UC Irvine (10-17, 5-8) vs. Cal State Northridge (7-19, 3-11) at 7:33 p.m. in Irvine, CA

The last home game of the year is already upon us with tonight’s game against the Matadors, televised on Prime Ticket. Usually “Senior Night” in honor of all the seniors, tonight’s game is instead dubbed “Fan Appreciation Day” because there are no seniors on this year’s team. $5 tickets, free popcorn and t-shirts for the students should ensure a pretty decent sized crowd.

Tonight’s game is very important not just to make a good impression on TV. It is also a pivotal game for the Big West standings. Let’s take a look at how things stand after the jump.

The first-round match-up of Long Beach State against UC Davis is already in the books due to Cal State Northridge being ineligible for postseason play and tiebreakers between UCI/UCD and Long Beach/CSF. UCSB and Cal State Fullerton are in a struggle for second and third, and fourth through seventh are up for grabs. If UCI can win out (unlikely due to their remaining match against Long Beach State), they will be 8-8 and be virtually guaranteed a spot in the fourth or fifth spot. Even a 2-1 finish (assuming wins over Northridge and UCR) would give UCI a decent chance at fourth/fifth, depending on tiebreakers and other games. However, a 1-2 finish all but dooms UCI to a first round match-up against CSF or UCSB, two teams that have swept UCI this season.

Cal State Northridge has improved since the first time these two teams played, but are still prone to poor shooting. The improved play of freshman forward Stephen Maxwell is an extra wildcard to look out for. Maxwell only scored 2 points in 10 minutes against UCI back in December, but recently has been getting around 30 minutes a game. Hopefully Derick Flowers can reprise his breakout performance against Northridge from earlier this season. It would be a good boost for his confidence going into the end of the season.

That’s all from me for today. Once again, tune in to Fox Sports PRIME TICKET (I don’t know why they always use caps lock there) and watch as UCI hopefully notches an important win and a sweep of CSUN on the season.

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