March 16, 2003
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
UC Santa Barbara has accepted a bid to play in the 2003 National Invitation Tournament, head coach Bob Williams has announced. The Gauchos, who lost in the Big West Conference Tournament semifinals, will travel to San Diego State on Wednesday, March 19 to take on the Aztecs.
"This is a great opportunity for us," said Williams. "Anytime you get to play in the postseason that is a very, very good thing. This shows that our program is moving in the right direction and that we are on the upswing."
The bid to the NIT gives UCSB two consecutive postseason appearances. Last year, the Gauchos won the Big West Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament where they lost a first-round heartbreaker to the University of Arizona.
The last time UCSB advanced to postseason play in back-to-back campaigns was in 1992 and 1993.
The last time UCSB played San Diego State was during the 2000-01 season when the Gaucho won a triple-overtime thriller at the Thunderdome in Santa Barbara. The time of the game on Wednesday night is still up-in-the-air and should be announced sometime on Monday morning.