March 22, 2013 |
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.
March 12, 2014 |
The Big West's automatic bid to this year's NCAA tournament must be considered up for grabs if only for the fact the favored team has never been to the NCAA tournament. UC Irvine opens tournament play Thursday at Honda Center without a reliable read of the expectations. The Anteaters (22-10, 13-3) won the Big West regular-season title, but the tournament's three-day format somewhat nullifies all that has been achieved. The top Big West teams don't receive byes, they jump straight into single-elimination frays.
March 15, 2014 |
The song at the end of Saturday night's Big West tournament championship game at Honda Center won't be the NCAA's signature “One Shining Moment.” If you're looking for a snappy lyric, try Frank Sinatra's “Grab your coat and get your hat.” The Big West winner, Cal Poly or Cal State Northridge, is almost certainly headed to a “play-in” game for the NCAA tournament on Tuesday or Wednesday in Dayton. OK, OK, it's technically called "first round" now that the tournament field has been expanded to 68 teams.
February 4, 2012 |
at Long Beach State 75, Cal State Northridge 67: Larry Anderson led five 49ers in double figures with 16 points as Long Beach (17-6, 10-0 Big West) pulled away in the second half for its 18th consecutive conference win and 19th in a row at home. The Matadors fell to 6-15, 2-8. at Cal State Fullerton 99, UC Santa Barbara 86: Kwame Vaughn scored 37 points, making five of seven three-pointers, to lead the Titans (15-7, 7-3 Big West) over the Gauchos (12-8, 7-3), who got 28 points from Orlando Johnson.
March 14, 2014 |
The best first-round game of the Big West tournament on Thursday got the least notice because it ended at 10:56 p.m. Pacific time in front of a sparse crowd at the Honda Center. Cal State Northridge's 87-84 overtime win over Hawaii, however, deserved more than a tack-on blurb at the end of a long day. Northridge, under first-year coach Reggie Theus, blew a 16-point first-half lead but rallied back from 13 points in the second half. The fifth-seeded Matadors tied the score at 74 on senior Josh Greene's three-pointer with 12 seconds left in the second half.
March 11, 1996 |
With one improbable, awkward three-point jump shot from one improbable, awkward San Jose State Spartan, a beleaguered basketball conference went from Big West to Big Worst Case Scenario Sunday afternoon.