The UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos had to win the Big West Tournament to qualify for the NCAAs. Finishing conference play at 8-8, UCSB won three games in the conference tournament, including the final over Long Beach State, who won the league at 14-2. In 2010, UCSB made the tournament as a 15 seed and lost to No. 2 seed Ohio State.
Overall, UCSB is 18-13 this season, but was 4-6 in their last ten regular season games. Their best win was against UNLV in December. The Gauchos only played two games against ranked teams, defeating UNLV and losing to San Diego State.
Statistically, they do not excel at many things. At the close of regular season play, UCSB was ranked in the top-25 of one category: they were 23rd in free-throw shooting (75.5 percent). Their leading scorer is 6-foot-5 junior Orlando Johnson. He averages 21.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He is also UCSB's leading rebounder. Johnson has scored in double digits in all but one of UCSB's games and the one game that he did not score in double figures, the Gauchos won. In the three Big West tournament games, Johnson averaged 28.3 points per game. Junior James Nunnally is the second leading scorer with 16.4 points per game.