Katehi Says Nationally Televised Game a 'Milestone'

Paolo Mancasola and his men's basketball teammates will compete in a nationally televised game carried by ESPN2 on Thursday, March 7.

March 1, 2013

Originally posted on news.ucdavis.edu on March 1, 2013

DAVIS, Calif. - Aggies are swelling with pride as they prepare for an important first for the University of California, Davis: ESPN2's live coverage of the men's basketball game on Thursday, March 7, will be the first Aggie home basketball game to be nationally televised.

Chief among the Aggie backers is UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. "This is an exciting milestone for our athletics program and the university as a whole," she said.

Fans wearing Aggie blue in the Pavilion and at viewing parties across the country will cheer on the Aggies as they play Long Beach State, the top team in the Big West Conference. Doors open at 7 p.m., and tip-off is at 8 p.m.

“The character and excellence of the intercollegiate athletics program help define the overall reputation of our world-class university,” Katehi said of UC Davis, which is ranked No. 8 nationally among public research universities by U.S. News and World Report.

Scott Marsh, who is the play-by-play radio announcer for the men's basketball team, said playing in front of a nationally televised audience is a great honor for the players, coaches and the university as a whole.

"Everyone else across the country now gets to see for themselves how talented coach Jim Les and his team are and how special and electric the environment in and around Hamilton Court is," he said. "I have no doubt this will be one of the greatest nights in the history of UC Davis athletics."

The game will feature two of the top four scorers in the Big West Conference. UC Davis sophomore guard Corey Hawkins, an organizational studies major, leads the Big West with 20.5 points per game, and Long Beach State senior guard James Ennis is fourth, with 17.1 points per game.

UC Davis has a 13-14 overall record, and is 8-7 in the Big West, following the team's 59-52 victory over UC Riverside Thursday night. If the Aggies win Saturday's game against Cal State Fullerton, the Long Beach State game will be the team's first opportunity to set a record for the most wins in one season as a Division I program. UC Davis won the Division II national championship in 1998.

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UC Davis, which completed its transition to NCAA Division I competition in 2007, has about 600 student-athletes who are enrolled in 82 academic majors and participate in 23 sports.