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Zags not thinking past WCC

LAS VEGAS – Depending on what bracket genius you want to believe, Gonzaga at the moment is an 11-seed (but classified as on the NCAA tournament bubble), an 11-seed and rising, or one of the last four out of the 68-team field. Those are the projections of CBSsports.com, ESPN.com and Foxsports.com.

Gonzaga women’s coach Kelly Graves plans for every scenario

LAS VEGAS – Gonzaga women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves has the best team in the West Coast Conference, but that doesn’t stop the nerves from visiting before every game. It’s how Graves, and most coaches, are wired. Consider every scenario, fret over every aspect of your team and your opponent.

Zags want to make their own path to NCAA men’s tourney

Depending on what bracket genius you want to believe, Gonzaga at the moment is an 11-seed (but classified as on the NCAA tournament bubble), an 11-seed and rising, or one of the last four out of the 68-team field.

Gonzaga needs to avoid tiebreakers to get tournament bye

The Gonzaga Bulldogs have a six-game West Coast Conference winning streak. They might have to make it eight to earn a bye into the conference tournament semifinals. Without getting into every possible scenario, Gonzaga doesn’t sit well should tiebreakers become necessary Saturday night. The Bulldogs (19-9, 9-3) take on Saint Mary’s (22-6, 10-2) in Moraga, Calif., on Thursday and visit San Diego on Saturday.

WCC tiebreakers don’t favor Gonzaga

The Gonzaga Bulldogs have a six-game West Coast Conference winning streak. They might have to make it eight to earn a bye into the conference tournament semifinals. Without getting into every possible scenario, Gonzaga doesn’t sit well should tiebreakers become necessary Saturday night. The Bulldogs (19-9, 9-3) take on Saint Mary’s (22-6, 10-2) in Moraga, Calif., on Thursday and visit San Diego on Saturday.

West Coast Conference teams jockey for top two seeds

Since the West Coast Conference adopted its current tournament format in 2003, only once has a team seeded third or higher advanced to the championship. That was No. 3 San Diego, which capitalized on home-court advantage to knock off No. 1 Gonzaga in the 2008 tournament. Outside of 2008, the last seven WCC tournaments have come and gone with the top seed defeating No. 2 five times, and the second seed topping No. 1 twice.

Bulldogs not pretty, but win

LAS VEGAS – Welcome to March basketball. High-pressure games, physical, grinding, hard fouls, floor burns. Hard-fought wins, season-altering losses.

Grays fingerprints all over this one

LAS VEGAS – His right elbow was Saran wrapped in ice, where before a sleeve of white tape had buttressed the joint bruised by a crash to the floor both spectacular and horrifying. The tips of the nails on the middle and ring fingers of his right hand looked as if they’d been dinner for a passing wolverwine, and the blood from them spotted both his jersey and his shorts. Either that went undetected by officials as the game went on – by rule, it requires fresh laundry – or they simply shrugged and decided they could live with any gore short of a Tarantino movie. In other words, Steven Gray was a mess.

No stopping Gonzaga

Top-seeded Gonzaga marched on Sunday night, setting the tone early and then quelling a Loyola Marymount comeback to claim a 77-62 victory in the West Coast Conference Tournament semi finals at the Orleans Arena in front of 7,941, the vast majority support ing the Zags. --------------- --------------- The 18th-ranked Bulldogs (26-5) will face second-seeded Saint Mary’s, a 69-55 winner over No. 3 Portland, for the title tonight at 6.

Pressure’s off Zags at tourney

Going into the West Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament, the Gonzaga Bulldogs have the luxury of knowing they’re probably a lock to make the NCAA tournament, no matter the outcome at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The rest of the field doesn’t have that safety net, meaning they’ll be driven to prolong their seasons.

Zags: Sunday at the WCC tourney

Action from the Gonzaga men's and women's basketball teams' games Sunday, March 8, 2009, at the West Coast Conference tournament.

Zags playing like they have something to prove

LAS VEGAS – One man’s Championship Week is another man’s Self-Inflicted Wound Week. It’s brutal out there on the bubble this March. Maryland faints against 10-17 Virginia. Rhode Island stumbles against 12-17 UMass. Penn State, Arizona, South Carolina all lose. Creighton swoons by 24 to Illinois State in the Missouri Valley tournament. Davidson slips up in the semis of the Southern.

GU says let’s win two

LAS VEGAS – There generally isn’t a precise turning point in a 35-point victory, but there were a couple of plays that symbolized Gonzaga’s 94-59 dismantling of Santa Clara in the WCC men’s tournament semifinals Sunday at the Orleans Arena. Both revolved around GU senior guard Jeremy Pargo. The first came with the Bulldogs leading by four with 7:10 remaining in the first half. Austin Daye missed a pair of free throws and the Broncos appeared poised to grab the rebound until Pargo jetted in and snatched the loose ball. The hustle play led to Matt Bouldin’s 3-pointer and a competitive game took on the first signs of a blowout.

Women return to title game

LAS VEGAS – The Orleans Arena doesn’t look anything like the McCarthey Athletic Center. The seatbacks are maroon, similar to Loyola Marymount’s colors. Instead of a Bulldog at center court, there’s a large logo promoting the West Coast Conference championships. But it sure felt like home for the Gonzaga women’s basketball team Sunday. Spurred by Jami Schaefer’s season-high 20 points, Courtney Vandersloot’s steady play and the vocal backing of perhaps 90 percent of the 1,803 in attendance, the top-seeded Bulldogs defeated No. 4 Loyola Marymount 74-63 in the WCC tournament semifinals.

Viva this neutral site in the desert

LAS VEGAS – Wrong city, we know, but there is something about the West Coast Conference basketball tournament being here that gives off a strong “Sister Act” vibe. You just keep expecting Sister Mary Clarence and a murmuration of nuns to come sweeping through the casino at the Orleans and into the adjacent basketball arena, possibly to throw a little soul into the national anthem.