GNAC Tourney Championship!

Sorry we’re late -we left the women’s game at 8:30pm Alaskan time, our flight got into Seattle at 2:15am pacific time, we had to be at work by 8am, and then almost immediately take a three hour long midterm. To say the last 24 hours have been insane is an understatement, but they were an insanely amazing 24 hours all the same.

This game…

#3 Saint Martin’s 55 “@” #1 Western Oregon 65

It felt like SMU was going to pull the upset for a long while and even once WOU kept hitting shots, you could tell the Wolves still felt uneasy. SMU wanted it more. We’re kind of envious of the WOU team SMU faced. When SPU played WOU, WOU was obnoxiously tenacious. For a huge stretch of this game they were flat-out apathetic and we’re ridiculously proud of SMU taking advantage it all they possibly could. We’ll get into bracketology after we go over highlights.

Saints highlights: Matt Dahlen had seven boards, six assists, and five fouls; Jordan Kitchen had six boards; Rhett Baerlocher had five fouls; and off the bench BJ Standley was 5-5 from the line to finish with 7 points; and Tavian Henderson had seven points.

Wolf highlights: Malik Morgan had five boards among a full house; Tanner Omlid had 11 boards; Vince Boumann had a huuuuge game with the double-double of 16 points and 13 boards; Ali Faruq-Bey had 11 points; and Riley Hawken finally broke out of his sophomore slump with 14 points and nine boards. Off the bench Brandell Evans had eight points and four boards among a flawless full house; and JJ Chirnside had five points and four boards.

It’s amazing SMU kept it as close as they did with numbers like they did. We feel like no one really did anything and yet they weren’t out of the game for too much of it. They’re kind of an enigma for us because we believe in such a fundamental style of basketball and that’s absolutely not what they play and yet they keep winning and so… Can’t really deny that. WOU didn’t take the game seriously from the get-go and it’s mildly irritating, but they got it done. We were a bit worried they wouldn’t and the Committee would send the Regional elsewhere, because yes: we think the Committee would do that despite WOU then only being a 2-loss team wiht the next closest being a four loss that SMU also beat.

And with that, let’s dive into the bracketology:

We hadn’t been keeping an eye on it because we believed so firmly that WOU would host the Regional and yet thought our conference tournament had the potential to send GNAC bids to ridiculously wacky places.

In the latest Regional Ranking, it looked as follows:

And we now realize the reason we weren’t keeping an eye on it is because we can define those records for you off the top of our head. We know non-con like the back of our hand and we knew the auto bids could have huge implications.

The auto bids are as follows:

GNAC: Western Oregon
Pac-West: Dixie State
CCAA: UC San Diego

If the committee is anything like us, they wish there would have been one more auto bid upset because honestly… We can’t name eight deserving teams.

  • Western Oregon didn’t lose in non-con, but boasts a resume including wins over Point Loma and Dixie State.
  • Cal Baptist has a loss to SMU.
  • Cal Poly Pomona has a loss to Cal Baptist.
  • Dixie State has losses to Western Oregon and Seattle Pacific.
  • Point Loma has a loss to Western Oregon and a win over SMU.
  • Saint Martin’s has a win at Cal Baptist and close loss to Point Loma.
  • Chico State didn’t play anyone in non-con.
  • Azusa Pacific has a loss to WOU, but we don’t even count it as a relevant win for the Wolves.
  • UC San Diego got the autobid, so they’re for sure in.
  • WWU has two ugly non-con losses, but a win over WOU in between those two losses.

Looking at the options… We honestly think WWU should be in. They played no one in non-con, but they had a huge winning streak, have a win over Western Oregon, and an insanely close loss to tournament-bound SMU. When you broach the “who would you rather play?” question, we would so much rather play Azusa than Western Washington. The Vikings should be in. They probably won’t be, but they should be. And we don’t say that easily; we hate their non-con scheduling and think they’re pathetic losers for the way they schedule, but: We have the strongest conference, they have a better record than Azusa, and they have a win over WOU as well as two QualityLosses™ to SMU.

Alright, so… Here’s our definitely wrong bracket:

1. Western Oregon -only loss comes to a team that should be in the tournament.
2. Dixie State -quality losses in non-con, only two losses to tournament bound teams in conference; if WOU had lost to SMU, we bet the committee would have sent the Regional to St. George despite the head-to-head.
3. Cal Baptist -losses come via Dixie, at Chaminade, and SMU.
4. Saint Martin’s -win over Cal Baptist on the road, closer loss to a better WOU team than Cal Poly Pomona.
5. Cal Poly Pomona -their record is impressive, but they still didn’t play anyone in non-con.
6. UC San Diego -what have you done for me lately? Win the conference tournament and play a legit non-con.
7. Western Washington -avoiding the in-conference match-up in the first round; they should be 8th.
8. Chico State Point Loma; better record than Azusa and do have wins over a number of Regional-bound teams.

Alright, it’s up at literally 7:29, but it is up. Tweet at us!