UCSB celebrates its appearance on the bracket during the NCAA Selection show on Sunday. | Credit: Jeffrey Liang

For the second time in the last three seasons the UCSB Men’s basketball team will be a part of the spectacle that is March Madness.

The Gauchos (27-7) are the 14th seed in the South Region and will take on third-seeded Baylor (22-10) out of the Big 12 in Denver, Colorado on Friday, March 17.

“I’m really excited about the preparations for this week and we know we have a very tall task ahead with Baylor,” said UCSB head coach Joe Pasternak. “Bayor is an incredibly well coached team, they’ve won a national championship, but this is about us and we’re going to focus on our process this week.”

 This is the seventh tournament appearance and 10th NCAA tournament game in UCSB history.

The last time the Gauchos made it into the NCAA Tournament came during the 2020-21 season. After winning the Big West regular season and tournament championships UCSB lost a heartbreaker to Creighton 63-62.

Several players from that team are still on the roster, including Miles Norris, Ajare Sanni and Josh Pierre-Louis.

“They’ll probably never forget the rest of their lives the way the game ended,” said Pasternak of the loss to Creighton. “This is all about this team. It’s a totally different team from two years ago and I’m really excited for them to experience March Madness.”


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