Who Takes the WCC Tournament?

Gabriel Santiago
Gabriel Santiago@gps_onthemic
Who Takes the WCC Tournament?

Dawning upon "Fabulous" Las Vegas, NV, the West Coast Conference basketball tournament will head to Orleans Arena for the 16th consecutive year.

The WCC men's game -- as one of the top hoop circuits among private universities -- is largely viewed as a two-team race in 2024. With the on-court action commencing on Thursday, March 7th, what do the WCC tournament odds look like at FanDuel Sportsbook?

In a couple of days, the intensity just off "The Strip" will be dialed all the way up. Before the West Coast Conference tournament tips, let's take a look at the bracket, betting odds and best bets.

All NCAA basketball odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.

West Coast Conference Tournament Bracket

WCC Tournament Odds

2024 West Coast Conference Tournament Winner
Saint Mary's+110
San Francisco+1100
Santa Clara+2500
Loyola Marymount+20000
San Diego+25000
View Full Table

WCC Tournament Best Bets

Gonzaga (-115)

Despite a down year by the program's lofty standards, the Gonzaga Bulldogs seem to be hitting their stride at just the right time.

Notably, Gonzaga has won the WCC tourney in four consecutive years. Further out, the Bulldogs have claimed 10 of the past 11 conference tournaments. In this campaign, they surrendered the regular-season crown to Saint Mary's, but the Zags recently trounced the Gaels in Moraga by a score of 70-57.

Given Gonzaga's dominance here, it seems natural that they are the odds-on favorite (-115) at FanDuel Sportsbook to win the WCC tournament. According to numberFire, their power rankings list the Zags (14.00 nERD) at 17th overall, which is tops among WCC schools.

Head coach Mark Few is completing a quarter-century with the men's basketball program in Spokane. Through that span, the Bulldogs have won the WCC tourney on 20 separate occasions. That gives Few an 80% win rate in this market dating back over the past 25 seasons.

The Zags have closed the regular season by winning 13 of 14 games (including the aforementioned rout at Saint Mary's). Gonzaga has been led by a fierce frontcourt duo of junior Graham Ike and senior Anton Watson; both players stand north of 6-foot-8, having produced better than 14.0 PPG.

Saint Mary's (+110)

The Saint Mary's Gaels have had an especially impressive campaign. In head coach Randy Bennett's 23rd season at the post, the Gaels have a 24-7 overall record while holding opponents to only 58.5 PPG (second-best defensive clip in the nation).

Through the recent WCC slate, Saint Mary's went a blistering 15-1. If it wasn't for a home loss to Gonzaga in the regular-season finale, the Gaels would have boasted a perfect conference record. Regardless, SMC is still looking to win the West Coast tournament for the first time since 2019.

The Gaels regularly chime in as a high seed here, which goes a long way in the WCC's steeply layered bracket (the top two schools have tournament byes for three straight days). Despite the recent loss to the Zags, Saint Mary's is the No. 1 seed after winning the regular-season crown, which means the Gaels need only one win to advance to the conference championship game on March 12th.

In four of the last five years, SMC has played Gonzaga for the WCC title. Through that split, the Gaels have lost in each of the past three WCC championship game appearances, which includes back-to-back seasons. Still, Saint Mary's managed to steal a win versus the Bulldogs in Spokane earlier in 2024; perhaps that gives SMC the needed confidence down the stretch.

For the Gaels, sophomore guard Aidan Mahaney (13.7 PPG) has been the team's top scorer in 2023-24. Having starred at nearby Campolindo HS, Mahaney plays with a brand of basketball excellence that the Bay Area has become accustomed to. From there, Gaels center Mitchell Saxen has averaged 11.5 PPG with 7.3 RPG.

San Francisco (+1100)

Across the bay from Saint Mary's College of California is a talented San Francisco Dons team. Just a few blocks north of Golden Gate Park, USF has rebuilt a very solid men's basketball program under head coach Chris Gerlufsen. They finished the regular season with a scoring clip of 78.1 PPG, the second-highest in the WCC.

Since taking over the Dons two seasons ago, Gerlufsen has produced back-to-back campaigns with 20 or more victories. In this campaign, San Francisco is 22-9 overall, which includes going 11-5 against fellow WCC schools.

There is a lot to like with the Dons in 2024, but they produced an 0-4 combined record against Gonzaga and Saint Mary's this year. Seemingly, as the conference's three-seed, USF will need to go through both the Zags and Gaels before punching their big-dance ticket in Vegas. FanDuel Sportsbook currently gives San Francisco 11-to-1 odds to do exactly that.

Back at numberFire, the NCAAB power rankings have the Dons (7.51 nERD) at 73rd of 363 institutions. That leaves San Francisco in the 80th percentile of Division I basketball. Be that as it may, will it be enough to break through the WCC's glass ceiling? Dating back to 2009, only SMC and Gonzaga have won the conference tourney here.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.