16-13 overall, 10-4 conference, 2nd Big West
Against the spread
11-13 (5-6 home, 6-5 away)
8-15-1 (4-6-1 home, 4-7 away)
2005 Season Summary
The UC Irvine Anteaters finished the 2004-05 season with a record of 16-13 straight up and 14-12 against the spread. The Anteaters were very streaky against the board as they covered six of their first seven games against the spread and ended the season with four payoffs in their final six games. The middle/in between portions of the schedule, however, was brutal for gamblers as the Anteaters bled a lot of red ink.
In conferences such as the Big West, fortunes can change quickly both up or down so the read was mixed on UC Irvine heading into the 2005-06 season both with the media and gamblers. This did bring up the possibility, however, that if UC Irvine could get off to a quick and hot start they would carry some added value as they operated in virtual anonymity compared to other college basketball programs.
UC Irvine opened the season with a 56-79 blowout loss to George Mason as 7.5-point neutral court dogs. That was followed by a 94-40 unlined neutral court win over Mississippi Valley State.
The Anteaters went on to win and cover their next two games starting with a 79-63 win at Stanford as 15.5-point dogs followed by a 78-70 win over Santa Clara as 5-point chalks for a decent start at 2-1 against the spread.
Gushing red ink
Starting with a 76-79 loss at Pepperdine as 1.5-point chalks, however, UC Irvine entered an ugly period in which they began gushing red ink and turned much of the college basketball gambling public against them.
After a 90-91 unlined home loss to Cal State Stanislaus, the Anteaters went on to drop their next three consecutive games against the spread starting with a 68-58 win over San Jose State as 11.5-point chalks. That was followed by an 80-96 loss at Colorado as 14-point dogs and then a 72-74 loss to Loyola-Chicago as 6-point chalks.
After an unlined neutral court loss to Arkansas Monticello the Anteaters went back into the tank with a 65-77 loss at Wisconsin Green Bay as 2-point chalks. That was followed by a 63-66 loss to UC Davis at home and then a 69-67 win at Cal Poly SLO as 5-point chalks to complete a stretch of six consecutive losses against the spread.
At this point, as the Anteaters prepared for the meat of the Big West Conference schedule they were basically one of the most unappealing teams with the college basketball gambling public, which would transform them into a bargain value-added team that was getting better odds than actually warranted.
The turnaround for UC Irvine began with a 70-66 win at Santa Barbara as 5-point dogs. That was followed by a 76-62 win at home over Northridge as 6-point chalks. Next was a 70-61 home win over Pacific as 3-point dogs for a third straight cover.
The bargain run continued with a 71-61 win at UC Riverside as 7-point chalks. That was followed by a 67-59 win at Cal State Fullerton as 3.5-point dogs. Next was an 83-68 win over that same Cal State Fullerton team as 6-point home chalks and then a 73-67 win at Long Beach State in a pick'em affair to close out a most profitable seven game payoff streak.
Slipped back into the red
The hot streak ended with a 52-64 loss at Pacific as 7-point dogs. That was followed by a 74-57 win at Northridge as 3.5-point chalks. Next was a pair of losses both SU&ATS starting with a 59-60 nail biter to Santa Barbara as 8.5-point chalks followed by a 58-61 loss to Cal Poly SLO as 13-point home chalks.
The bleeding stopped temporarily with a 63-37 blowout win over UC Riverside as 16.5-point home chalks but the Anteaters slipped back into the red with a 70-67 win over Drake as 4.5-point chalks. After an unlined home win over UC Davis, the regular season ended with a 73-93 loss to Long Beach State as 6-pt chalks and a BW tourney loss in the first round.