TODAY AT ANAHEIM CONVENTION CENTER
UC Irvine (17-11) vs. No. 17 UC Santa Barbara (24-4), noon -- The matchup features the two teams with the best regular-season records in the 10-team conference. Irvine's 65-60 victory over Idaho on Wednesday marked the first time since 1997 that the Anteaters have gotten out of the first round of the tournament and handed Coach Mark Adams the most victories he has had in any of his six seasons. Santa Barbara is considered all but a lock for an NCAA tournament bid, but the six-time defending tournament champions, led by 6-8 conference player of the year Lindsay Taylor, would like to advance to their seventh consecutive tournament final.
Long Beach State (14-14) vs. Pacific (15-13), 2:30 p.m. -- Pacific, which needed a last-second shot to hold off UC Riverside, 63-61, in the opener, has won eight in a row. Long Beach defeated Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 76-62, and has won three in a row. In the regular season, Pacific took a 66-65 victory in Stockton on Feb. 20 on a last-second shot, and Long Beach held on for a 60-55 win on Jan. 25 at the Pyramid.
-- Paul McLeod