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Big West Conference lacks a big finish in postseason play

March 22, 2013|By Chris Dufresne
  • Pacific players had little to celebrate in a lopsided loss to Miami on Friday in the NCAA tournament.
Pacific players had little to celebrate in a lopsided loss to Miami on Friday… (David J. Phillip / Associated…)

I love the Big West Conference, going back to its days as the Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. when Lew Cryer was commissioner and Nevada Las Vegas was a national power.

I still drink coffee out of a PCAA mug that was a media gift from the 1985 tournament held at the Fabulous Forum.

I was a student at current Big West member Cal State Fullerton in 1978 when the Titans came within a shot of making the Final Four.

I traveled the road as UC Irvine's basketball beat writer in the early 1980s with Bill Mulligan, the  school's quote-machine coach.

But Miami’s demolition of Big West tournament champion Pacific on Friday capped a thoroughly miserable postseason showing for the Irvine-based conference.

The top three schools in last week's Big West tournament at the Honda Center lost three postseason games by a total of 117 points.

The aggregate score was 275 to 158.

Yikes.

No. 1 Long Beach State won the Big West regular-season crown and then got crowned in the NIT by Baylor, 112-66. It was easily one of the most baffling and embarrassing losses in Dan Monson’s  successful career.

No. 2 Pacific, which defeated UC Irvine to win the Big West tournament, earned a No. 15 seeding in the NCAA East Regional and lost to No. 2 Miami, 78-49.

It probably wasn’t the way Pacific Coach Bob Thomason wanted to go out after 25 years.

And No. 3 Cal Poly lost to Weber State, 85-43, in the CollegeInsider.com tournament.

The Big West’s final RPI ended up being R-I-P.

ALSO:

NCAA Tournament: Miami routs Pacific, 78-49

NCAA Tournament: 12th-seeded Mississippi upsets Wisconsin

NCAA Tournament: Temple holds off North Carolina State, 76-72

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