Hoooooly cow. What an insane day of games. One game was insanely amazing; the other game was insanely boring. You may think we’re devastated over SPU losing by thirty. Au contraire. We’re far more attached to Tanner Omlid than we are either of the two SPU seniors. Next year is going to be our hard year; Coleman Wooten graduating, we’re already crying.
Anyway, we’re actually going to talk about the boring game and then the exciting game because it’s the next morning and we’re still discombobulated from the exciting game.
#4 Seattle Pacific 70 @ #1 Western Oregon 97
Defense wins championships. That score says the game in a nutshell. We’ve been complaining about WOU’s offense and not really trusting it because the numbers have been pretty meh, but this was a great example of where WOU really wins: their defense. SPU couldn’t get separation to save their lives and WOU forced tons of turnovers on top of it. It was irritatingly beautiful.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 13 points and six boards; Gabe Colosimo had 12 points and a full house; Nathan Streufert had five boards and five assists along with a flawless full house; and Gavin Long had six boards. Off the bench Nikhil Lizotte had 17 points; Hunter Eisenhower had nine points; and Trey Miller had six points.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had 23 points, eight boards, five assists, four steals, and a full house in just 24 minutes; Vince Boumann had 17 points, five boards, and a full house on nearly flawless shooting; and Riley Hawken had six boards. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell had nine points; Nick Nestell had five assists; Janvier Alaby had eight points; Dustin Triano had 12 points; Brandell Evans had nine opoints; and Buster Souza had five points.
Congrats to the Wolves on getting it done!! Super excited to head to Monmouth!
#3 Saint Martin’s 69 @ #2 Western Washington 68
This game was… Interesting. It was another game when SMU was up and we were like “okay, it’s over, SMU is walking, WWU isn’t coming back,” and then WWU started their press and while they couldn’t get it done… Both teams hit super clutch shots down the stretch and it was amazing. It epitomized March Madness.
Saint highlights: Luke Chavez had 20 points and a full house; Matt Dahlen had 10 boards; and off the bench BJ Standley had 11 points, while Tavian Henderson had six points.
Viking highlights:Trey Drechsel had seven boards and five assists; Deandre Dickson had 21 points, 10 boards, and a full house; Trevor Jasinsky had 14 points, five boards, and a full house; Daulton Hommes had 13 points and 11 boards; and off the bench Siaan Rojas had nine points and four assists.
WWU has to be reeling after this one. Shot 60% from the free throw line, lost by one. Make your darn free throws. That said: We think both SMU & WWU deserve bids in the Regional. We’ll dive into it further tomorrow, but… In brief: We’re not convinced of the CCAA & Pac-West, especially because the in-conference records of their 2 & 3 teams are similar, but they lost non-con to the GNAC, so we should own the tiebreakers.
Alright! Let’s preview the championship game:
#3 Saint Martin’s @ #1 Western Oregon @ 6:15pm PST
Alex Pribble and Jim Shaw are clearly the two best coaches in the conference, but we haven’t been able to decide who’s better. Jim Shaw is a Steve Kerr situation where he came in with pieces primed and then has pushed them into the stratosphere. Alex Pribble started from the bottom, now he here.
We really don’t have an opinion on who wins this game. We lean toward WOU just because they won both of the prior meetings, but you never know. SMU will be fighting insanely hard because they’re considered a bubble team. WOU is going to be fighting insanely hard because for some reason hosting is still on the line; the committee would much rather send the tournament to a California school. Super frustrating PNW pride all day. In our heart of hearts we think WOU will win because defense does in fact win championships AND they have the best player in the conference by far, but we’ll still say…
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Should be a great night of basketball. We try to be more Switzerland for the men, but… We can admit the SPU women are ours and in the championship game, so we will be biased and say GO FALCONS on that front.
The games are being streamed on ESPN 3, so tweet at us if you’re watching!
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!!