With the 2022-2023 men’s college basketball regular season coming to a close, West Coast Conference teams have turned their attention towards the 2023 WCC Tournament. The tournament’s winner will clinch an automatic bid to the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Therefore, all 10 members of the WCC will get the chance to compete against one another in hopes of claiming the conference title and securing a spot in the 2023 March Madness Field of 68.
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2023 WCC Tournament Betting Odds
To no one’s surprise, after very impressive regular-season performances, the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Saint Mary’s Gaels are the favorites to win the 2023 WCC Tournament. In addition to the West Coast Conference’s two perennial powers, the third-seeded Santa Clara Broncos, fifth-seeded BYU Cougars, and fourth-seeded Loyola Marymount Lions round out the top five teams with the highest likelihood of claiming the WCC title in 2023.
The complete list of West Coast Conference men’s basketball teams and their projected odds to win the 2023 WCC Tournament are shown below.
Odds To Win the 2023 WCC Men’s Basketball Tournament
Note: These odds were last updated on March 2, 2023 and are provided by FanDuel Sportsbook.
Where is the 2023 WCC Tournament Taking Place?
The 2023 University Credit Union WCC Men’s Basketball Tournament will be played at Orleans Arena in Paradise, Nevada for the 15th consecutive year. The 2023 WCC Women’s Basketball Tournament is also set to be held this week at Orleans Arena for its 15th straight year.
Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s are the only league members to have won the WCC Men’s Basketball Tournament since it moved to Orleans Arena in 2009. In fact, the BYU Cougars are the only other WCC team to even reach the conference championship game during this time frame.
Throughout the history of the West Coast Conference, the annual men’s college basketball conference tournament has been held at a number of different venues across the Pacific Coast region. Besides Orleans Arena, WCC Tournament host sites include Jenny Craig Pavilion in San Diego, the Chiles Center in Portland, McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Leavey Center in Santa Clara, and several others.
2023 WCC Tournament Schedule
The 2023 West Coast Conference Tournament will take place from Thursday, March 2 to Tuesday, March 7. Teams were seeded 1-10 based on their conference records during the 2022-2023 regular season.
The No. 1 Seed Saint Mary’s Gaels and No. 2 Seed Gonzaga Bulldogs will automatically advance to the tournament’s semifinals. The No. 3 Seed Santa Clara Broncos and No. 4 Seed Loyola Marymount Lions will each advance directly to the quarterfinals.
Furthermore, the No. 5 Seed BYU Cougars and No. 6 Seed San Francisco Dons will get to begin the tournament in the second round. Meanwhile, the WCC’s 7-10 seeds (Pacific, Portland, San Diego, and Pepperdine) will battle one another in the first round.
|Round 1||Game 1: San Diego vs Portland|
Game 2: Pepperdine vs Pacific
|Thursday, March 2 – 6:00 p.m.|
Thursday, March 2 – 8:30 p.m.
|Round 2||Game 3: Game 1 Winner vs BYU|
Game 4: Game 2 Winner vs San Francisco
|Friday, March 3 – 6:00 p.m.|
Friday, March 3 – 8:30 p.m.
|Quarterfinals||Game 5: Game 3 Winner vs Loyola Marymount|
Game 6: Game 4 Winner vs Santa Clara
|Saturday, March 4 – 7:00 p.m.|
Saturday, March 4 – 9:30 p.m.
|Semifinals||Game 7: Game 5 Winner vs Saint Mary’s|
Game 8: Game 6 Winner vs Gonzaga
|Monday, March 6 – 6:00 p.m.|
Monday, March 6 – 8:30 p.m.
|Championship||Game 9: Game 7 Winner vs Game 8 Winner||Tuesday, March 7 – 6:00 p.m.|
All times are provided in Pacific Standard Time (PST) and may be subject to change.
- Round 1 – WCC Network
- Round 2 – WCC Network
- Quarterfinals – ESPN2
- Semifinals – ESPN/ESPN2
- Championship – ESPN
WCC Tournament Teams To Watch
The WCC ranks eighth among all 32 conferences in college basketball in terms of the average NET ranking of its members. They sit ahead of the American Athletic Conference and Conference USA and fall just behind the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Although Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s have gotten most of the attention this year around the college basketball world, the West Coast Conference has plenty of talented teams capable of making a run in the 2023 WCC Tournament.
Here are some of the league’s top teams to watch as we approach the postseason:
As usual, the Gonzaga Bulldogs are one of the most talented teams in both the West Coast Conference and all of college basketball. Despite not earning the top seed in the WCC Tournament for the first time since 2016, the Bulldogs have safely secured their spot in the 2023 NCAA Tournament and were included among the NCAA’s Top 16 teams on February 18.
Gonzaga has lost just one home all season and has already earned quality wins against Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan State, Xavier, and Saint Mary’s. Their only losses so far have been against Texas, Baylor, Purdue, Saint Mary’s, and Loyola Marymount.
