2012 WEST COAST CONFERENCE MENS BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT INFO:
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Venue: Orleans Arena
Games: 11 total, divided into 4 sessions
Dates: March 8-11
The West Coast Conference (WCC) has gained a significant following as one of the most consistently competitive tournaments in the United States. The West Coast Athletic Conference (shortened to WCC in 1989) was initially created to give San Francisco area schools a simple way to compete with one another and gain attention on the national stage. Since then, the conference has grown into a budding basketball program with a few NCAA Tournament mainstays and many up-and-coming programs.
What we know today as the West Coast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament began in 1987 and used a format that featured the top seeds playing their first round games at home. Santa Clara would end the Cinderella run of Pepperdine, which beat the #1 and #2 seeds to reach the finals. In the following year, the conference opted to rotate the tournament to a different WCC arena each year to give every team a chance to experience home court advantage. This policy changed again in 2009 when the tourney was held at Orleans Arena, just outside of Las Vegas. This shift helped to improve the profile of the tournament and open it up to a wider audience than ever before.
The league tournament remained extremely competitive throughout its early years, and helped to produce NBA-ready talent like Steve Nash, K.C Jones and Adam Morrison. While Pepperdine was the dominant team in the late '80s and early '90s, the formation of Gonzaga's basketball program in the 1997 season immediately changed the dynamic of the conference. The Gonzaga Bulldogs would go on to win 11 tournament championships since its inception and would grow into one of the most popular men's basketball programs in the country.
In 2012, the WCC added Brigham Young University, which instantly became the largest school by enrollment in the conference. As a result, the league decided to change its playoff format by stretching it to five days with a play-in game featuring the eight and nine seeds. The fifth seed would play the winner of the latter game, and the 1-4 seeds were still given byes. The addition of BYU and the growing interest in WCC men's basketball has made the tournament one of the biggest draws on the West Coast.
West Coast Conference Basketball Tournament Ticket Information:
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