Remember: this blog is GNAC biased -if none of our teams are in the rankings, then the rankings aren’t going to be talked about. If this were a few years ago, there would be endless musing about the rankings to a degree, but the other thing is reality: SPU started off #1 last year and got bounced in the first round. Rankings mean nothing.
During the WOU/SPU game there was a moment when it was weird to be sitting there thinking “there’s sizable potential that this game doesn’t mean anything at all, because it’s the conference tourney winner that gets the guaranteed bid.”
Luckily for us -other teams have started losing and the voters are forgetting how bad we compared. That and with SPU and WOU for the most part blowing out every other team, things aren’t as bad as they could’ve been. SPU and WOU both face two must win games this week with WOU having the harder of those to roads to hoe.
In regard to that road: From a GNAC perspective, it’s frustrating that Northwest Nazarene isn’t getting any national credit -in a normal year, winning this many games in our conference would get them into the top 25, and yet because we’re weak it hasn’t.
There’s the other side that they’re fortunate with the ability to rise in a weak GNAC, but… meh. Still wish they would get at least a few not pity, but progress votes, because that team is doing amazing things.
In regard to the rankings from our region:
The Pac-West has BYU-H at 16, APU at 19, Cal Baptist just dropped out but received 20 votes, and Point Loma received one vote.
The CCAA has Cal Poly Pomona receiving four votes and Chico State receiving two votes.
Not really sure that there are any implications to be drawn from it, at least night right now. This year there’s not a bunch of teams ranked -usually we’d look at the rankings and go “Okay, those teams’ll make it, we have two at large bids available, the two at large bids could be taken by autobids, if all three autobids weren’t in the rankings, who gets the short end of the stick?” This year that doesn’t exist.
But fine: People love predictions. That’s the one thing. This blog has gotten more in the habit of making predictions, partly because there is more data to draw conclusions from, even in terms of teams that are well matched with each other; the other part of it is the growth of the writer -now there’s a solid comfort and familiarity with all 10 GNAC teams, rather than just one or two -like to remind everyone that we thought WOU would be awesome the whole time, thank-you very much.
Eight spots, how many teams? Who goes? We’ll see, but here’s the current bracketology prognostications:
[4th team TBD by conference tourney]
Western Oregon seems like they’ve done enough that if they win out, they’ll be in the tourney regardless. The Pac-West as a whole has done enough that they do genuinely deserve a fourth team, who that is we’ll see. If the GNAC tourney winner isn’t WOU, that team’ll go too. If the CCAA winner isn’t Chico/CPP, that team’ll go in addition. If both of those auto bids wouldn’t be in the tourney anyway, then an at-large Pac-West team will get boned.
You could make an argument that they’re not getting screwed; if they want to be in the tournament, they should win games and earn their spot without the auto bid being necessary, BUT compassion. On the GNAC side of things, we felt like WWU got screwed last year even though rationally we knew it was fair; the feelings are meaningless and therefore completely valid seeing as no one’s going to be harmed from the convictions of “my team should’ve/would’ve/could’ve made the regional.”
As for who hosts the tourney… Crossing fingers for Azusa Pacific. Hawaii is fun, but it’s the most fun when everyone is together. The thing is: When an Alaskan or Hawaiian school earns the right to host, it gets split and four teams head off and four teams stay in the lower 48. There are only eight teams to begin with, so it’s better when everyone is together. In fact, we’re really biased in this, but… it’s better when it’s basically one town.
Bellingham was super fun because we’re all stuck together so we see each other all the time and it’s College Basketball Land. San Bernardino wasn’t like that at all because the vast majority of teams were close to home. It won’t happen, but this year it would be the most fun if Chico, Dixie, or WOU got the host’s nod. Judging by current stuff: Azusa or Azusa and BYU-H will get the nod, and out of those options we’ll still take APU getting the whole designation because at least then all eight teams are playing in one spot.
Final notes regarding the bracketology:
Anchorage isn’t being considered for an at-large bid because: They laid so many goose eggs in non-con to other west region teams, plus still have to deal with WOU, SPU, UAF (rivalry game) at home, and face Cenazar (CWU/NNU) on the road. SPU won’t get the nod for an at-large bid even if WOU wins the conference tourney; they just won’t. Every bit of the homer in me wants to be like ‘YES WE WILL’ but reality, Child, reality; we just didn’t do enough this year as a team nor as a conference.
Why we’re so strict with calling it the full Cal Poly Pomona/CPP: Cal Poly is an incredibly good D1 school in San Luis Obispo; Pomona is D3 and a way better school than anyone in the West Region attends. Unfortunately, for lack abbreviation’s sake, there is a real Cal Poly and a real Pomona, and thus Cal Poly Pomona needs it’s full distinction every single time, because while we love CPP -Cal Poly nor Pomona, it is not.
Just a reminder to our Pac-West and CCAA friends: Regardless as to what happens, this blog has your back come tournament time. During tournament time we’ll be covering all eight teams with West Region Bias. Prior to that, there’ll be a post about your respective conference tournaments, and the selection show, and then no matter who makes the Elite Eight: We’ve got you covered. Promise.
West Coast is Best Coast.