SAN FRANCISCO — Pepperdine basketball Coach Jim Harrick, whose team finished seventh in the West Coast Athletic Conference, says he feels "very fortunate" to have reached the semifinals in the conference's first postseason tournament at the University of San Francisco.
Coach Hank Egan, whose University of San Diego team was the WCAC's regular-season champion, doesn't feel quite so lucky. San Diego (24-4 overall), which finished with a 13-1 conference record and has already defeated Pepperdine twice, will play the Waves (11-17, 5-9) again at 6:30 tonight in the first semifinal game.
St. Mary's (17-12, 7-7), the conference's third-place team, will play Santa Clara (16-13, 6-8) in the second game.
Winners will meet in the championship game at 7:35 p.m. Saturday. The conference tournament champion will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Egan's team would have won that bid automatically were it not for the conference tournament and he would prefer that the regular-season champion get the bid. "But I don't think it is unfair," he said. "Our school felt that the league champion should go, based on the performance of the league."