Las Vegas • Scouting their future opponent, BYU assistant basketball coaches Tim LaComb and Mark Pope watched all of Thursday night's San Diego-Pepperdine game at the West Coast Conference tournament.
Forgive them for wondering if they had seen that ending before. Despite his team leading by four, San Diego's Chris Anderson fouled Pepperdine's Lorne Jackson while Jackson was attempting a 3-pointer with 6 seconds remaining.
Jackson made two free throws, then missed the third on purpose. However, the Waves committed a lane violation, leaving early, and the ball went over to the Toreros.
It was strikingly similar to the ending of the BYU-Pepperdine game in Malibu on Jan. 30. BYU's Anson Winder fouled Pepperdine's Jordan Baker with less than two seconds remaining and the Cougars up by four.
Baker made two missed his third attempt on purpose, and the Waves' Moriba De Freitas got his hand on the ball, but couldn't guide it into the hoop.
Tournament format changing
The WCC's unique tournament format gives the top two seeds byes into the semifinals and always creates discussion about whether it is more favorable to get the rest, or to play the night before to get some familiarity with the arena and postseason play.
However, with Pacific set to join the league next year, giving it 10 teams, those debates won't exist as much because the 2014 tournament format is expected to more traditional. Most likely, seeds 7-10 will engage in two play-in games, with the winners advancing to a regular, eight-team tournament format.
"I think [most coaches] will like that better," BYU coach Dave Rose said Wednesday.
Lions on a run
After winning just one game in the WCC regular season, Loyola Marymount surpassed that total in Las Vegas, defeating Portland in a first-round game on Wednesday and San Francisco in a second-round game on Thursday.
"We're not worried about rings, just restoring some pride," LMU coach Max Good said after the win over USF.