Matadors Highlights

General Information

  • Founded: 1958
  • Conference: Big West Conference
  • Past Conferences: American West Conference (AWC), Independent
  • Arena: Premier America Credit Union Arena
  • City: Northridge, California

Championships and Titles

  • 2 Conference tournament championships
  • 2 Conference regular season championships

Team History

The Cal State Northridge (CSUN) Matadors built a prolific record in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), which included five regular season titles. This prompted them to move to NCAA Division I with Pete Cassidy in charge.

Their first few seasons, played while being an independent program were forgettable. They won no more than 39 percent of their games. And moving to the AWC did the Matadors no favors as they won just 15 total games in their first two seasons.

But things gradually changed under new boss Bobby Braswell. The new coach, who is a CSUN alumnus, made the team a more up-tempo and high-pressure style of the team. This culminated in better seasons and by his third year, 1998-99, the Matadors finally had a winning record.

The following season was another groundbreaking one for the program as it won 20 games. Markus Carr evolved into a star player for the team. He not only led the Cal State Northridge Matadors team stats in assists but also the nation.

And in 2001, the Matadors qualified for their first NCAA Tournament by going 22-10 in the regular season (10-6 in the Big Sky) and winning both the conference regular season and tournament. But as 13-seed, the team fell to Kansas.

Carr’s departure along with other key members of the team led to a period of rebuilding for the Matadors. The team remained competitive on the NCAAB odds but it was far from a contender. It would take Braswell almost a decade to return the team to prominence.

The 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons were monumental for the school. The Matadors won 20 games in 2008 though fell short of an NCAA Tournament berth. The next season, the team went on a hot run. Rodrique Mel, who led the Matadors’ team stats in scoring, came up clutch when it mattered.

The Matadors won the conference tournament and returned to March Madness. But again it failed to get past the Round of 64 as it lost to Memphis.

Unfortunately, Braswell could not recapture the magic of these two seasons and the program dwindled once again. It ultimately led to his dismissal after the 2012-13 season. Both Reggie Theus and Mark Gottfried fared no better as the Matadors had the unenviable distinction of being upset by a non-NAIA/NCAA program under the former.

Now, Trent Johnson is in charge of the program. It is a long way from becoming a contender or seeing the NCAA Tournament again.

All-Time Cal State Northridge Matadors Records*

  • Points Scored

  • Rebounds

  • Assists

Markus Carr: 767


Is Cal State Northridge a D-I school?

The Cal State Northridge (CSUN) Matadors men’s basketball program is a part of NCAA Division I. It started participating in 1990.

What is the Matadors’ mascot?

The Matadors’ mascot is an homage to the San Fernando Valley’s heritage as well as a reflection of the school’s fierce fighting spirit.

Has Cal State Northridge made the NCAA Tournament?

As of the 2022-23 season, the Cal State Northridge Matadors have qualified for two NCAA Tournament appearances. It participated in 2001 and 2009 where it lost in the Round of 64 both times.

Follow us on Twitter

Latest NCAAB News

Back to top button

Bet like a PRO!

Subscribe now and get Weekly Expert Free Picks