Conference: Big West Conference
How They Qualified: Big West Conference Tournament Champions
Region: Play-in for No. 16 seed in the Midwest
Cal Poly is 13-19. Still, the Mustangs will be playing in the 2014 NCAA tournament. Now that’s March Madness.
The Mustangs surprisingly played a bunch of talented opponents in their non-conference schedule, which apparently payed off. They took on Arizona, Oregon, Pittsburgh and Stanford. They lost every game, but at least they tried.
Cal Poly didn’t even have a solid record in the Big West (6-10), but a team can literally have zero wins up until its conference tournament and still make the dance. That automatic bid was very kind to this team this year.
What You Need to Know:
Leading Scorer: Chris Eversley (13.6 ppg)
Leading Rebounder: Chris Eversley (7.1 rpg)
Leading Passer: Jamal Johnson (2.8 apg)
Bad Losses: UC Davis (twice), UC Riverside
Good Wins: UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara (twice)
Cal Poly beat the top two teams in the conference a combined three times. Not bad for a team that finished 13-19 on the year. The Mustangs won their last three games of the year and those were probably the three biggest wins of the season. They did all come in the Big West tournament.
Not to mention, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine were the top two teams in the conference standings during the regular season.
That’s all it takes, though. A team just needs to get hot at the right time and it can either make the NCAA tournament or make a run while in the tournament. Or both in some cases.
The Cal Poly Mustangs are dancing!