Tiny but fierce, these Matadors will poke you repeatedly with their swords.
Who? The Matadors of Cal State Northridge. They prefer CSUN as the short form.
When do they play in the first round? CSU plays Stanford on Saturday, March 21 at 4 p.m. ET.
What? Olé! They’re the only Matadors in the country. Matty derives from the region’s Spanish heritage.
Where? Northridge, California, home to orange groves.
Why? They won the Big West conference tournament.
How? Smaller, faster, and more intense on defense, the Matadors forced 17 turnovers out of Hawai’i and held the Wahine’s two top scorers to 13 combined points in a 67-60 win. Ashlee Guay put up 22 points and six rebounds, while Janae Sharpe had 20 points and six rebounds.
Surprise? Predicted to finish first in the conference, they finished second, three games back of Hawai’i.
Record: 23-9 (11-5 Big West)
Good wins: At BYU.
Bad losses: Nothing bad, in relative terms.
Who’s driving this thing? Jason Flowers, since 2010, married to a highly successful softball coach.
Extra, Extra! To be honest, I get most of my SoCal news from hoopism.
A trio of senior guards lead the charge for the Matadors. Ashlee Guay tops the scoring chart with 16.0 points, adding a team-high 4.7 assists. Janae Sharpe chips in 12.3, while Cinnamon Lister provides a credible outside threat at 39.3% on the season for 11.5 points. Senior center Camille Mahlknecht does the dirty work down low, at 6.9 rebounds.
When they run their press, they can be scary.