Fooch's Note: We'll have halftime updates and recaps, but we'll use @sbnbayarea for in-game updates.
Tomorrow night the 2011 West Coast Conference will begin its men's basketball postseason conference tournament. The tournament will run through Monday night's championship game on a neutral floor at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. St. Mary's and Gonzaga will head into the tournament as co-favorites after splitting the 2011 WCC regular season conference title. The Gaels grabbed the tie-breaker thanks to their sweep of San Francisco. St. Mary's is currently the defending champion, having thumped Gonzaga 81-62 last year. 2010-2011 WCC Player of the Year Mickey McConnell was tournament MVP last year.
The tournament schedule is a bit different than some conferences, with the top two seeds getting multiple byes. The tournament opens with the five through eight seeds playing first round matchups. The winners of those two games then advance to face the three and four seeds in the quarterfinals, with the winners of those games facing the top two seeds in the semifinals. It provides optimal value to regular season performance. Here's the bracket schedule for the 2011 Zappos.com West Coast Conference tournament (all times pacific):
First Round, Game 1: Portland vs. San Diego, 6:00pm
First Round, Game 2: Pepperdine vs. Loyola Marymount, 30 minutes after conclusion of game 1
Quarterfinals, Game 1: Portland/San Diego vs. Santa Clara, 6:00pm
Quarterfinals, Game 2: Pepperdine/Loyola Marymount vs. San Francisco, 30 minutes after conclusion of game 1
Semifinals, Game 1: Portland/San Diego/Santa Clara vs. St. Mary's, 5:00pm, ESPN2
Semifinals, Game 2: Pepperdine/Loyola Marymount/San Francisco vs. Gonzaga, 7:30pm, ESPN2
Men's Championship Game: Winner Semifinal Game 1 vs. Winner Semifinal Game 2, 6:00pm ESPN
Bracket (click to enlarge):