Big West Confidential: It's UC Irvine And Everyone Else...Or Is It?

Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports

UC Santa Barbara showed exactly why they were not Cinderella material, while UC Irvine took care of business.

Almost every single week that I have hyped up a team, they have managed to lose at least one game that following weekend.  Anteaters, it is your turn to break that trend...

UC Santa Barbara wins one in a thriller, and then loses disappointingly in a thriller...

The Gauchos took care of business last week on the road against Long Beach State, and then managed to lose to Cal State Northridge at home.

Speaking of Northridge...

The Matadors did a great job at creating turnovers against the Gauchos, and were definitely clicking offensively.  The very next Tuesday, they traveled to the Kibbie Dome (I refuse to call it the Cowen Spectrum), AND LOST TO IDAHO.

IDAHO!

Oh sure, KenPom ranks the two teams similarly (Northridge at 250 and Idaho at 259), but the Matadors were seemingly outclassed, surrendering 96 points to a team that averages 71.9 PPG.

For shame, Northridge!

Things that Alan Williams did last week...

Big Al had a sub-par game against Long Beach State by his standards, only scoring 16 points and 8 rebounds.  He then followed a poor performance with a great one (or "average" to him), scoring 22 points and 17 rebounds.

Subjective and Biased Big West Power Poll

1. UC Irvine - Really looking like the top team in the Big West, taking care of Hawaii on the islands would solidify it.

2. Hawaii - Took care of business last week, will shock everyone but themselves with a win tonight.

3. UC Santa Barbara - They beat The Beach, but lost to Northridge committing heavy turnovers in both games.  Houston, we've found their weakness.

4. Long Beach State - Sure they lost against the Gauchos, but they rebounded nicely with a win over Cal Poly.

5. Cal State Northridge - WOOOOOOOOOO, BEAT THE GAUCHOS...and then lost to Idaho

6. Cal Poly - Sure, beat the Matadors, but losing the last five out of six conference games doesn't do anything for confidence.

7 - 8. Cal State Fullerton/UC Davis - Just surviving...

9. UC Riverside - On a three game slide against the top of the conference, can their fortunes be reversed tonight?

Game of the Week:

UC Irvine travels to Hawaii in a midnight tip-off eastern time.  The Anteaters are on a four-game win streak while the Rainbow Warriors are right behind them with a three-game streak of their own.  Christian Standhardinger will do his thing, but Isaac Fotu will be the man to watch.  Fotu has been averaging 19 PPG and 5.6 RPG over the last five games.  If he stays hot tonight, the Warriors will win.

My Pick: UCI 65, Hawaii 64

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