Jockeying for Position

The UCSD men’s and women’s basketball regular seasons come to an end this week. Both will play this Thursday, Feb. 28 in a penultimate bout against Sonoma State and then again on Friday, March 1 against San Francisco State. The women kick off play at 5:30 p.m., with the men to follow at 8:30 p.m. The games will be played at home.

The women’s team is currently tied atop the conference standings with Chico State; each school holds a 16–4 record. Chico State fell in its last game against Cal State Los Angeles, leaving the door open for UCSD to claim the top spot. If UCSD can win its last two games, they will take first place in the conference and head into the tournament as the No. 1 seed. The Tritons already defeated Chico State twice this season, which gives them the tiebreaker and allows them to claim sole possession of first place. If successful, the women’s team will finish the regular season in first for the second consecutive season.

The Tritons have defeated both upcoming opponents before this season. The women beat Sonoma State 62–45 on the road in January. In a much closer game, they pulled out a 53–51 victory against San Francisco State a day earlier on Jan. 25. UCSD was previously on a nine-game winning streak before it fell to Cal State East Bay, but bounced back in its most recent game and beat Cal State Monterey Bay 56–44. The Tritons will look to extend their winning streak and capture the conference lead.

While the women need the victory for seeding purposes, the men’s basketball team desperately needs its last two games to keep its playoff hopes alive. As it currently stands, UCSD is 9–11 in the conference and sits in seventh place. Only the top eight teams have spots at the CCAA playoffs, which means UCSD has not yet clinched a spot.

The men’s team will have an opportunity to give itself a cushion as it plays eighth-seeded team Sonoma State, which currently holds an 8–12 record. UCSD defeated Sonoma State comfortably 85–65 in its last meeting. The Tritons did not have the same success against San Francisco State in their last matchup, losing 55–70 in San Francisco. UCSD holds a tiebreaker over its conference opponent Humboldt State, which currently sits in the number nine spot in the standings.

The Triton women will host the first round of the playoffs on March 5, and if they can lock up the No. 1 seed, they will play the eighth seed, up for grabs between San Francisco State and Sonoma State. The men will have to play their first round on the road, which will either be against second-seed Cal State San Bernardino if the Tritons are able to maintain the No. 7 seed, or first-seeded Cal Poly Pomona if they fall to the No. 8 seed.