UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara Seek CIT, Vegas 16 Titles
2015-16 Men's Basketball Release No. 20
UC Irvine plays for the CollegeInsider.com Tournament championship at Columbia, while UC Santa Barbara is in the Vegas 16 semifinals against Old Dominion.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
UC IRVINE SEEKS CIT TITLE
UC Irvine is in the finals for the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, travelling to Columbia on Tuesday. The Anteaters defeated North Dakota, Louisiana and Coastal Carolina – all on the road – to improve 13-4 in road games this season. The 13 road wins is a UCI record, and the most by a Big West team since Pacific finished with 13 in 2004-05.
UCI’s game at Columbia will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
The Anteaters are attempting to become just the third Big West team to win the championship of a postseason tournament. Fresno State won the 1983 National Invitation Tournament, and UNLV was the 1990 NCAA Tournament national champion.
This is the second time a Big West school has reached the finals of the CIT. In 2010, Pacific lost to Missouri State in the championship game.
POSTSEASON TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS
||Defeated DePaul, 69-60
||Defeated Duke, 103-73
UC SANTA BARBARA LOOKS TO JOIN 20-WIN CLUB
UC Santa Barbara is in contention to give the Big West two postseason tournament champions as the Gauchos are in the semifinals of the inaugural Vegas 16. They take on Old Dominion on Tuesday in the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev. A win would pit the Gauchos against either Oakland or East Tennessee State in Wednesday’s championship game.
The Gauchos (19-13) are seeking to join Hawai‘i, UC Irvine and Long Beach State as 20-win programs in the Big West this season. The last time four conference teams won 20 games was the 2007-08 campaign.
NUMBER OF SEASONS WITH FOUR 20-WIN TEAMS
||Cal State Fullerton, CSUN, UC Santa Barbara, Pacific
||UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, Pacific, Utah State
||Long Beach State, New Mexico State, UNLV, UC Santa Barbara
||Cal State Fullerton, Fresno State, UNLV, Utah State
Record Breakers: UC Irvine has shattered the school’s single-season record for wins with 28, eclipsing the old mark of 25 set by the 2000-01 squad. It is the most by a Big West squad since Utah State finished 28-6 in 2000-01.
Swat Machine: Junior 7-6 center Mamadou Ndiaye has registered 87 blocked shots to rank No. 5 on the Big West single-season list. He is also No. 3 in conference history with 218 career swats, two away from unseating UC Santa Barbara’s Alan Williams (2011-15) from the No. 2 spot.
Best Practices: The Anteaters are 6-0 this season when senior Mike Best scores 18 or more points.
Balance: UCI has had four different players lead the team in scoring over the last four games – Jaron Martin (21, Long Beach State), Mike Best (22, North Dakota), Alex Young (21, Lafayette) and Luke Nelson (15, Coastal Carolina).
Forever Young: Senior Alex Young is two rebounds away from becoming the 19th Anteater to amass career numbers of 1,000 points and 500 boards.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Going For 20: UC Santa Barbara won its opening game of the Vegas 16, 70-63 over Northern Illinois, on Monday in Las Vegas. The Gauchos are now one win away from hitting the 20-win mark for the sixth time in the tenure of head coach Bob Williams.
Drought Buster: UCSB’s result against Northern Illinois marked the program’s first postseason victory in 26 years. The last UCSB win in postseason play came over Houston in the first round of the 1990 NCAA Tournament. The Gauchos face Old Dominion in Tuesday’s Vegas 16 semifinals.
Bryson One Away From Top 10: Senior Michael Bryson, the UCSB career three-pointers made leader with 237, needs to make one more to tie Pacific’s Clay McKnight (1995-2000) for the No. 10 slot in Big West history.
Sam He Is: Senior Sam Beeler made 8-of-9 shots for 16 points against Northern Illinois to help the Gauchos to victory. He is shooting a Big West-leading 72.1 (101-of-140) percent from the floor. The 6-10 forward made 8 of 9 field goals against Cal Poly earlier in the year.