The UC Santa Barbara Men’s Basketball team has announced their schedule for the upcoming 2023-24 season following their second appearance in March Madness in three seasons. This year, the home slate consists of six non-conference games and 10 Big West games to go along with road games against two Mountain West schools.
To kick off the season, the Gauchos will play at home on Nov. 9 as they face the Vikings of Portland State University, before hitting the road for a tough road contest against the UTEP Miners on Nov. 13. Once the team returns to Santa Barbara, they will play two games at home against Le Moyne College on Nov. 19 following the women’s game against Southern Utah and a local matchup against Westmont on Nov. 22.
As the non-conference slate continues, the Gauchos will make their way north to Fresno State on Nov. 27 before coming back to The Thunderdome to take on Northern Arizona on Nov. 29. The Gauchos will then have a week off of games before heading to Albuquerque, New Mexico to take on the Lobos of the University of New Mexico on Dec. 6, who are expected to have one of the best back courts in the country this season.
Santa Barbara will take on one more non-Division I opponent in Bethesda in The Thunderdome on Dec. 9 before heading to Phoenix for the Jerry Colangelo Classic. This year, Santa Barbara will face fellow California school Loyola Marymount at the home of the Phoenix Suns in the Footprint Center on Dec. 16. The non-conference schedule will be rounded out with one more game in The Thunderdome as the Gauchos take on Howard University, who made an appearance in March Madness last season, on Dec. 20 following the women’s game against Life Pacific.
The reigning Big West Champions will kick off conference play on Dec. 28 as the Gauchos head north to UC Davis for the start of the season before making their way to UC Riverside on Dec. 30. From there, the Gauchos will open up conference play in The Thunderdome on Jan. 4 against the Tritons of UC San Diego.
The first leg of the Blue-Green Rivalry will happen shortly after that as Santa Barbara makes their way up to San Luis Obispo on Jan. 6. The next weekend of games will be back in The Thunderdome as the Gauchos will take on the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners and Long Beach State on Jan. 11 and 13, respectively. From there, UC Santa Barbara will make the day trip to Northridge to take on the Matadors on Jan. 18 before coming back to face the Titans of Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 20 in Santa Barbara.
One of the most anticipated road trips of the season will come next as the Gauchos make the trip to Honolulu to take on the University of Hawai’i, which will be their only contest that week. Once they return to the mainland, the Blue and Gold will kick off the month of February in The Thunderdome against UC Davis before making their way to Bakersfield to take on the Roadrunners on Feb. 3.
Once they return from Bakersfield, the Gauchos will play the UC Irvine Anteaters and the CSUN Matadors in front of The Surge and the rest of the Santa Barbara community on Feb. 8 and Feb. 10. Then, the Gauchos will have one game on the road down in La Jolla on Feb. 15 against UC San Diego before returning to The Thunderdome on Feb. 17 to take on Hawai’i.
The Gauchos will play another game on the road against UC Irvine on Feb. 22 before coming back to The Thunderdome for the second leg of the Blue-Green Rivalry against Cal Poly on Feb. 29. This leads UC Santa Barbara into the final stretch of Big West play with the last two road games against Cal State Fullerton on March 2 and Long Beach State on March 7. The Gauchos will then head into the final contest of the season in The Thunderdome against UC Riverside on March 9.
The 2024 Big West Men’s Basketball Championship will be held in Henderson, Nevada at The
Dollar Loan Center from March 13 through 16. New this season to the Championships is the field size. In June of 2023, The Big West Board of Directors approved an eight-team field for the 2024 Championship. The eight-team format will automatically advance the top two seeds from the regular season into the semifinals.
Coach Joe Pasternack is heading into his seventh season with the program following the Gauchos’ 15-5 Big West record and 27-8 overall record last season. Season tickets will go on sale for the upcoming season on Wednesday, Sept. 27. To purchase or renew your tickets, be sure to visit ucsbgauchos.com.