Michael Vernetti is the Rush the Court’s correspondent for the West Coast Conference.
Maybe finals were unusually hard this year, causing a build-up of aggression within WCC members. Maybe the conference is ready to establish itself alongside the Mountain West as one of the best outside the Power Five. Whatever the motivation, conference schools celebrated their first post-finals games with a handful of memorable efforts on Saturday.
- Gonzaga toyed with UCLA as if the Bruins were a middling WCC opponent, leading wire-to-wire in an 87-74 romp at Pauley Pavilion.
- Saint Mary’s broke Creighton’s 24-game home winning streak with a 71-67 overtime win in Omaha.
- BYU went 2-0 on the road by topping Weber State 76-60 in Ogden.
- Santa Clara notched its fourth straight win by knocking off Washington State 76-67 – its first home win against a Pac-12 school in 10 years.
- San Diego trounced New Orleans 85-60 to remain undefeated at home.
- Pepperdine almost made it an epic fail for the Pac-12 against the WCC, leading Arizona State 43-42 with less than 12 minutes left before ultimately succumbing, 81-74.
- Only rebuilding Loyola Marymount went down Saturday, losing 71-69 to Northern Arizona.
It has been a mostly satisfying non-conference performance so far for the WCC, with only one team, Loyola Marymount, posting a losing record through December 13.