In the mid-2000's, Pacific proved it can do damage in the NCAA Tournament if it gets in. UC Irvine, on the other hand, has never reached the Big Dance. The two California schools will battle for the Big West's automatic bid on Saturday.
The UC Irvine Anteaters will play for their first-ever NCAA Tournament bid on Saturday against the Pacific Tigers in the 2013 Big West Championship Game.
UC Irvine knocked off the top-seeded Long Beach State 49ers, 67-60, on Friday to clinch a spot in its second conference title game. The Anteaters defeated the Hawaii Warriors in the first round, 71-60.
Pacific has won its two league tournament games by a combined five points. On Friday, the Tigers knocked off the Cal Poly-SLO Mustangs, 55-53, on Travis Fulton's put-back with 1.3 seconds remaining.
UC Irvine is led by Daman Starring, who scores 13.0 points per game. He was held to just seven points on 2-of-11 shooting against Long Beach State, but teammates Anthony Young (18 points) and Will Davis II (14 points, nine rebounds) picked him up.
Lorenzo McCloud averages 11.2 points per game to lead Pacific, but its star of the tournament so far has been Tony Gill, who has scored 27 points off the bench in two games, including 20 on Friday.
Game time, TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2/WatchESPN
Location: Honda Center, Anaheim, Calif.
More in College Basketball:
• Your Bracketology update
• The life and death of Earl Badu
• Full coverage of the ACC tournament
• Full coverage of the Big East tournament
• Full coverage of the Big Ten tournament