One West Coast Conference team down, one more to go.
The Hawaii men’s basketball team learned last night it will face San Francisco of the WCC in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament second round Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center.
UH (19-12) knocked off Portland 76-64 in the first round on Tuesday night, while USF (18-14) defeated Idaho 81-73 last night at home. Had the Dons lost, UH would have faced Air Force instead from the 12 remaining teams.
TICKETS ON SALE FOR UH GAME
Tickets are on sale for the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team’s second-round game against San Francisco in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Fans can purchase tickets online at HawaiiAthletics.com. Tickets are also available at the Sheriff Center box office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (through Friday). Fans can also call 944-BOWS (2697) during the same hours, but there are limited phone lines.
Here are the ticket prices:
Lower level: $24
Upper-level adult: $16
Upper-level senior citizen: $14
Students (ages four to high school): $5
UH students with valid ID: $5
For season-ticket holders who preordered their tickets for the second-round, tickets will be available for pickup at the box office or e-mailed to buyers who purchased "print at home" tickets.
An unpredictable element, but that’s what the postseason is all about. Once the USF result went final, UH coaches got to work immediately. The idea was to have the game plan in place by this morning’s practice.
Head coach Gib Arnold, who watched the USF game online, estimated about 30 percent of defensive work in practice changes based on opposing personnel, while the other 70 percent is the Rainbows’ consistent schemes.
"This part of the season, there’s not a whole lot you’re going to be able to change," Arnold said. "We’re not going to put in anything new defensively, or maybe a little bit offensively. It’s basically what you’ve got in now, and that stuff was put in all the way back in October. We should be well seasoned in what our plans are by now."
What’s there has worked exceptionally well all season. UH went into the Portland game ranked 12th nationally in field-goal percentage defense at .393, then held the Pilots to 35.1 percent shooting.
Four first-round winners were seeded, but UH was not one of them. A seed, based on RPI and strength of schedule, comes with the benefit of a bye in the CIT second round. UH must beat USF to advance to play at one of the seeded teams — East Tennessee State, Iona, Northern Iowa or Ohio — in the third round.
While Portland was fifth in WCC play with a 7-7 record, USF challenged for the top seed in the WCC tournament before finishing third with a 10-4 record. It was an impressive feat, considering the Dons started the season 4-9 and had to contend with perennial WCC powers Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s.
"I’ve seen San Francisco on film, but haven’t seen them live," Arnold said. "They played great down the end (of the season). They kind of struggled a little bit (in nonconference), but once conference got going, they had some big wins over everybody in that conference. They did really well."
San Francisco last played at Hawaii in the 2008-09 season opener, when Rex Walters debuted as USF coach. The Dons beat the Rainbows 75-70.
Much has changed since then, including UH’s coach and confidence at home or on the road. The Rainbows are 14-4 at the Sheriff this season.
"We just gotta keep doing what we do … our ‘D’ is made to play against any type of offense," said UH junior guard Miah Ostrowski, who scored a career-high 17 against the Pilots. "We just execute out there, I think we’ll be fine, no matter who we play."
On Tuesday night, Portland jumped out to a 20-13 lead on the Rainbows. But from that point, UH consistently denied the Pilots — one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country — open looks from beyond the arc.
"We’re used to playing teams that we know really well right now," said senior forward Bill Amis, who posted his sixth double-double of the season and collected a career-high five steals. "It took a second to get used to them. But whenever we’re locked in on people, it’s tough to score on us."
A decision on television coverage for the USF game is expected tomorrow .