The 2012 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Tournament got underway Wednesday evening in Las Vegas as the eighth seeded Portland Pilots faced the ninth seeded Santa Clara Broncos. The Pilots ended the Broncos disappointing conference season with a 74-70 victory. Although Santa Clara hung close for much of the game, they simply could not get over the hump. Santa Clara ends a thoroughly disappointing season at 8-23.
The Pilots were paced by forward Ryan Nicholas, who scored 24 points and grabbed ten rebounds in the victory. Kevin Bailey added 13 points and Tanner Riley added 12 points. Santa Clara got 21 points from Evan Roquemore and double digits from three other players. The Broncos only turned the ball over once, but Portland hit at a 56.8% clip from the field, including 50% from three-point range.
Portland now advances to face the San Francisco Dons in the second round. San Francisco swept the season series with a 104-70 win at home and a 72-71 win in Portland. The winner of this game advances to face Loyola Marymount in the quarterfinals. The winner of that advances to face Saint Mary's in the semifinals.