The Long Beach State 49ers played five teams in the RPI's top 25 this season in their out-of-conference schedule. They lost all of them, sure, but at least in this instance the burnishing of losses to quality teams prepared Dan Monson's squad for the tangled mayhem of Big West rivalries.
Tennessee Volunteers (22-10) vs. Long Beach State 49ers (24-7)
When: Friday, 2:35 p.m.
1. Nixon's The One. NCAA opponents would be wise not to overlook the 49ers in general and senior forward Aaron "Mr. Big Shot" Nixon in particular. After a 74-49 loss to Temple on December 2, Long Beach State has won 22 straight, winning the Big West championship, where Nixon was named Tournament MVP. Nixon was the…