The Cal State Fullerton men’s basketball team will learn its opponent Sunday for its first game in the NCAA tournament since 2008.
The Titans earned the tournament berth with a 71-55 victory over UC Irvine in the Big West Tournament final Saturday night in Anaheim.
Ladies & Gentlemen your 2018 Big West Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions, @FullertonHoops! 🏆
— Honda Center (@HondaCenter) March 11, 2018
The Titans (20-11) took the lead for good with four minutes, 22 seconds left in the first half, led 29-25 at halftime and led by at least three and as many as 18 in the second half.
Kyle Allman Jr. led fourth-seeded Fullerton with 26 points while fellow junior guard Khalil Ahmad added 23. Evan Leonard scored 20 and fellow sophomore guard Eyassu Worku 10 for the third-seeded Anteaters (18-17) before a crowd at Honda Center announced at 5,664.
This is the third time the Titans have advanced to the NCAA tournament. They won two tournament games in 1978, reaching the Elite Eight, before a 61-58 loss to Arkansas in West Regional final. Fullerton lost to Wisconsin, 71-56, in a first-round game in 2008.
UC Irvine was seeking its second berth in the NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament. The Anteaters lost to Louisville, 57-55, in a first- round game in 2015 it led with 1:01 to play.
UC Irvine was founded in 1965 and began competing on the Division 1 level in 1977. It twice qualified for the Division 2 tournament.
The Anteaters are 1-6 in Big West Tournament finals, with three of the losses coming since 2008.
–City News Service
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