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Men's Basketball

Big West Tournament Seeding Position Up For Grabs


Weekly Release No. 18


‘Eaters Earn Outright Regular Season Title
UC Irvine’s win at UC Riverside Saturday clinched the outright Big West regular season title as the team improved to 13-1 in league play. It is the fourth regular season title in the last six seasons for Russell Turner’s program and the sixth overall for the school. The No. 1 seed in the Big West Tournament, UCI will play either Cal Poly or UC Riverside at 6:00 p.m. in the quarterfinals on Thursday, March 14 at Honda Center.

Eleven Straight Best In Turner Era
UCI has won 11 straight games, the longest in the Turner era, and the most by an ‘Eater squad since a 13-in-a-row run by the 2000-01 team.

Big West Road Streak Now At 12

UCI has won a school record 12 straight Big West road games dating back to last season, including a 7-0 mark this year. UCI will become the first undefeated road team in Big West play since Pacific (9-0) in 2004-05 with a win at Cal Poly on Thursday.

National Perspective
UCI is 12-2 in road games this year. Twelve road wins ties UCI for the most in Division I with Belmont and Stony Brook.

Defense Wins Everything
UCI is more effective at slowing people down than a traffic jam on the 405 freeway. The ‘Eaters have held their last three opponents under 50 points – Cal Poly, UC Davis and UC Riverside – and limited them to a combined 31.4% (50-of-159) shooting. UCI is 13-0 this season when holding an opponent to 60 points or less, has won 24 in a row when meeting that standard, and is a gaudy 92-5 since 2012-13 upon reaching that benchmark.

Titans In Position To Clinch No. 2 Seed

Cal State Fullerton needs one more win or a UC Santa Barbara loss to earn the No. 2 seed in the Big West Tournament. The Titans (10-5) host Hawai‘i in the league finale on ESPN3 Saturday. CSF and UCSB could still tie for second place at 10-6, leaving tiebreakers to determine the No. 2 seed.

Gauchos Hunting For 20
UC Santa Barbara can sew up its second straight 20-win season under Joe Pasternack with a win on Thursday at CSUN, winners of three straight. The Matadors can climb as high as the No. 3 seed in the tournament field.

Logjam In The Middle
There’s a logjam between the five teams in third to seventh place, separated by just a game and a half. Head-to-head records are as follows:

UCSB (8-6) 1-0 1-1 1-1 2-0
CSUN (7-7) 1-1 1-1 0-1 1-1
UCD (7-7) 1-1 1-1 1-1 0-1
UH (7-7) 1-1 2-0 1-0 0-2
LBSU (7-8) 1-1 1-1 1-1 0-2


- UC Riverside is trying to snap a four-game losing streak while Long Beach State seeks to prolong a four-game winning streak. With 43 consecutive free throws made, Beach senior Deishuan Booker is nine away from tying the Big West record of 52 set by Vince Washington of Utah State in 1984-85. UCR freshman Callum McRae has posted three straight double-doubles and is averaging 15.7 points and 12.0 rebounds in that stretch. UC Riverside has made a school Division I record 254 threes this season.

UC IRVINE AT CAL POLY (BIGWEST.TV) - UC Irvine is No. 5 in the country in field goal percentage defense (.379) and No. 17 in scoring defense (63.2 ppg). Jonathan Galloway became UCI’s career rebounding leader with 11 against UC Riverside on Saturday, giving him a total of 927 and breaking a 44-year old school record previously held by Dave Baker (926). Cal Poly senior Donovan Fields is averaging 25.7 points over the last three games. He has scored 20-plus in 10 contests - tied for fifth-most among Big West players.

UC SANTA BARBARA AT CSUN (ESPN3) - Ten of CSUN’s 14 Big West games have been decided by single digits, and the Matadors are 4-2 in conference games decided by five points or less. Over the entire season, CSUN leads all Big West schools in “close” games – defined as five points or less – going 7-7 in those. CSUN freshman Lamine Diane has 295 made field goals and is about to become just the fifth player in league history to reach the 300 plateau. UNLV’s Larry Johnson is No. 4 all-time with 304. PxP: Rahshaun Haylock • ANALYST: Richie Schueler • SIDELINE: Megan Reza

HAWAI‘I AT UC DAVIS (BIGWEST.TV) - A split of its final Big West road trip would ensure Hawai‘i finishes 8-8 in league play for the third straight and fourth time in the last five seasons. The ‘Bows have given up 79 points or more to their last three opponents after allowing that just once in their first 11 Big West games. UC Davis allowed just 59 points its last game against Cal State Fullerton, one of the conference’s most potent offensive teams.