SAN DIEGO, Cali - Coach Mark Few and the perennial West Coast Conference powerhouse Gonzaga Bulldogs were seven-point favorites against host University of San Diego in the WCC men's tournament title game tonight, but were upset 69-62.
The No. 20 Zags must now wait for an at-large NCAA tournament invitation, which will be their 10th straight NCAA appearance. They were trying for their fifth straight league title and ninth in 10 years.
The 21 and 13 Torreros received the WCC's automatic NCAA tournament berth, their first since 2003.
Showing no effects from needing two overtimes to beat Saint Mary's last night, the Toreros went on a 19-4 run in the second half to take control and give first-year coach Bill Grier a victory against his old boss, Few. Grier is a former longtime assistant under Few in Spokane.
The San Diego job was the 44-year-old Grier's first college head coaching job. He replaced Brad Holland last March after Holland was fired after 13 seasons as the head coach at San Diego. Jeremy Pargo led Gonzaga with 22 points.
San Diego led 30-27 at halftime.
USD had lost 13 straight to the Zags since upsetting them in the 2003 tournament title game.