March is close, real close…
How about this for good karma? Our marketing team just reminded me that our theme for last year's Big West Tournament was "3 days…" Meaning that in three days of hard-fought basketball, one team will go dancing to the NCAA's. Well, we know who it was! So now as our march to madness begins again, I wanted to provide you with information regarding the 2012 Big West Tournament and to express how important it is for all Gaucho fans to be in the Honda Center for those three critical days.
By appearing in the NCAA Tournament the past two years, we gained tremendous national exposure for our incredible University and program. The Big West Basketball Tournament is another opportunity to gain exposure. On the men's side, the semifinals will air on ESPNU, which reaches approximately 60 million households across the nation. The finals are on ESPN2, which hits 90 million. The women's final is live on FSN's Prime Ticket, which is in 6.3 million households regionally, and another 20 million nationally on cable and satellite.
Three big days indeed.
Tuesday, March 6 – Women's First Round begins at campus sites.
Top four seeds host bottom four. Winners then head to the Honda Center for Friday Semifinals.
Thursday, March 8 – Men's First Round at the Honda Center, 12/2:30/6:00/8:30 pm.
Seeding is TBA, with a new wrinkle this year having local teams – Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine and Long Beach State – playing in one of the two later times (6 or 8:30 pm), regardless of seeding.
Friday, March 9 – Women's Semifinals at the Honda Center, 3:00 pm.
Men's Semifinals at the Honda Center (broadcast on ESPNU and ESPN3), 6:00/8:30 pm.
Saturday, March 10 – Women's Championship Game at the Honda Center (broadcast on FSN Prime Ticket), 3:00 pm.
Men's Championship Game at the Honda Center (broadcast on ESPN2), 6:30 pm.
Along with the fantastic additions of University of Hawaii (2012) and San Diego State (2013), the Big West Conference has strengthened our conference with the move to the Honda Center, making it our home for years to come. A key advantage to the partnership is increased attendance. Last year – in its first season at the Honda Center – the Big West Tournament saw its largest total attendance in 15 years!
All-Session tickets are available now through Ticketmaster or each Big West schools' athletics ticket office. All-Session tickets are $64 through most of the arena seating and $144 for the VIP sections. The $144 VIP sections are located in the first four rows of sections 207, 208, 209, 221, 222, and 223. The UCSB Athletics Ticket Office, located in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building, is open Monday-Friday 9:00 am – 4:30 pm and can be reached by calling 805-893-UCSB (8272).
Tickets are available to every Gaucho fan, however, Gaucho Fund donors have priority, so please contact Priscilla, Jessica, Bethany or Christina at 805-893-UCSB (8272) or visit UCSBgauchos.com.
All Single Session tickets will be available to the general public on February 21 and will range in price from $10-$22 for General Admission seats at the women's tournament games and $27-$34 for reserved seating at the men's tournament games.
Also, if you buy directly from the Honda Center or Ticketmaster please use the code "UCSB". It helps us fulfill out commitment of fans at the tournament.
Students who have signed up for the Loco Pass receive a free game ticket, an additional tournament t-shirt and, if you reserve a spot early enough, transportation from Santa Barbara to the Honda Center. You don't have to be on the Loco bus to receive the ticket and t-shirt. Just have a Loco Pass. Regardless of how you get to Anaheim, it's vital that we have gold-clad Locos making noise for the Gauchos. Please visit the unleashthelocos.com to grab a Loco Pass and for more information.
Gaucho Info Booth at Honda Center Entrance – There will be a UCSB table at the Honda Center at the Northwest Entrance located on the side of the building opposite Katella Ave for will-call, player pass, and Loco Pass t-shirt and game ticket information each day the Gauchos play.
A couple of other quick notes:
We are all excited for new skipper, Andrew Checketts, and the 2012 Gaucho baseball season to open this Friday, February 17 at home vs. two-time National Champion Oregon State. The opener against the Beavers, plus 40 other broadcasts, will be available online or over the air on AM 1290 or campus radio KCSB (91.9 FM). The smooth Voice of the Gauchos, Gerry Fall, and Matt Hurst will bring you all the action on AM 1290.
Season tickets are available for only $75 and kids wearing a 2011-12 GKids t-shirt get in free. Gaucho Fund donors, at the appropriate level, may also receive free parking when purchasing tickets. Our Ticket Office can answer questions and assist fans at 805-893-UCSB (8272).
All Gaucho Reunion Weekend (AGR) is April 27-29. We will host our annual reception for alumni, student-athletes, and donors on Friday (5:30 – 7:00 pm) in the Phil Womble Hall of Champions in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building. Saturday is a big night as we induct the 2012 class into our storied Hall of Fame. A reception for inductees, which is also open to the public, begins in the Phil Womble Hall of Champions at 5:00 pm and will be followed by a dinner and program in the Thunderdome at 6:30 pm. Dinner is $75 per person. Several teams will either host games or reunions (baseball, men's volleyball, women's soccer, men's soccer) so please contact Christina Baglas (Director of Events & Stewardship for the Gaucho Fund) atChristina.Baglas@athletics.ucsb.edu to RSVP for Friday (no charge) or Saturday ($75 per person for HOF dinner).
As spring is in the air for baseball you can also follow softball, women's water polo, swimming & diving championships, men's volleyball, track & field and both tennis programs onUCSBgauchos.com, Facebook and Twitter.
Speaking of following the Gauchos, our talented communications crew now has a full-blown video marketing component bringing daily features, Great Examples of our amazing students and specials such as the "Our Stories" series. I'm proud to announce that we now have a 30-minute weekly show titled "Gauchos in Thirty" airing every Saturday on our partner KEYT 3 (ABC) at 6:30 pm and re-airing on Cox 8 and CW 5 on the Central Coast. The show is also available on our website by clicking here.
Thank you for supporting the Gauchos and our drive to succeed and shine a big spotlight on this incredible University. We Dare to Be Great and I hope to see you at the Honda Center in a few short weeks!
Mark W. Massari
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics