The Pepperdine Waves men’s basketball team began play in the 1938–1939 season, and has amassed 12 regular-season conference titles and three conference tournament championships. It qualified for the NAIA men’s basketball tournament seven times during the 1940s and 1950s. It has made 13 appearances in the NCAA tournament, six in the National Invitation Tournament, and three in the College Basketball ...
History of the Waves
The Pepperdine Waves have a long and proud history of success in NCAA sports. They have been integral to college athletics, competing at the highest level for nearly 70 years. With over 20 conference titles and numerous individual honors, there is no doubt that the Pepperdine Waves are one of the most successful teams in all collegiate sports.
Pepperdine's first foray into NCAA competition came during their inaugural season as members of Division I-A (now known as FBS) in 1949-50. In those early days, they captured two consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships before joining forces with several other schools to form what would become known as The Western Athletic Conference (WAC). As members of this new league, Pepperdine won three more conference titles between 1950 and 1964, making four appearances at post-season tournaments, including trips to the NIT & College World Series.
After leaving WAC following a brief stint from 1965-67 due, mainly because it had grown too large for them competitively speaking, The Waves went on to join up with five other schools from around California & Hawaii, which formed what would be called Pacific Coast Athletic Association or PCAA - now known today as Big West Conference where they won six regular season championships spanning across multiple decades along with another appearance at post-tournament play just prior their move out west again after being invited by then-commissioner Larry Scott who wanted create western division within Pac 10/12 leagues back 2011 when expansion began to take place.
Since moving into the newly created Pac 12, Pepperdines has continued its winning ways by capturing two more regular seasons title plus additional postseason appearances, including a trip to College World Series 2017, where the team made a deep run but ultimately fell short of advancing past super regionals against eventual champions Florida Gators. Despite not reaching the ultimate goal of the championship, the school still managed to make an impact national spotlight showing the world could hang rugged best programs country even if it didn't come away victorious end day.
Overall, waves continue to stay a strong force throughout many different conferences eras thanks to consistent leadership athletic department's ability to recruit and develop top talent area well dedication hard work of student-athletes, coaches staff alike every year to strive for excellence in both field classrooms!
College Sports Established
1973 - Present / NCAA Division 1
1955 - 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
1989 - Present / West Coast Conference
1955 - 1989 / West Coast Athletic Conference
Waves - The Pepperdine Waves have been the mascot of Pepperdine University since 1937. The nickname originated from a contest held by the student body to come up with an appropriate mascot for their school. The winning entry was “Waves” about Malibu, California's famous waves that crash against its shoreline and are closely associated with Pepperdine's location on the Pacific Coast Highway.
For years, fans of all sports teams at Pepperdine have proudly worn apparel emblazoned with "Go Waves!" or "Pepper-WAVE!" as they cheer on their favorite players during athletic competitions. But what many may not know is that there is more behind this beloved nickname than just a nod to Malibu’s famous surf spot—it also has roots in NCAA history!
In 1983, when then-President Ronald Reagan signed legislation allowing universities like Pepperdine to join Division I athletics within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), it opened up new opportunities for students and alumni alike who wanted cheering rights alongside other top schools across America. With this newfound ability came a need for an official university team name; thus began one of the most iconic branding efforts ever seen: creating what we now know as “the Wave” –– literally and figuratively!
As part of its rebranding effort, members of Pep Squad —a student organization dedicated solely towards supporting athletic events—came together under one banner: ‘Rise Up With The Wave!' This rallying cry helped foster camaraderie amongst students while providing them something tangible around which they could rally support…and boy, did they ever! Over time, countless tributes were made honoring everything from individual athletes' successes during games to decades worth of accomplishments achieved collectively by all those involved in ensuring each game day was extraordinary, no matter how big or small it might be considered by outsiders looking in.
Today, whether you're watching your alma mater compete against some tough competition out there or simply catching highlights online afterward, you can rest assured knowing that every time you hear someone yell out 'Go WAVES!' -you'll be reminded about why your school chose such an excellent moniker back over three decades ago -to honor both its beautiful surroundings & rich collegiate legacy!
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