February 1, 2010

Gauchos Will Play at Fresno State in Feb. 20 BracketBuster Game

Feb. 1, 2010

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara will travel to Fresno State for its ESPN BracketBuster game on Saturday, Feb. 20, it was announced Monday.

UCSB is currently 11-8 overall and 6-3 in the Big West Conference. Fresno State, an old Big West rival, enters the week with an overall record of 11-11 and a Western Athletic Conference mark of 4-4.

The Gauchos and Bulldogs have played 97 times in a series that dates back to 1937. The Gauchos hold a 51-46 all-time edge. UCSB won the last time the teams played on Dec. 6, 2006, 70-42. The last game the teams played in Fresno - Dec. 23, 2005 - was won by Fresno State, 79-76.

"We are very excited about the team we get to play because of the location," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "Playing at Fresno State was the best of the options, not because of the caliber of the opponent, but because of the travel."

The meeting with Fresno State will be UCSB's sixth as part of the BracktBuster series. The Gauchos played Detroit in the inaugural event in 2003, losing 75-59. In 2006, they traveled to San Jose State and won, 76-72. In 2007, Santa Barbara lost at home to Eastern Washington, 71-70. In 2008, UCSB lost at Utah State, 72-59, and last year the Gauchos defeated Montana State at the Thunderdome, 78-72 in overtime.

The other games involving Big West schools are: Southern Illinois Edwardsville at Cal State Fullerton, Drake at Cal State Northridge, Marist at UC Irvine, Youngstown State at UC Riverside, Cal Poly at Hawaii, Long Beach State at Idaho, and UC Davis at Boise State. Pacific will play a televised game to be announced later.

Fresno State will return the game in 2010-11 when it plays the Gauchos at the Thunderdome.

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