The top two teams in the Big West Conference battle Saturday night in what is sure to be a rocking Thunderdome, as the Long Beach State 49ers battle the host UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in a rematch of last season's conference tournament final. Here are the relevant details of Saturday night's contest:
Records: Long Beach State (13-6, 6-0 in Big West); UCSB (9-6, 4-1)
Location: The Thunderdome in Santa Barbara
Time: 8 p.m. PST
TV & Streaming: ESPNU and ESPN3.com, with Mark Neely and Jalen Rose on the call.
Point Man: Long Beach State senior point guard Casper Ware scored a career-high 30 points in Thursday's win over Cal Poly, and leads the team with a scoring average of 17.2 points per contest.
Wooden Finalist: UCSB senior guard Orlando Johnson was named to the John R. Wooden Midseason Top 25, and on the season leads the Gauchos in scoring (20.3 points per game, tops in the Big West), rebounds (6.5 per game), and assists (3.1 per contest).
Going Streaking: Long Beach State began its conference season 6-0 for the second consecutive season. The last time the 49ers opened with a longer winning streak was the 1999-2000 season when Long Beach State was 9-0 to open Big West play. The 49ers have won 15 straight regular season Big West games.
Gaucho Power: UCSB knocked off Long Beach State in the 2011 Big West Tournament final 64-56, punching their ticket to the NCAA Tournament at the expense of the 49ers, who entered the final on an 11-game winning streak. UCSB beat Long Beach State two straight years in Santa Barbara before the 49ers captured a 71-55 road win last season.
Series History: Long Beach State and UCSB have played 110 games, with each team winning 55.