March 10, 2023 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: The West Coast Conference is sending two teams to the NCAA Tournament

Howard and Matthew Walter recap the WCC Tournament and the state of the conference.

Matthew Walter is back for another episode of the Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. He joined host Howard Megdal to recap the West Coast Conference Tournament. So how did the WCC become a two-bid league? Walter covered every second of the conference tourney and he’s here to break down the state of the WCC. New commissioner Stu Jackson is discussed, the league’s television footprint is examined, and the incredible basketball from Gonzaga and Portland to Santa Clara is dissected. A conference you must know about, all detailed here!

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The two started their discussion with Jackson’s hire and how it has affected the WCC’s approach this year.

“Stu came in at his first press conference and said, right now we have nine teams, we’re going to stick with the nine teams we have and we’re going to just continue to try to grow as a conference and try to really develop these nine teams and I think it’s a great hire,” Walter said. “The WCC, it runs on basketball, right? Men’s and women’s basketball is what runs this league. They don’t have football. So it’s gonna run on men’s and women’s basketball. And of course, with the brand name of Gonzaga, you have to keep basketball at the forefront. So go and hire a guy who’s been doing basketball his whole life.”

Next, they turned to the WCC Tournament where Portland defeated top-seeded Gonzaga to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament which carries some extra significance knowing that their last trip was cut short due to the pandemic.

“It felt like a home game for Gonzaga and Portland never got phased,” Walter said. “Just such a great story for them when they lose their chance to get to the tournament. And now, you know, I said to them ‘knock on wood, you’re not gonna have another global pandemic.’ How great does it feel to finally play in the tournament? They’re like, we just can’t wait to see who we’re playing. We’re so excited. And (Alex) Fowler was just stunned, I think, because they made the comeback, because they never let themselves get out of the game. They were just in such a phenomenal mood just after the game, feeling so high on the fact that they finally got a chance to prove what they did four years ago and actually show the world who they are.”

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Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

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