPI rating probably isn't strong enough to earn an NCAA at-large berth.

Loyola Marymount (8-22), which finished tied with Pacific for last in the conference standings, opens the tournament against Santa Clara (13-17) on Friday at 8 p.m. The winner will meet BYU on Saturday.

Pepperdine (17-12) opens in a quarterfinal against San Diego (15-15) on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The semifinals will be played March 9 and the championship game the following day.

chris.foster@latimes.com

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