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West Coast Conference
Current Odds to Win Plus Predictions
There have been two consistent events throughout the last decade in college basketball. The month of March is when College Basketball really starts to show its Madness, and Gonzaga is once again the regular season West Coast Conference Champs. Gonzaga just finished off their 10th consecutive WCC regular season title, and now have their sights set on winning the Conference Tournament to build up momentum for the NCAA Tournament. However this year it seems like Gonzaga could have some real competition with Saint Maryís and Portland who finished their seasons off with records of 24-5 and 20-9 and 11-3 and 10-4 in conference. This has been a competitive race all year between these three teams, so we donít expect anything to change when these teams and the rest of the West Coast Conference square off for an invitation to the Big Dance.
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Gonzaga is the name that has given this conference credibility for the last decade, and after winning their 10th straight WCC Conference Championship there is no doubt in anyoneís mind who the favorite to win the whole thing is. Gonzaga doesnít really have the star power like they have in past years with players like Ronnie Turiaf and Adam Morrison, but this is a very good Bulldog team led by leading scorer Matt Bouldin (16.0) and Elias Harris (14.9) that have a very solid front and back court, and as long as Mark Few is this teams Coach you know they will be a very sound fundamental team.
If anyone is going to knock off the Undisputed Champion its most likely going to be Saint Maryís who does it. The Gaelís are led by 6í11 Senior Center Omar Samhan who is averaging 21.5 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. If he is able to use his body and get separation from his defender he can really take over a game, but this is not a one man show. Saint Maryís has 4 other players who average double figures. Saint Maryís dropped both games to Gonzaga this season, but it is very hard to beat a team like Saint Maryís three times in a row, so the 3rd time may very well be the charm for this well rounded team.
Next we have the Portland Pilots who finished the year 20-9 and 10-4 in conference. Much like the two teams ahead of Portland this basketball team is a very well rounded group. There isnít one guy that stands out as the star that you have to stop if you are going to win, but their whole starting five are very capable of taking the lead on any given night. The Pilots were able to steal one in overtime over Saint Maryís in one of their contests, but in the other game against the Gaels and in the two games against Gonzaga they were unable to get things going. This team is capable of stealing that tournament bid from the WCC if they get hot, but we just donít like their chances to get past both Gonzaga and Saint Maryís.
If there is one team we had to choose to be the dark horse selection it would have to be Loyola Marymount. The Lions have a very solid front and back court led by Forward Drew Viney who is averaging 16.9 points per game. They also were able to get a win over the top 3 teams in this conference during the regular season, so they have shown that if they get hot at the right time they are more then capable of pulling the upset over their West Coast Conference Rivals.
Another team worth a look would be Portland. We cashed some nice tickets with Portland down the stretch and plan on giving them a close look in this tournament. Here are the odds to win the WCC Title.
Current Odds to win WCC Championship
St Mary's +200
San Francisco +500
Loyola Marymount +800
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