Feb. 27, 2006
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - With the conclusion of the West Coast Conference women's basketball regular season, the top-seeded Santa Clara women's basketball team turns its attention to the conference tournament in Spokane and Thursday night's quarterfinal opponent in the Portland Pilots.
Santa Clara and Gonzaga tied for the league title with identical 11-3 marks in league play, but the Broncos earned the top seed in the tournament by virtue of a tiebreaker with the Zags. As the No. 1 seed, the Broncos will face No. 8-seeded Portland at 6 p.m. in Gonzaga's McCarthy Athletic Center, otherwise known as "The Kennel."
With the Ruff Riders, Santa Clara's rabid fan club, and the SCU Cheer Team arriving in Spokane at approximately 2 p.m. on Thursday, Ruff Riders' Co-President Michael Zozos is pleased that his group will be on hand in time to give the Broncos raucous support in a foreign arena.
No. 3 LMU will face No. 6 San Diego at 12:00 pm on Thursday to tip off the tournament, and will be followed by No. 4 Pepperdine vs. No. 5 Saint Mary's to wrap up the first session. Top-seeded Santa Clara begins the second session against Portland at 6:00 pm, followed by host and No. 2 Gonzaga taking on No. 7 San Francisco in the final game of the first day.
Teams will be re-seeded following the first round, and the semifinals will take place on Saturday, March 4 following a day off on Friday. Sunday's WCC Tournament championship game is slated for a 1:00 pm start, and will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on ESPNU (5:00 pm PT).
The 2006 WCC Tournament marks the first time that the conference's premier event has been held at Gonzaga University. This season is the first of a two-year site rotation in the Pacific Northwest for the WCC Tournament. The 2007 event is scheduled to be held at Portland, while the tournament is slated to move to Southern California for the 2008 and 2009 seasons before returning to the Bay Area in 2010 and 2011.