June 21, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
The 2006-07 UC Santa Barbara men's basketball schedule, announced Wednesday by head coach Bob Williams, will feature the renewal of several rivalries and 14 home games.
Gaucho non-conference opponents will include former Big West Conference members UNLV, Fresno State and San Jose State, as well as traditional West Coast Conference rivals Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount, San Francisco, San Diego and Portland. In addition, UCSB will play defending Mountain West Conference champion San Diego State and Big Sky member Montana State. Santa Barbara is also slated to play a home game on ESPN Bracket Buster Saturday.
"We think this is a good, balanced schedule," Williams said. "We will get the opportunity to play a number of games against teams that we have had good rivalries with in the past. I am particularly excited about the series with UNLV. UCSB and UNLV had a great thing going when they were both in the Big West and it's great to have them on the schedule again."
After an exhibition game against Westmont College, the Gauchos will open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 10, when they host San Jose State. UCSB will then hit the road for a trio of games at Montana State (Nov. 13), UNLV (Nov. 17) and Pepperdine (Nov. 21). Mountain West champion San Diego State will visit the Thunderdome on Nov. 25 and then Loyola Marymount, which narrowly lost to Gonzaga in the championship game of the West Coast Conference Tournament in 2006, will play in Santa Barbara on Nov. 29.
UCSB will open December at Portland (Dec. 2) before returning home to host Fresno State (Dec. 6). The Gauchos will then play their final two pre-Big West games on the road, traveling to USF (Dec. 17) and USD (Dec. 22) before opening league play at home on Dec. 28 and Dec. 30 against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton, respectively.
The Gauchos will play three non-conference games during the league schedule, facing future Big West opponent UC Davis twice and hosting a game on ESPN's Bracket Buster Saturday (Feb. 17). The Bracket Buster match-ups will be announced in early February.
UCSB will also add a home game against a Division II opponent, bringing to 14 the total number of Thunderdome appearances by the Gauchos in 2006-07, equaling the most home games the team has played since it had 16 in 1991-92. They will also add a second exhibition game in early November.