The Big West Conference men’s basketball race heads into its final regular-season games with all but one playoff position clinched in the Western Division.
Cal State Fullerton (10-15, 5-10 in the conference) and UC Santa Barbara (7-18, 4-11) meet at 7 tonight in a game at Santa Barbara that will help determine the fourth representative from the division in the tournament that begins Friday in Reno.
If Fullerton beats the Gauchos, the Titans will be assured of the berth.
Under the conference’s complicated tiebreaker rules, Fullerton can still advance to Reno with a loss if Pacific (20-8, 13-2) wins its final regular-season game at home today against Long Beach State, according to a conference official.
Santa Barbara, however, needs a victory over Fullerton and a Long Beach victory over Pacific to claim the final berth and eliminate the Titans.
Pacific, the Western Division champion, has won 13 consecutive games and has a 29-game home-court winning streak over two seasons, including 12 in a row at home this season.
UC Irvine (9-16, 6-9) clinched its playoff berth Thursday with a victory at Santa Barbara.
Long Beach is assured of its playoff berth because the 49ers win any tiebreakers involving Santa Barbara, according to the conference official. The 49ers won both games against Santa Barbara this season.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (13-14, 6-9) is not eligible for the tournament.
The Western Division seedings will be determined after today’s games.
The Eastern Division will have the New Mexico State at Nevada game remaining to be played Sunday.
Utah State (21-7, 12-3) has clinched first place in the Eastern Division, and Nevada is assured of the No. 2 seeding in the division. New Mexico State, Boise State and Idaho are battling for the division’s final two playoff spots.