March 6, 2001
Hearty congratulations are due Coach Bobby Braswell and the men's basketball team, which clinched CSUN's first-ever NCAA Division I conference championship in the sport last week, and earned the right for the university this week to host the Big Sky Conference basketball tournament for the very first time. The extraordinary success of the men's basketball team this year certainly has helped spread and enhance the reputation of the university, which is a benefit to us all.
The Matadors won the Big Sky Conference championship last Thursday on the road against Eastern Washington with a thrilling, last-seconds 86-84 victory, beating that team for the first time in the past six tries. The men's team then punctuated that success with an 81-75 away win on Saturday against Portland State, finishing the regular season with a conference-winning 13-3 record (the team's best-ever Big Sky record) and a 20-9 record overall (the team's second consecutive 20-win season).
By winning the Big Sky Conference, the men's basketball team has earned a bye (or pass) in the first round of the conference tournament beginning this Thursday, March 8, in the Matadome. Four other Big Sky teams will play in back-to-back 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. games Thursday. Then, on Friday, the Matadors will play the second, 8:30 p.m. game against an opponent to be determined in Thursday's contests. If the CSUN basketball team wins Friday, the Matadors will play at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Matadome for the tournament championship and the right to represent the conference in the NCAA "March Madness" national basketball tournament - which would be a major achievement for the university.
Tickets for the Matadome games remain available - but in very limited supply because this is a conference tournament - through the Associated Students Ticket Office in the University Student Union. Those wishing to attend any of the tournament games should contact the Ticket Office as soon as possible at (818) 677-2488. (Because the tournament is a Big Sky event, CSUN's normal practice of providing free tickets to athletic events for CSUN students will not apply. No complimentary tickets will be available.) Also, some additional tickets may be available through the Matadome ticket office shortly before each evening's games, if other teams participating in the tournament return unused portions of their conference-required ticket allotments.
As usual, any CSUN games in the tournament - the 8:30 p.m. Friday contest and, if the Matadors win that, the 6 p.m. game on Saturday - will be broadcast live over the Internet at www.GoMatadors.com. CSUN's Friday game will be televised over Fox Sports Net, though we will not know until later in the week whether that broadcast will air in the Los Angeles area. The 6 p.m. Saturday tournament championship will be broadcast nationally over ESPN2. I hope you will join me in wishing the men's basketball team the best success in the week ahead.