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West Coast Conference play tips off Wednesday

Dec. 28, 2011

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SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- For the first time in conference history, WCC play tips off on the short side of the New Year for eight teams. Action begins Wednesday evening in Spokane, with Gonzaga hosting Portland. On Thursday, Saint Mary's welcomes newcomer BYU to Moraga in a nationally-televised affair.

WCC QUICK HITS

  • For the first time ever, West Coast Conference play tips in December, with eight WCC teams playing a conference game this week. Portland at Gonzaga gets things started on Wednesday evening.

  • Just how important are these opening WCC conference games? The last time a WCC team lost its conference opener but rallied to win the regular season crown was in 1997. That year, Santa Clara lost its opener at Gonzaga, but tied Saint Mary's for the WCC regular season title.

  • Gonzaga travels to Xavier on Saturday (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2). The Bulldogs are 3-2 so far this season on ESPN Networks.

  • Only eight Division I teams have won at least 25 games in each of the last four seasons. Three of those teams (BYU, Gonzaga, Saint Mary's) call the West Coast Conference home.

  • Gonzaga's Kevin Pangos is the WCC Player of the Week for December 26. Pangos averaged 21 points per game in a pair of Bulldogs wins last week, en route to becoming the first two-time award-winner this season.

  • Seven members of the 2011 All-WCC Team were named to this year's Preseason All-West Coast Conference Team.

  • The WCC's weekly web video show, "The Road to Las Vegas," returns to WCCsports.com next week. Also on January 5, WCC Live, the popular Internet talk show returns. Look for more information coming soon to WCCsports.com.

    View the PDF above for complete team-by-team notes.