Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We're In! Now What?

The UC Davis men's soccer team has officially punched its ticket to the postseason.

That's right, we're in. For the first time since 2008, the Aggies are playing in the Big West Tournament. The winner of that tournament earns the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

The top four teams were officially sealed after UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara each squeaked out wins on Tuesday night. Headed to the Big West postseason will be UC Irvine, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara and UC Riverside.

So we know who's in. But who plays who and where and when and... let's try and break this down.

The first-place team will play the fourth-place team while No. 2 plays No. 3 next Wednesday. The higher-seeded teams will host the games. The winners play each other next Saturday with the highest-seeded team from THAT matchup hosting again.

Problem is, we don't quite know how the teams are seeded.

Here's what we do know:

1. Teams get 3 points for a win and 1 point for a tie.

2. UC Irvine is currently in first place with 19 points and their regular season is over.

3. UC Davis is in second with 16 points and play UC Riverside on Saturday in Riverside.

4. UC Santa Barbara moved into third place after their win on Tuesday and they still have a game on Friday.

5. UC Riverside clinched the last spot with 14 points. They play the Aggies on Saturday. See above.

So now we present - to the best of my ability - the scenarios:

Scenario 1: A UC Davis win on Saturday - regardless of what UCSB does in their game on Friday - would give the Aggies 19 points (it's 3 points for a win) and they would share the Big West regular season title with UC Irvine.  However, because UC Davis beat UC Irvine head-to-head in a pretty thrilling overtime game on Oct. 19, UC Davis would be the No. 1 seed, would play the No. 4 seed (which would probably be UC Riverside), and would host the first-round game next week.

Still with me?

Scenario 2: A UC Davis tie and a UC Santa Barbara loss would keep the Aggies as the No. 2 seed. The Aggies would host the first-round game and would play the No. 3 seed. At that point, UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara would be tied in points, but UC Riverside would be the No. 3 seed because they beat the Gauchos in both matches this year. So Aggies vs. Highlanders in Davis.

A UC Davis tie and a UCSB win, however, would push the Gauchos into the No. 2 spot and we'd be third. Aggies vs. Gauchos in Santa Barbara.

Last one... I think.

Scenario 3: UC Davis loses. An Aggie loss and a UCSB loss would give UCR 17 points and bump UC Davis down to third. But an Aggie loss and a UC Santa Barbara win or tie would result in UC Davis ending up as the No. 4 seed. Aggies would play UC Irvine in Irvine.


It would be really exciting if UC Davis got to host the first-round game next Wednesday. And it would be an absolute blast to host the tournament championship if the soccer gods align it all that way.

But here's what it would also mean for UC Davis Athletics Communications.

If men's soccer ends up hosting the Big West Conference Tournament championship game on Saturday, Nov. 12 it would join men's water polo, football and women's volleyball on the list of home events for that day.

Normally there's four of us in the office. Normally. That weekend it happens that both men's and women's basketball will be out of town. The men will open their season at the Basketball Traveler's Tournament in San Diego while the women's team heads to the Pacific Northwest for their 2011-12 opening games.

Our esteemed leader Mike Robles will be on the road with Coach Les and our Aggie men's basketball team.

I have the privilege of joining the women's basketball team in Seattle as the Aggies start their quest back to the NCAA Tournament.

I am also the men's soccer media contact.

Needless to say, that's a scenario that we don't have a point system for.

- Amanda Piechowski is wondering if anyone knows how to get in touch with those scientists who cloned Dolly the sheep a few years ago. 

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