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Men's Basketball

UC Santa Barbara Earns No. 1 Seed at Next Week's Men's Basketball Tournament

Files associated with this release:
MB Release No. 20

Links associated with this release:
08 Men's Bracket


The UC Santa Barbara men's basketball team claimed the No. 1 seed in the Big West Tournament, which runs March 12-15 at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena.  This is the first time since 2003 that the Gauchos enter the conference tournament as the top seed.

The Gauchos, which shared the regular season co-championship with Cal State Northridge and Cal State Fullerton at 12-4, got the nod as the No. 1 seed based on their combined 3-1 record against the Matadors and Titans.  The Matadors nailed down the second seed by virtue of going 1-1 against UCSB.

It's the first regular season crown for UCSB since the 2002-03 season.  For the Titans, their co-championship is the program's first since sharing the crown with Long Beach State in 1975-76.  It's the first title - regular or shared - for the Matadors since they joined the Big West in 2001-02.

The last tri-championship in the Big West occurred in 1996-97 when former members Nevada, Utah State and New Mexico State all finished 12-4 in the Big West Western Division.

This is the first time since 2003 that the top seed from both the men's and women's tournaments comes from the same school.  The UC Santa Barbara women wrapped up this year's top seed with a 15-1 record.  UCSB was the same school to accomplish the feat in 2003.

The men's tournament gets running with Wednesday's first round matchups, featuring No. 5 UC Irvine against No. 8 Long Beach State at 6:00 p.m., followed by No. 6 Cal Poly versus No. 7 UC Riverside 30 minutes after the conclusion of the previous game.

No. 3 seed Cal State Fullerton plays the lowest remaining seed advancing out of the first round, while No. 4 seed Pacific takes on the highest remaining seed.  Fullerton will tip off on Thursday, March 13 at 6:00 p.m., while Pacific plays in the final game that evening.  The Nos. 3 and 4 seeds received automatic byes to the quarterfinals.

The top two seeds - No. 1 UC Santa Barbara and No. 2 Cal State Northridge - play their first games of the tournament on Friday, March 14.  The Gauchos tangle with the lowest remaining seed following Thursday's quarterfinals.  The Matadors battle the highest remaining seed.  UCSB plays at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and CSUN takes the floor at 8:00 p.m.  ESPNU will televise both games - the UCSB game will be televised on a delayed basis at 10:30 p.m. (PT), while the CSUN contest is live.

Saturday's championship game tips off at 8:00 p.m. (PT) on ESPN2.

A No. 1 or No. 2 seed has won the Big West Tournament title in each of the last four seasons.