Pacific Draws Miami (FL) For NCAA Tournament Second Round Matchup
2013 NCAA Tournament Bracket
Men's Basketball Weekly Release No. 20
Pacific received the No. 15 seed and a second round matchup against No. 2 seed Miami (FL) as the pairings for the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship were announced Sunday.
The Tigers and Hurricanes meet on Friday in an East Region game at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Tex. Tip time is 11:10 a.m. (PDT) and the game will be televised on TNT.
Pacific (22-12, 13-5) earned automatic qualification by virtue of winning the Big West Tournament as the No. 2 seed, defeating No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (71-68) and No. 3 Cal Poly (55-53) to set up a championship game battle with No. 4 UC Irvine. The Tigers defeated the Anteaters, 64-55, Saturday night at Honda Center to secure their fifth Big West Tournament title (1979, 1997, 2004, 2006, 2013) in school history.
The Tigers are heading to their ninth overall NCAA Tournament, tied for most among Big West members. It is the fifth NCAA appearance – 1997, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2013 – under 25th-year head coach Bob Thomason, who is retiring at season's end.
The program is 4-9 all-time in NCAA Tournament, and 2-4 under Thomason. The 12th-seeded Tigers beat No. 5 Providence, 66-58, in the 2004 first round. As a No. 8 seed in 2005, Pacific stopped No. 9 Pittsburgh in the first round by a 79-71 score.
Big West Tournament Most Valuable Player Tony Gill and all-tournament selection Lorenzo McCloud lead a balanced attack against the Hurricanes, the ACC regular season and tournament champion that tied the program record for highest seed in school history.
The winner of Pacific-Miami (FL) plays the winner of No. 7 Illinois and No. 10 Colorado in third round action on Sunday.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
• Pacific is the Big West representative to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time as a conference member, and ninth overall in school history. The Tigers clinched the automatic bid to the NCAA’s as the champion of the Big West Tournament, defeating No. 7 seed UC Santa Barbara (71-68), No. 3 Cal Poly (55-53) and No. 4 UC Irvine (64-55) on successive days.
• The Tigers, the second seed in the Big West Tournament, secured the program’s fifth overall, and fourth and final Big West Tournament championship for head coach Bob Thomason. Thomason, the winningest coach in Big West history in overall (436) and conference (248) victories, is retiring this season after 25 years at the helm of the Tigers. Thomason also won Big West Tournament titles in 1997, 2004 and 2006.
• Thomason’s four Big West Tournament championships tie for second all-time with Utah State’s Stew Morrill. UNLV’s Jerry Tarkanian owns the benchmark for most titles with seven.
• This is Thomason’s fifth trip to the NCAA Tournament. He is 2-4 all-time in the four previous appearances – 1997, 2004, 2005, 2006. The No. 12 seed Tigers upset fifth-seeded Providence (66-58) in the 2004 first round. In 2005, as a No. 8 seed, the Tigers held off ninth-seeded Pittsburgh, 79-71, for another first round victory. Pacific lost both the 1997 and 2006 first round matchups to St. Joseph’s and Boston College as a No. 13 seed. Pacific enters this year’s NCAA Tournament against Miami (FL) with its lowest seed yet as a No. 15.
• With a 22-12 record, Thomason’s clubs have recorded 20 or more wins in 10 of the last 17 seasons.
• The Big West set an all-time conference record with five postseason clubs this season. In addition to Pacific’s NCAA automatic bid, Long Beach State is appearing in the National Invitation Tournament. Cal Poly, UC Irvine and Hawai’i are representing the Big West in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
• Long Beach State won its third consecutive Big West regular season championship, finishing 14-4 and one game ahead of Pacific in the standings. The 49ers are the first program to win three straight outright titles since UNLV reeled off seven in a row from 1982-89.
• The 49ers are making their third consecutive postseason appearance (2 NIT, 1 NCAA) with an upcoming NIT matchup Wednesday at Baylor. LBSU is 2-6 in six previous trips to the NIT, with the last win coming in 1990.
• Cal Poly, which has recorded the highest number of Big West wins (12) in school history, makes its postseason debut Wednesday at Weber State in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. The Mustangs are one win away from tying the school record for most overall wins (19) while a Big West member.
• UC Irvine is playing in the postseason for the first time since 2002 when the Anteaters appeared in the NIT. The 20 victories for UCI represents the most for the program since posting a 20-9 record in 2002-03.
• Hawai’i appears in the CIT for the second time in three years. The Big West average home attendance leader (6,372) hosts Air Force in the first round.
STATS OF THE WEEK
• UC Irvine sophomore Will Davis II has a legitimate shot at breaking the Big West single-season record for blocks. The 6-8 center has a league-leading 86 blocked shots, just four short of eclipsing UC Santa Barbara’s Eric McArthur, who logged 89 rejections in 1990. Davis II tied the Big West single-game record of eight blocked shots earlier this year, a mark he also initially hit as a freshman.
• UCI head coach Russell Turner will coach his 100th career game when the Anteaters host High Point in the first round of the CIT Wednesday.
• Hawai’i is the only Big West school with two players ranked in the top five in rebounding. Senior center Vander Joaquim ranks No. 2 with 8.4 boards per game while junior forward Christian Standhardinger sits fourth (7.9 rpg). Joaquim is also second in the Big West and tied for No. 30 nationally with 12 double-doubles this season. Standhardinger is fourth in the league with nine double-doubles.