Let’s Go! Matador Men Head to Big West Basketball Championship Tourney

  • CSUN forward De'Sean Allen-Eikens makes a move against a UC Santa Barbara player.

    CSUN forward De'Sean Allen-Eikens makes a move in an 82-74 win Feb. 10, 2024, at UC Santa Barbara. (Connor Clark)

Following one of their most exciting regular seasons in more than a decade, the CSUN Men’s Basketball team is off to Nevada for their conference championship tournament and a shot at March Madness.

The team won its most games in 16 years this season and pulled off a stunning upset of UCLA, its first since 2000.

The Matadors (18-14, 9-11 Big West) got a big sendoff from Premier America Credit Union Arena this morning before they headed to Henderson, Nev., for the 2024 Hercules Tires Big West Men’s Basketball Championship.

In the first round at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, the seventh-seeded Matadors will face sixth-seeded UC Santa Barbara (16-14, 9-11 Big West), the conference’s defending champs. The conference championship game is Saturday, March 16.

What’s At Stake

The Big West champion earns a berth in the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament — known as March Madness.

CSUN last won a conference championship in 2009, leading to a hard-fought loss to Memphis in the NCAA tournament.

An Exciting Season

CSUN enjoyed one of its most accomplished regular seasons in more than a decade under new head coach Andy Newman. Its 18 wins were the most since the 2007-08 season, when they won 20 games.

Perhaps the team’s most impressive win was a 76-72 stunner over UCLA on Dec. 19, 2023, at Pauley Pavilion. CSUN’s win snapped UCLA’s 29-game home winning streak. It was the Matadors’ second-ever win over UCLA and their first since Nov. 21, 2000.

The Matadors entered the final days of the regular season bunched among five teams jockeying for position for the third through seventh seeds in the conference tournament.

Key players for CSUN include De’Sean Allen-Eikens, a graduate-student forward, who leads the team at 18.5 points per game. Junior guard Dionte Bostick is the second-leading scorer at 15.3 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game. Junior forward Keonte Jones leads the team with 6.7 rebounds per game.

About the Game

The Matadors and UCSB Gauchos split their regular-season meetings, with each team winning on the road.

The Gauchos have made the NCAA tournament in two of the last three seasons, losing last year in the first round to Baylor.

The advancing squad gets third-seeded Hawai’i (19-13, 11-9 Big West) in Thursday’s second round.

The top seed in this this year’s Big West tournament is UC Irvine (24-8, 17-3 Big West).

How to Get Tickets

Tickets to the tournament are available online. Tickets are also available at the event venue, The Dollar Loan Center.

Fans an also buy tickets for a CSUN pregame rally at the Dollar Loan Center.

How to Watch or Listen

You can watch Wednesday’s CSUN game on ESPN+ or listen on SiriusXM channel 382 and online channel 972.

The Big West Conference website offers more details on how to watch or listen to all the games in the tournament.

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