One furious dash through the glitter of Disneyland and the parquet of The Pit in Duke City can leave anyone short of breath.

The Big Dance was a nice joyride, but now that everyone’s caught their breath, the contenders in the Big West – and that includes everyone – will find out that they must live and die by the maxim that bigger is better.

The Gauchos better not look up now, because the Big West is about to grow up in a hurry. The trend of big men dominating does not bode well for the 2002-03 version of the UCSB men’s basketball team.

The Gauchos lost their strongest rebounder to a season-ending ACL tear two weeks ago, two top tier post players to graduation and another center to a painful back injury. Its tallest returning starter, First Team All-Big West senior Mark Hull, prefers patrolling three-point country than tossing elbows