Is Cal Poly men’s basketball peaking at the right time?

Updated: March 1, 2017

The concept of the Big West Tournament as a crap shoot is not a new one. When the eight-team playoff happens next week, it will still be appropriate. 

In a season when UC Irvine looked like they might run away with the conference title early-on in conference play, there would be virtually nothing surprising at the Honda Center this season. 

Victor Joseph and Cal Poly have been labeled Giant Killers. They’ll have to keep that title if they want to compete for the Big West Tournament title. By Owen Main

After starting the conference season 0-5 Cal Poly has gone 5-4 over their last nine games. If the Big West Tournament were to start today, the Mustangs would be the six seed. With two wins in this final week of the regular season, Cal Poly could get to the five seed (they’d hold a tie breaker if both them and CSUN were 7-9). 

But seedings might matter as little as they ever have this season. Cal Poly has beaten four of the five postseason-eligible teams ahead of them in the standings and won’t fear anyone in Anaheim. While the past month has been topsy-turvy, Jim Les’ UC Davis Aggies and Russell Turner’s UC Irvine Anteaters are battling for the top conference seed. Both have lost to the Mustangs.

I always try to temper my fan expectations with the thought that the 2013-14 team got worked at home in their final regular season before rattling off four straight postseason wins in the wildest week and a half in Cal Poly sports history. That team had the traditional pieces that made a wild thought of a deep run seem plausible. 

This year’s roster is weird, but Cal Poly has won more than they’ve lost over the past few weeks and a little three-game winning streak, especially in this year’s Big West environment, seems within the realm of possibility. 

Senior Night Saturday

Saturday night’s game against UCSB is senior night for three Mustangs. Zach Gordon, Ridge Shipley, and Kyle Toth will be honored before the game. The three Cal Poly seniors have taken very different paths in basketball in San Luis Obispo. Having interacted with all three, I can say it’s been a pleasure to get to know them a littleand I wish them the best of luck.