Youthful Gauchos Picked to Finish Fifth in Big West

UCSB Thunderdome Crowd (Photo by Vince Agapito)
UCSB Thunderdome Crowd (Photo by Vince Agapito)

IRVINE, Calif. – The annual Big West Conference Preseason Media Poll was released Thursday and the UC Santa Barbara men's basketball team has been picked to finish in fifth-place. The reigning Big West champion Long Beach State was selected as the favorites to repeat as 2012-13 champions.

The Gauchos received 129 points from a 21-member media panel, which placed them right behind Hawaii, the newest member of the Big West. Cal State Fullerton is slated to finish second, while UC Irvine was picked to come in third. 

UCSB has appeared in the Big West Championship game each of the last three seasons. They faced off against Long Beach State all three times, defeating them in 2010 and 2011, before falling to them last season. The Gauchos made two NCAA Tournament appearances in their championship seasons and last year advanced to the College Insider Tournament.

UCSB finished last season with a 20-11 overall record, posting an impressive 12-4 mark in conference play. This season they welcome nine freshmen to the squad and look to turn some heads with their young and talented additions.

The young Gauchos will make their debut on Thursday, Nov. 1 when they host La Verne in the only exhibition game of the year.  They will open the regular season with a road swing to LSU and Illinois State before returning home for a Nov. 17 regular season home opener against The Master's College.

Season tickets for both the men's and women's teams are available from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here for men's season tickets and here for women's season tickets.

UCSB is proud to announce that it is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Thunderdome (#thunderdome35) over the next two seasons and as part of the celebration all season ticket holders will receive commemorative season tickets that will showcase some of the greatest players to wear the blue and gold and some of the greatest moment in the buildings history.  The 2012-13 season tickets will feature great players and the 2013-14 tickets will feature great moments.