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College Basketball

UCSB Basketball Team to Play in Inaugural Vegas 16 Tournament

UC Santa Barbara men’s basketball has accepted an invitation to take part in the inaugural Vegas 16, an eight-team postseason tournament scheduled for Mar. 28-30 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

“I’m excited that we will be able to continue our season at a tournament in Las Vegas,” said head coach Bob Williams. “The all-in-one location is a brilliant format and playing at Mandalay Bay will be a great experience for our student-athletes, boosters and fans. I’m very happy for the entire program, but especially for our six seniors.”

UCSB will play Northern Illinois (21-12) in the first round of the tournament in a game that will tip-off at 2:30 p.m. The winner of the Gauchos-Huskies game will play the winner of a game between Tennessee Tech (19-11) and Old Dominion, which tips at noon. Oakland University (21-11) will play Towson (20-12) at 6:00 p.m., and Louisiana Tech (23-9) takes-on East Tennessee State (23-11) at 8:30 p.m. in the other bracket.

The Gauchos will enter the tournament with an 18-13 record. They had a nine-game winning streak ended in the Big West Tournament semifinals against the eventual conference champions, Hawaii.

“The way this group ended the regular season makes me believe it really deserved the opportunity to continue playing,” Williams said. “I know our guys are also excited about this opportunity.”

The Vegas 16 appearance will be the Gauchos 13th postseason appearance. As a Division program, UCSB has advanced to five NCAA Tournaments (1988, 1990, 2002, 2010 and 2011), five National Invitation Tournaments (1989, 1992, 1993, 2003 and 2008), one College Basketball Invitational (2015) and one College Insider Tournament (2012).

The winners of the first round games will play on Tuesday, Mar. 29 in semifinal games that will begin at 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The title game is scheduled for Wednesday, Mar. 30 at 7:00 p.m.

All games in the tournament will be aired live on the CBS Sports Network.

Tournament tickets are priced from $15 per session for the tournament. All sessions include two games except for the championship game. Tickets can be purchased at the Mandalay Bay box office, MandalayBay.com, AXS.com, Vegas16.com or by calling 888-AXS-TIX. The Mandalay Bay Events Center seats 10,000 for basketball and has played host to NBA preseason games.

More information on the Vegas 16 can be found at www.vegas16.com or follow on Twitter at @VegasSixteen.

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