The Bulldogs lead the entire nation in offensive efficiency, points per game, and field goal percentage. They also lead the West Coast Conference in both assists per game and steals per game.
Senior Drew Timme is averaging 21.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for the Bulldogs, and he will look to lead Gonzaga to their fourth consecutive WCC Tournament title.
Saint Mary’s Gaels
The Saint Mary’s Gaels have put together an incredible 2022-2023 regular season and have managed to exceed the team’s already high expectations for the year.
The Gaels own victories over San Diego State, Gonzaga, Oral Roberts, and Hofstra. In addition, they managed to take the Houston Cougars, one of the best teams in college basketball, down to the wire on December 3.
With the best defense in the West Coast Conference, in terms of overall defensive efficiency and points per game allowed, and four players averaging more than 10 points per game (Logan Johnson, Aidan Mahaney, Alex Ducas, and Mitchell Saxen), the Gaels are certainly one of the best teams in the league.
Saint Mary’s seems to have already locked up an at-large bid for the 2023 NCAA Tournament, but after losing in the WCC Tournament Championship last year, they appear to be highly motivated to do whatever it takes to claim the 2023 WCC title and cut down the nets at Orleans Arena on Tuesday, March 7.
Santa Clara Broncos
After a remarkable 2022-2023 campaign, the Santa Clara Broncos have now earned a top-three seed in back-to-back WCC Tournaments for the first time since the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 seasons.
Santa Clara has already earned four victories in Quadrant 1 and Quadrant 2 games, including wins against Iona and BYU. However, they have seemed to struggle against the conference’s top two teams, as they have a 0-4 combined record this year against Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga.
Nevertheless, the Broncos have one of the best offenses in the league. They are among the top three in the West Coast Conference in points per game, field goal percentage, and three-point field goal percentage. In addition, the Broncos lead the conference in both offensive and defensive rebounding.
Santa Clara enters the 2023 WCC Tournament on a seven-game winning streak and will look to earn their first conference title since 1993.
After being picked to finish third in the 2022-2023 WCC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll, the BYU Cougars have not quite lived up to expectations. They finished the regular season with an overall record of 17-14 and a conference record of just 7-9.
BYU has dropped games to second-rate teams like South Dakota and Pepperdine, and they are 0-6 combined against the conference’s top three teams (Saint Mary’s, Gonzaga, and Santa Clara).
However, the Cougars have shown some promise this year with quality wins against teams such as Creighton, Utah, and Dayton. Furthermore, they have managed to stay competitive with just about all of the teams on their schedule, as 12 of their 14 losses have come by single digits.
BYU also ranks among the top five in the West Coast Conference in points per game, points per game allowed, field goal percentage, three-point percentage, rebounding margin, and blocked shots. As a result, the Cougars could certainly be a team worth keeping an eye on as we approach postseason play.
How To Bet on the 2023 WCC Tournament
You can choose from many different betting options during the 2023 West Coast Conference Tournament. Some of the most common ways to bet on the tournament are explained below and an example of a wager you may choose to place.
A moneyline bet is the simplest wager you can make. For any given matchup in the WCC Tournament, you can choose to bet the moneyline on either one of the two teams competing: the favorite or the underdog. Betting on the underdog will offer a better payout, but the team is considered the underdog because they are projected to lose the game.
For example, San Diego is the underdog in their first-round matchup against Portland. You may choose to place a moneyline bet on the Portland Pilots to win as a favorite or the San Diego Toreros to win as an underdog.
Another fairly common option is betting on a matchup’s point spread. Every game in the 2023 WCC Tournament will have a point spread determined by the sportsbook based on how much one team is projected to win or lose the game.
A specific example would be if the BYU Cougars were a 2.5-point favorite against the Loyola Marymount Lions in the quarterfinals of the tournament. With the point spread set at 2.5, you can choose to bet on BYU to win by three points or more, or you can choose to bet on the Lions to lose by two points or fewer or win the game outright.
The payouts will be roughly equal regardless of which team you pick to cover the spread.
Next, instead of betting on which team wins in a tournament matchup or by how much, you can bet on the total number of points expected to be scored throughout the game. For example, the over/under total for a championship game matchup between the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Saint Mary’s Gaels may be set at 146.5 points.
If you think Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s will combine for 147 points or more, then you would bet the over. On the other hand, if you think the two teams will combine for 146 or fewer points, then you would want to bet the under. Similar to point spreads, the payouts for over/under totals are roughly equal regardless of whether you bet on the over or under.
A very common and exciting form of bet is the parlay. Parlays combine two or more predicted outcomes and typically offer greater winnings to sports bettors.
If you felt confident about both BYU and San Francisco covering the spread in their second-round matchups of the WCC Tournament, then you could choose to combine the wagers together and place a parlay bet. And, if both the BYU Cougars and San Francisco Dons cover their spreads, you would win the parlay and collect your winnings!
