Big West Confidential: UCSB Leads, But Long Beach State And UCI Are Also At The Top

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Three teams are tied for first place right now, however there's a 3-game gap from top to bottom with just over half of conference play left. Who's going to pull it out?

So who's the best team in the conference?

When I answered this question a couple weeks ago, I played politician and mentioned that it was too early to tell.  Two weeks later and it's still confusing, so let's make a power poll to answer the question and get people unreasonably angry.

Subjective and Biased Big West Power Poll

1. UC Santa Barbara - They demolished UC Irvine last week by 20 and also have Alan Williams for a center.

2. UC Irivine - Despite the loss last weekend, they still look like one of the most complete teams in the conference.

3. Long Beach State - On a four-game win streak against the mid-to-lower half of the conference.

4. Hawaii - The loss to Long Beach State hurt, but they rebounded nicely against Cal State Northridge.

5. Cal State Northridge - Should be lower, but the thrilling win against UC Riverside took them from last place to 6th place.

6. Cal Poly - On a current three-game losing streak, with two of those being against gutter teams UC Davis and UC Riverside.

7. UC Riverside - Despite being 7-14, 9 of those games have been lost by 5 or less points.  If the Highlanders could finish games, they would be 16-5 (5-2 in conference).

8. Cal State Fullerton - Beating UC Santa Barbara is worth more than beating Cal Poly.

9. UC Davis - Corey Hawkins and Josh Ritchart have been both quietly averaging over 17 PPG.

As you can see, the Gauchos might be the best in the conference, however with the standings looking as they are, anything can change within a moment's notice.

Things that Alan Williams did last week...

He only scored 53 points and 30 rebounds against UC Irvine and UC Davis.  Totally overrated.

Game of the Week

UC Irvine gets another Game of the Week bid, although this time it's because Long Beach State is the current team to watch.  The 49ers are on a 4-game win streak and are tied for first along with the Anteaters and the Gauchos.  Mike Caffey will be the player to watch in tonight's game, as the junior guard has been on a tear lately, averaging 22.0 PPG the last five games.

My Pick - LBSU 83, UCI 68

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