HENDERSON, Nev. (KERO) — The CSU Bakersfield men's and women's basketball teams got to Henderson on Monday night, and they will play in the brand-new Dollar Loan Center for the Big West tournament.
The women's team will play in the first-ever game inside the new arena.
“That's historical. When that ball goes up, we make history right away. That's something that's really exciting to know, that we'll be the first team to jump ball in there and be able to make history. So, we need to make sure that we come out with the win and be the first team to win and make history,” said Greg McCall, Women’s Head Coach at CSUB.
The 'Runners enter the tournament as the ninth seed and will play Northridge in the first round.
Bakersfield fell to the Matadors by one point in their only meeting in the regular season.
CSUB also finished the year winless on the road with ten losses.
Head coach Greg McCall believes this tournament allows CSUB to have a fresh start.
“It’s that time of year: March Madness. Everybody's excited, so our team has been practicing. Well, we've had some really good games on that bill, we had some wins under our belt. We also had some tough losses, but it also just made us better and prepared us better for this moment right here. Right now [is] when you keep advancing ,and [if] you lose you go home so it's do or die right now.”
On the men's side, they are the ninth seed and play Northridge as well.
The 'Runners finished the regular season with their worst conference record in their Division One program history at 2-12.
However, there are reasons to be optimistic about this 'Runners team. They beat Boise State, who is pretty much locked into the NCAA Tournament and seven of their conference losses came by six points or less.
CSUB head coach Rod Barnes has led the program to postseason success in the past and he will try to create some magic in the Big West Tournament.
"It used to be a slogan to survive an event and that's where we are right now. CSU Northridge [has a] good size. They have good prominent players that [are] a lot like us. They've lost some close games, so whomever we have the opportunity to play after that. Today we're in a bracket with Long Beach, every game is going to be a game that we've got to play well to win."
Day one starts at noon with the 'Runners women’s basketball team in action, the men play at six.