Another fun way to bet on the 2023 WCC Tournament is by placing prop bets. Prop bets are generally not related to the final outcome of the games. Instead, they may be related to the stats a certain player records in their matchup.
A specific example may be the over/under total for the number of points scored by Gonzaga’s Drew Timme being set at 20.5 during the semifinals of the tournament.
If you think Timme will have an above-average performance, you could place a prop bet on Timme scoring 21 points or more. However, if you think the opposing team’s defense will key in on Drew Timme and force him to take tough shots or get his teammates more involved, you could place a prop bet on Timme scoring 20 or fewer points in the game.
Lastly, you can bet on futures for this year’s WCC Tournament. This means you will place a bet on a future outcome of the tournament. The most common example is placing a wager on which team will win the tournament championship.
It is important to explain that if you correctly picked one of the favorites (such as Gonzaga or Saint Mary’s) to win the conference title, your payout would be much lower than if you correctly picked a long shot (such as Portland) to pull off a surprise run throughout the tournament.
2023 WCC Tournament Best Bets
The West Coast Conference Tournament’s format significantly rewards the teams who were able to achieve success during the regular season. Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s will each be able to rest up before making their tournament debut on Monday, March 6 in the semifinals. As a result, the tournament’s top two seeds will only need two victories to claim the WCC title.
Meanwhile, No. 3 Seed Santa Clara and No. 4 Seed Loyola Marymount would each have to win three games in four days. No. 5 Seed BYU and No. 6 Seed San Francisco would each need four wins in five days. And No. 7 Seed Pacific, No. 8 Seed Portland, No. 9 Seed San Diego, and No. 10 Seed Pepperdine would all need five wins in six days to win the tournament and claim the conference’s automatic bid to the Big Dance.
The 2023 WCC Tournament’s odds seem to properly reflect the level of difficulty of each team’s road to the championship game on Tuesday, March 7.
The best bets for the 2023 West Coast Conference Tournament have been provided below and include the top pick, best value, and sleeper pick.
Top Pick: Gonzaga (-145)
The obvious choice to win the 2023 West Coast Conference Tournament is the Gonzaga Bulldogs. They have reached their conference championship game every year since 1995, and they have won 19 of the last 24 WCC Tournament titles.
Furthermore, although they finished tied in first place in the WCC standings, Gonzaga finished with its most conference losses since the 2015-2016 season. The Bulldogs will be looking to show the rest of the conference that they are still the team to beat in the WCC while also hoping to earn the best possible seed for themselves in the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
Best Value: Saint Mary’s (+120)
On the other hand, given Saint Mary’s dominant regular season and impressive performances against Gonzaga this year, it may be smart to take a chance on the Gaels. Saint Mary’s split the regular-season series with the Bulldogs, as each team won by eight points or more on their home court.
The Gaels have also reached the WCC Championship Game in five of the last seven seasons and managed to pull off an upset against Gonzaga in the 2019 title game. Given the significant difference in odds between the WCC’s top two programs, Saint Mary’s may actually offer the best value when picking the winner of the 2023 West Coast Conference Tournament.
Sleeper Pick: Loyola Marymount (+5000)
Although most people consider a Gonzaga-Saint Mary’s matchup in the WCC Tournament Championship to be a foregone conclusion, it may be beneficial to take a look at the Loyola Marymount Lions.
The tournament’s No. 4 seed has been given seemingly astronomical odds to win their conference championship this year despite a rather impressive regular season. They earned quality nonconference wins against teams like Wake Forest and Nevada while also managing to split both of their regular-season series against Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s.
They currently sit just outside the top 100 of the NET Rankings and would like nothing more than to cap off a successful 2022-2023 campaign with their first WCC title since 1989. Be on the lookout for the Lions to make some noise in this year’s West Coast Conference Tournament.
WCC Tournament History
The West Coast Conference Tournament has been held every year dating back to 1987, with the only exception being the 1990 WCC Tournament, which was canceled after the tragic death of Loyola Marymount’s Hank Gathers.
Gonzaga has won 20 West Coast Conference Tournament titles, which is by far the most of any team in the league. In fact, the Bulldogs have won nine of the last 10 WCC championships, and they have won an impressive 79.2% of their games in the tournament overall. Gonzaga has also reached the WCC title game in 28 of the 35 tournaments.
Saint Mary’s has the second-most WCC Tournament Championships in league history with 4, Pepperdine sits in third place with three WCC titles, and three teams (Santa Clara, San Diego, and Loyola Marymount) are tied in fourth with two conference championships apiece.
Furthermore, the tournament’s top two seeds each year have claimed 27 of the 35 conference championships. The tournament’s No. 3 Seed has not won a title since 2008, a No. 4 seed has not won since 1995, and a No. 5 Seed has not won since 1998. Seeds 6-10 have never won a WCC Tournament Championship in league history.
Despite the lack of upsets in the West Coast Conference Tournament in recent years, there are plenty of quality teams competing in the 2023 WCC Tournament, and they will all soon battle it out in hopes of being crowned the conference’s top team.