Pepperdine is expected to win its games up north this weekend. Loyola Marymount has to.
The Waves (22-4 overall, 10-1 in the West Coast Athletic Conference) will be at Santa Clara tonight and at the University of San Francisco Saturday night. Playing the same teams, Loyola (17-8, 9-2) will reverse that procedure.
If Pepperdine and the Lions sweep, Loyola will go into Pepperdine's Firestone Fieldhouse at 8 p.m. Wednesday with a chance to tie the Waves for the WCAC championship. If the Lions defeat the Waves, they will force a playoff game for the conference title and an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.
But first, the Lions and Waves have to make it through this weekend against USF (7-18, 2-9) and Santa Clara is (10-15, 5-6). Santa Clara gave both Loyola and the Waves all they could handle at home in January, losing to the Lions, 55-54, and to Pepperdine, 64-60. Both local teams had to come from behind to win.