We are thrilled that Orange County’s UC Irvine Basketball team is headed to the NCAA Tournament after defeating Hawaii in the championship game of the Big West Conference Tournament late Saturday night. A number of talented UCI Alumni are part of the Incipio Family and are eager for Irvine’s matchup with fourth-seeded Louisville Friday, March 20th at 1:10PM. We’d like you to jump on the UC Irvine bandwagon and cheer them on at the upcoming tournament. Why? you might ask… Here’s our top 3 reasons why you should root for UC Irvine Basketball during the madness.
1. This is UC Irvine’s First Trip to the Tournament
UC Irvine started playing Division I NCAA basketball in 1977-1978 and had been to the Big West tournament title game four other times. This is their first Big West tournament win and they’ll be the underdog against the Louisville Cardinals. Louisville is also coached by the legendary Rick Pitino who has two NCAA Tournament Championships under his belt. But who doesn’t like to root for underdogs?
2. UC Irvine’s Mascot Is An Anteater
Peter the Anteater to be exact. How can you not root for an anteater? You can read about his history and watch his biography here: http://uci.edu/peter/
3. Mamadou Ndiaye
Maybe that name doesn’t ring a bell but Mamadou is UCI’s 7 foot 6 inch center from Senegal. He’s the tallest basketball player in the NCAA right now and has only played basketball for five years. He’s extremely fun to watch play and can actually touch the rim without jumping. We’ll be rooting for Mamadou and his teammates to carry over their success in the Big West Tournament to the Big Dance!
If you haven’t checked out the NCAA Tournament bracket or all the teams competing, it’s not too late. You can see a complete bracket and breakdown of all the teams competing at SB Nation and for those that want to actually watch the game you can head over to NCAA March Madness Live.