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Courtesy: Ilya Pinchuk (Moscow, Idaho)
Djim Bandoumel
Vandals open postseason
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 03/13/2012
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CollegeInsider.com Postaseason Tournament (CIT)
Opening Round
Game 32: Idaho (18-13) vs. UC Santa Barbara (20-10)
When:
March 14, 2012 (7:05 PT)
Where: Moscow, Idaho (Cowan Spectrum)
Radio: Vandal Radio Network/VandalXtra
Television: None
Online Video: www.collegeinsider.com/stream
Live Stats: www.GoVandals.com

A Look at the Gauchos
UC Santa Barbara is 20-10 this season and tied for second in the Big West Conference with a 12-4 record. The Gauchos fell to Long Beach State in the Big West Championship game on Saturday, 77-64. UCSB averages 72.6 points and allows just 65.8 this season. The Gauchos shoot 45.7 percent from the floor and 38.1 percent from the 3-point line. They also average a 37.8-34.0 rebounding margin and block 5.3 shots per game. Senior guard Orlando Johnson led the Big West with 19.7 points per game on 45.0 percent shooting, while backcourt teammate James Nunnally averages 15.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Freshman center Alan Williams averages 6.9 points and 6.6 rebounds on 50.7 percent shooting.

UC Santa Barbara Head Coach Bob Williams
Bob Williams is in his 14th season at UC Santa Barbara. He has led the Gauchos to three NCAA Tournament bids, including back-to-back times in 2010 and 2011. This season marks UCSB’s fourth 20-win campaign under Williams, who has a record of 237-180 at the school. Before UCSB, he led UC Davis to a 158-76 record and a 1998 NCAA Division II national title in eight seasons. He is 426-280 overall as a head coach. He is a 1976 graduate of San Jose State.

Vandals and  Gauchos
Idaho and UC Santa Barbara play for the 20th time on Wednesday. The Gauchos hold a 12-7 edge in a series primarily dominated by the home team. The Vandals are 7-2 in Moscow against UCSB and the Gauchos are 10-0 against the Vandals in California. The former Big West Conference rivals haven’t played since 2005, when they split the season series. Idaho won the last game at the Cowan Spectrum, 61-50, on Jan. 8, 2005.

Free Online Video
Fans can tune in to Wednesday's game free of charge online at www.collegeinsider.com/stream.

A Big-Time Challenge
In UC Santa Barbara, Idaho faces one of the most formidable backcourts it’s seen all season. Seniors Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally are All-Big West picks who average 19.7 and 15.7 points per game, respectively. Together, they account for 48.8 percent of UCSB’s scoring and they’ve combined to make 122 of the Gauchos’ 219 three-point field goals this year.

Joining The Madness
Idaho’s CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament bid this year marks the team’s ninth foray into the postseason and its third bid in four seasons under Don Verlin. The Vandals have qualified four times for the NCAA tournament, once for the NIT and now three times in the CIT. Idaho was also invited to the National Collegiate Tournament in 1922 - the first national championship tournament ever held in intercollegiate basketball.

Marching Into The Postseason
In Don Verlin’s first four seasons at Idaho, the Vandals have earned three CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament invitations. The last time Idaho had three postseason berths in the same span was 1981-83, when the team earned a pair of NCAA bids (1981, 1982) and an NIT bid (1983).

Beware in the Paint
Both frontcourt groups in this game can claim to be among the nation’s best in denying shots. Idaho’s duo of junior Kyle Barone and senior Djim Bandoumel have blocked a combined 95 shots this year and the team has 129 swats. On the other side, UCSB freshman Alan Williams and senior Greg Somogyi have stopped 92 shots and the Gauchos have 158 blocks as a team.

Click on the PDF link to view complete game notes.

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