March 16, 2014
SAN BRUNO, Calif. – With two teams already selected for the 2014 NCAA Tournament – No. 8 Gonzaga and No. 10 BYU – the West Coast Conference made history with two member institutions earning bids to the NIT Postseason Tournament. Saint Mary’s College and the University of San Francisco each captured No. 4 seeds in the event and will host opening round games.
Competing in the Minnesota Quadrant, Saint Mary’s welcomes No. 5 Utah to Moraga Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. from McKeon Pavilion in a game televised on ESPN2. It is the third NIT berth for the Gaels, who advanced to the third round in 2009.
San Francisco hosts No. 5 LSU Wednesday in a 7:00 p.m. contest on ESPNU at War Memorial Gym in the SMU Quadrant. The Dons are making their first appearance in the NIT Postseason since 2005 when it defeated Denver (69-67) in the opening round before falling to CSU Fullerton (85-69).
The combined four teams in the NCAA and NIT postseason fields matches the conference record set in 1989 when Loyola Marymount University and Saint Mary’s earned NCAA bids and Pepperdine University and Santa Clara University qualified for the NIT field. The WCC sent three teams to the NCAA Tournament in 2012 (BYU, Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s) and 2008 (Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s and San Diego).
In addition, two member institutions have accepted bids to the College Insiders Postseason Tournament (CIT), bringing the total WCC teams competing in the postseason to six. Pacific (15-15) and San Diego (16-16) both play this week. The Toreros host Portland State (17-14) Tuesday at the Jenny Craig Pavilion, while the Tigers play at Grand Canyon (15-14) on Wednesday.