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1. Cal and Santa Clara clinch first NCAA berths
October 30th, 2006 1:19AM



California and Santa Clara are the first teams to clinch berths in the NCAA Division I Men's Tournament. The Northern California schools won their respective conference titles on the road in Los Angeles on Sunday.

California clinched the Pac-10 title with a 4-1 victory over UCLA in front of a season-high crowd of 2,815 (fourth-largest crowd ever) at the Bruins' Drake Stadium. Forward Javier Ayala-Hil had a hat trick to lead the Bears to their first Pac-10 championship. Steve Purdy scored the fourth goal on a free kick from 25 yards.

Santa Clara captured its first West Coast Conference championship since 2003 with a 2-0 road win over Loyola Marymount. The Broncos' win at Sullivan Field coupled with San Francisco's 2-1 overtime loss to Gonzaga Sunday clinched the championship for SCU. Senior Keith DeVey and sophomore Jide Ogunbiyi scored second-half goals to give Santa Clara the win.

The Pac-10 and WCC are two of five Division I men's conferences that don't have a postseason tournament.

In the Big West, red-hot UC Santa Barbara leads UC Irvine by two points and Cal State Northridge by three going into the final week of the regular season.

Denver has a three-point lead over New Mexico in the MPSF. The Lobos, last year's NCAA Division I runners-up, need to beat Air Force on Friday and Denver on Sunday to have a chance to win the MPSF title and the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

In the Ivy League, Harvard, winner of seven in a row, can clinch the Ivy League title with a win over Columbia on Sunday. The Crimson leads Penn by two points with one game to play.

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