The two teams that Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. coaches figured would finish tied for eighth place will play tonight at 7:30 in UC Irvine's Bren Center with considerably more at stake.
Cal State Long Beach (10-6) and UC Irvine (9-7) are each 4-3 in PCAA play and are aiming for a finish in the top six. The bottom four finishers will each play an extra game on the first night of the PCAA tournament under this season's new format.
When these teams met last season, Irvine center Wayne Engelstad scored 26 points and took down 11 rebounds, and forward Frank Woods had 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Anteaters rolled to an 81-66 win at the Bren Center.
The 49ers counter with a more-balanced attack this season. Their backcourt is producing more than 35 points a game, and the front-line starters are combining to average more than 32.