UC Davis made history tonight by securing their first bid ever to the NCAA Tournament with a 50-47 victory against UC Irvine.
Though they scored only 24 points in the first half, the Aggies hung in there and played some clutch defense to guarantee they’d come away as the Big West champions. Brynton Lemar carried the Aggies tonight with 20 points on 7-15 shooting. Lawrence White added two key threes and three steals to pace the Aggies on both sides of the ball.
Of course this was also a devastating loss for UC Irvine, whose two senior guards Luke Nelson and Jaron Martin ended their tourney hopes...for good. Next year, Brandon Smith will look to carry the torch for the Anteaters.
However, there’s a lot to look forward to if you’re a UC Davis fan. The Aggies are dancing for the first time ever, and they have two extremely capable stars in Lemar and Chima Moneke. Not only do the Aggies have the potential to play a first-round game in Sacramento, but they also have the ability to make national headlines and pull an upset against a major program.
The Aggies will find out where they’re heading Sunday during the Selection Show. It would be nice to play a game close to home, but for a program that’s making its first ever appearance, they’ll be happy to play anywhere.