Cal State Dominguez Hills will make its second appearance in the NCAA Division II basketball tournament, beginning regional play Friday at Billings, Mont., against the University of Alaska-Anchorage. The Toros, 22-7, who tied for the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. title and won the CCAA Tournament, made their only other appearance in postseason play in 1981, also at Eastern Montana. The other regional game matches Eastern Montana against Cal State Hayward. The winners play Saturday night. The champion will play at home against the winner of the South Region. National semifinals and finals will be played March 20-21 at Springfield, Mass.
The Toros have set a team record for victories, earning Coach Dave Yanai coach of the year honors in the CCAA. Forward William Alexander, the CCAA co-player of the year, takes a 20.8-point average into the regional. Sophomore forward Tony Akins is next at 11.8, followed by sophomore guard Vico Namaaea at 10.1. Leading rebounder Anthony Blackmon (7.6 per game) earned all-tournament honors in the CCAA tourney.
Alaska-Anchorage, 22-6, will have the advantage in the middle where the Seawolves play 6-10 Hansi Gnad, who averages 17 points and 12.3 rebounds. The star, however, is 5-8 guard Jessie Jackson, who averages 27.6 points and was a sensation in the season-opening Great Alaska Shootout against several top Division I teams. Eastern Montana, 21-6, is the top seed in the regional, having won nine games in a row and all 13 at home. The Yellowjackets have beaten Alaska-Anchorage twice. Hayward, 11-18, is the regional Cinderella team, finishing fourth in the Northern California Athletic Conference but winning the conference tournament.