Monday, March 19, 2007

Quick Big West Conference Post-Season Basketball Update

Unfortunately the 12th-seeded Long Beach State 49ers got run out of the gym in Columbus, OH last Friday by 5th-seeded Tennessee, 121-86 in the opening round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Unfortunately, they set the record for most points given up in an NCAA game by a Big West team, allowed Tennessee to tie for the most points in school history, validated ESPN’s Doug Gottlieb’s opinion that Long Beach State was the most over-seeded team in the NCAA Tourney this year, and by my estimation, gave up the most points on lay-ups, dunks and free throws in the history of basketball.

By the way, I have a whole story about watching this game at Hooters, which is a whole other type of upset.

The 14th-seeded UC Riverside women lost a close game, 57-50 to the 3rd-seeded Sun Devils of Arizona State last Saturday night. The really unfortunate side is that ASU went on a 19-2 run to end the game, after the Highlanders had led most of the game, including going up by 15 at one point. The bright side of this is, after zero NCAA Tourney appearances in school history, Riverside had their second consecutive tourney appearance, they have EVERY player back from the team next year, and they get to keep their coach, who surely would’ve been out of there had they won the game. Fun fact: 14 seeds in the women’s tournament are a combined 0-54 over the lifetime of the tournament.

UC Santa Barbara’s women’s team won their opening-round game of the Women’s N.I.T. at the University of San Diego last Thursday, but failed to win their game in Oregon against the Ducks last Saturday. So the Big West Conference finishes 1-3 this postseason. Such is the life of the “mini-major,” as some beat writer termed the conference. Gotta love college athletics.

Oh yeah... I just read on the website for Cal St. Northridge that their men's coach, Bobby Braswell, received a two-year contract extension from their new AD. I would guess that this is because they weren't sure who they could get who could to do a better job at the school. Not that Bras has done that well... Just read through the spin they put on things. It's quite amazing. By the way, coaching your team to "postseason play in each of his previous eleven seasons," usually means that you've played in either the N.I.T. or NCAA's, not that you made the conference tournament in a conference where currently every school plays in the tournament. I think I'm dizzy.

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