The West Coast tournament quarterfinals resume with four matchups; the #3 St. Mary’s Gaels vs. #6 Portland Pilots, the #2 BYU Cougars vs. #7 Santa Clara Broncos, the #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. #8 San Francisco Dons and the #4 Pepperdine Wave vs. #5 San Diego Toreros. I’m really intrigued by the Pepperdine Wave against the San Diego Tereros game, simply because they have such similar styles and have split in their previous two meetings. Of course though, I don’t think either of those teams will win the tournament, as it really comes down to the Gonzaga Bulldogs and BYU Cougars. The St. Mary’s Gaels could knock off the BYU Cougars, but if they have to play the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the finals, I can’t see them winning. The rivalry is always there, but the talent the Gaels have had in the past in Patty Mills, Omar Samhan, Mickey McConnell, Matthew Dellavedova etc… were game changers in those battles.
The prediction is that the Gonzaga Bulldogs are going to win this tournament and I hope it’s in a third game against the BYU Cougars. I say that because that’s the game I think we all want to see a third time. They split in their previous two meeting, both oddly on the road and the BYU Cougars have such a dynamic offense that can match Gonzaga’s. In fact, the Cougars are the nations number one team in points per game with 84 and that’s credit to Tyler Haws and Kyle Collinsworth who are exceptional scorers. The Bulldogs though, have great size in the frontcourt and have two premier guards in Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr. Essentially they are one of the more all around teams in college basketball and among the nations best in several offensive categories, notably first in field goal percentage at .524. I’ll take that all day and in this tournament, the Bulldogs will win the West Coast Tournament for third consecutive time.