Making the first NCAA Division I Tournament appearance in program history, the Cal Poly men's basketball team will open Midwest Regional action when squaring off against fellow No. 16 seed Texas Southern on Wednesday, March 19 as part of the First Four at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio. Tip time for the first-round matchup against Texas Southern is set for 3:40 p.m. PT (6:40 p.m. ET) with all First Four matchups televised nationally on truTV. The winner of Wednesday's matchup between Big West Conference Tournament champion Cal Poly (13-19) and Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament titlist Texas Southern (19-14) will meet Midwest Regional No. 1 seed Wichita State (34-0) in second-round action at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Friday, March 21 at 4:10 p.m. PT (7:10 p.m. ET). That matchup will air on CBS. The Big West Conference's automatic qualifier, Cal Poly earned its first NCAA Tournament invitation in 20 Division I seasons by winning the March 13-15 conference tournament. Texas Southern, making its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2003, earned its way in by capturing the March 12-15 SWAC Tournament title. One of the nation's most efficient and defensive-oriented teams, Cal Poly enters the NCAA Tournament ranked fifth among Division I programs with just 9.0 turnovers committed per game and 35th with 63.4 points allowed per contest. MEDIA ADVISORY; WE ARE CAL POLY: When referring to any Cal Poly athletics program, please use only "Cal Poly" to denote the school. Please refrain from using names such as "Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo," "Cal Poly-SLO," "CPSU," "Cal Poly State" and "Polytechnic State University." Cal Poly is a separate institution from Division II Cal Poly Pomona. HOW TO ENJOY MUSTANG BASKETBALL AT THE NCAA TOURAMENT: truTV will present Cal Poly's March 19 First Four matchup against Texas Southern with Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Reggie Miller (color commentary) calling courtside at UD Arena. Beginning with second-round action, CBS will televise each tournament game with live streaming available via ncaa.com/march-madness. Tom Barket returns to the headset to provide play-by-play detail for every NCAA Tournament game on ESPN 1280 in San Luis Obispo County and online at GoPoly.com. Live stats for each NCAA Tournament game will also be available through GoPoly.com. LOOKING AHEAD IN THE MIDWEST REGIONAL: The advancing side from Wednesday's Cal Poly-Texas Southern contest meets Midwest Region top seed Wichita State (34-0) at the Scottrade Center in St Louis on Friday, March 21. Scheduled for 4:10 p.m. PT (6:10 p.m. CT), the contest will air on CBS. The Shockers, the first team to enter the NCAA Tournament undefeated since UNLV in 1991, are the Missouri Valley Conference regular season and tournament champion. No 16 seed in the history of the NCAA Tournament has ever toppled a No. 1 seed. LOOKING FURTHER AHEAD IN THE MIDWEST REGIONAL: The emerging team from the Cal Poly-Texas Southern/Wichita State matchup faces either eighth-seeded Kentucky (24-10) or No. 9 Kansas State (20-12) on Sunday, March 23. CAL POLY VERSUS TEXAS SOUTHERN: The Mustangs have never previously faced the Tigers. Cal Poly's last game against a Southwest Athletic Conference opponent was a 72-55 victory against Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 26, 2011. CAL POLY VERSUS FUTURE OPPONENTS: Cal Poly's only previous matchup versus Wichita State was a 76-57 road loss on Dec. 28, 1976. Cal Poly has never faced Kentucky of Kansas State. CAL POLY MAKES HISTORY AT THE BIG WEST CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT: The Mustangs led the Big West Conference standings after the opening two weeks of play but, having finished the regular season with just two wins in the final 11 games, the Mustangs drifted to the No. 7 seed for the March 13-15 Big West Tournament at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Cal Poly, however, swept aside three opponents in three days to become the lowest-seeded team in the 39-year history of the Big West Tournament to win the competition. QUARTERFINAL / MARCH 13 (CAL POLY 69, UC SANTA BARBARA 38): Sparked by freshman guard Ridge Shipley – who contributed a career-high 15 points off the bench – Cal Poly opened the Big West Tournament by pounding central coast rival and second-seeded UC Santa Barbara. Against the Gauchos, Cal Poly utilized an early 15-0 run before closing the first half with a 12-3 run to go up at the break 41-20 en route to its largest margin of victory at the Big West Tournament. SEMIFINAL / MARCH 14 (CAL POLY 61, UC IRVINE 58): Behind 14 points apiece from Big West Tournament Most Valuable Player Chris Eversley and all-tournament team member David Nwaba, Cal Poly toppled top-seeded UC Irvine. Leading 61-55 with 67 seconds to play, Cal Poly absorbed a UC Irvine three-pointer before seeing the Anteaters fall short at the buzzer with a potential game-tying three-point attempt. CHAMPIONSHIP / MARCH 15 (CAL POLY 61, CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE 59): Making just the program's third appearance in the Big West Tournament championship game after falling short in 2003 and 2007, Cal Poly trailed fifth-seeded Cal State Northridge 59-55 with 92 seconds to play. The Mustangs, however, received two Nwaba free throws before Shipley drained the game-winning three-pointer from the top of the arc with 14 seconds to play. NOTABLE FACTS FROM THE BIG WEST TOURNAMENT: In becoming the lowest-seeded team in the 39-year history of the Big West Tournament to win the competition, Cal Poly established a new set of conference historical distinctions, namely: – becoming the first No. 7 seed in the 39-year history of the Big West Tournament to beat a No. 1; – becoming the first No. 7 seed to win a semifinal game since Fresno State reached the 1991 final; – becoming the lowest-seeded team to play for the Big West Tournament title since 10th-seeded UC Irvine lost the 1994 final to No. 1 New Mexico State; – becoming the lowest-seeded team in the history of the tournament to eliminate both the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds and; – allowing the fewest points in a Big West Tournament game since 2001 (Cal Poly topped UC Santa Barbara in its quarterfinal game, 69-38).
Cal Poly Makes NCAA Division I Tournament Debut in First Four
GoPoly.com | Mar 18