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Davis, California

Friday, May 17, 2024

Team of the Year

There were too many storylines to count.

A team led by two graduating seniors and a coach set to retire at the end of the season entered the year with a single goal in mind – an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

UC Davis had fallen just short the past three seasons, twice coming within a game of March Madness.

This time around the Aggies refused to be denied.

UC Davis tore through its regular-season schedule, compiling a record of 24-9 and entered the Big West Conference Tournament as the fourth seed.

The Aggies did their best work in the post-season.

UC Davis won all three tournament games, defeating defending champions UC Riverside and Cal Poly en route to a Big West title. The conference championship meant the Aggies would appear in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.

While the tournament appearance was based on the ream’s record over just one season, the team’s efforts over the past few years have gained it notoriety throughout the region.

“I hope we’re respected throughout the West now and in our conference,” said coach Sandy Simpson. “We’re not just another team that tried to make the move from division II to division I.”

While the Aggies tournament appearances resulted in an 86-59 loss to Stanford, UC Davis was certainly victorious off the court. The appearance in the tournament gained UC Davis recognition throughout the region and the nation.

The Aggies valiant effort led ESPN’s Michelle Smith to write: “If Stanford was the winner, the Aggies were the story of the night.”

Beyond that, the UC Davis women’s basketball team was the story of 2010-11 on the UC Davis campus and for that they receive the title of Team of the Year from The Aggie sports desk.

TREVOR CRAMER can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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