First from a GNAC perspective: SPU lost to BYU-H by 15; WOU lost to APU by 7. It would’ve been better to switch the seeding, not even for an advantage, just… because; no repeat games. The idea of putting WOU at 8 makes sense; contemplated it on our bracket, but ultimately bias got in the way: Seattle Pacific facing Azusa and Western Oregon facing BYU-H was much more appealing.
Other than that the bracket is exactly what we predicted and in that: good luck trying to predict these wins. WOU we’ve regularly said we have no idea; if they’re on, they could beat APU; if they’re not, they’re gonna be toast.
BYU-Hawaii has been playing some really good basketball lately; SPU has also been playing some really good basketball lately. From what we know, the Falcons arguably best player should be ready to go in Azusa. The Falcons fab three-and-a-half are phenomenal; if they can get Matt and Riley functioning and have either Cory or Mitch dominating, BYU-H is going to have a hard time.
Similarly, with Western Oregon: Andy Avgi can exert his will -question is will he? Julian Nichols displays incredible prowess. Jordan Wiley definitely has his moments, Marwan Sarhan can be big off the bench, Lew Thomas -we love him so much, he has a good game occasionally but the best bet is never to expect too much. We had the blessing of watching the WOU/SPU game at WOU and Andy was literally unstoppable; the Falcons are a good defensive team, but they had no answer for him what-so-ever. It was incredible.
That’s not the WOU team we’ve seen as of late. SPU made the conference tournament look like child’s play even without playing particularly well -it created a really odd taste, because we’ve said this like six times: they played okay, and still decimated the other teams. We’ve maintained now that SPU is supremely talented, very disciplined, and well coached, but… this weekend was still just odd; even in a weak conference like this year’s GNAC.
Dixie State vs. Cal Poly Pomona -Broncos can take it. Dixie State is a good team, but as much as they did well in conference play, they didn’t do so hot during non-conference. Like Western Oregon: it seems like a crapshoot. Their record is impressive, how it got there not necessarily, except they beat some of the best teams in the region. They also lost to the two bottom seeds -by a lot. And the SPU one: Dixie was up 18-3 (or something like that) and then the Falcons simply took it to the point that the game was mellow by the end.
Cal Baptist vs. Chico State -no clue. Chico State lost in OT to Cal Poly Pomona last night, but… no idea. Cal Baptist is a good team; lost to BYU-H at the very end after being up by 15. Maybe Cal Baptist will hold some advantage because of the SoCal factor, but that’s simply a maybe. Not sure what we’re going to get out of this game. If you have thoughts, please. Leave them. We’ll quote you because we have no clue.
More thoughts in the AM. Chime in with yours!