Hoooo boy. We figured we’d wait until today to talk about possibilities regarding the final two spots of the tournament because we wanted to get through WWU @ SFU and UAF @ UAA.
UAF 86 @ UAA 100
Just when you’d think UAA was about to break it open, UAF would hit shots. The Seawolves didn’t manage to distance themselves until about eight minutes left in the game. Is that a moral victory? Eh. If you’re really bad and your rival is fighting for a spot in the conference tournament, we struggle to see the moral victory in staying with them. Crush their dreams. Congrats to Anchorage on not falling for the dream crushing.
Nook highlights: Tymoryae Glover had 10 points and foul trouble; Spencer Sweet had 16 points; and Michael Kluting is back to earth with 11 points and five boards. Off the bench Tre Eisenhut had good game with 19 points; Jaqua Morrow had 18 points; and Isaiah Easaw had five points.
Seawolf highlights: Tyler Brimhall had 33 points; Brennan Rymer had a double-double with 15 points and a whopping 13 assists; Jack Macdonald was on FIRE had had 24 points on great shooting including 6-7 from three; and off the bench Brian Pearson had seven points and eight boards.
Wow. Six players fully functioning on the Seawolves. We’re surprised and pleased, but… If it takes you six players functioning, when only four function, and you’re merely beating this year’s version of the Nanooks… Ooof. Congrats on the win Seawolves. You’re still fighting.
WWU 73 @ SFU 76
HOOOOOLY. Okay, the Vikings aren’t as good as they normally are, but we got up there only to find that the Clan’s Julian Roche was out with an injury. We’re not sure specifically what, but the lack of a visibly disabled extremity makes us think concussion. The Clan managing to get a win against a fundamentally sound team without their big bangin’ center is big, big, BIG.
Viking highlights: Tyler Payne had 20 points; and Trevor Jasinsky went 6-6 from the line and had seven boards. Off the bench Tucker Eenigenburg had eight points; and KJ Bosco continues to impress with 15 points on good shooting among a full house of stats.
Clan highlights: Othniel Spence had 11 points; Wil Balata had 13 points while going 5-6 from the line; Mike Provenzano had 12 points among a plethora of field stats; Jasdeep Singh was OUT OF HIS MIND with 31 points and seven boards; and off the bench Bongani Moyo had five boards.
As great as it was to see Jasdeep have such an awesome game… We think he would have preferred less points but with the assistance and presence of Julian. Ah well, a win’s a win, and a win without one of your best players is HUGE. Good teams find a way to win and that’s exactly what the Clan did. Congrats to the Vikings on some really cerebral play and congrats to the Clan on procuring a victory over adversity.
So… What’s the situation with the conference tournament? Complicated. Very complicated.
SFU is 9-9
UAA is 9-10
WWU is 8-10
MSUB is 8-10
SFU and WWU both play two games hosting WOU and CU-PDX respectively.
UAA has their final game against MSUB.
MSUB has their two final games against UAF and UAA.
Prediction-wise… We expect MSUB to end up at 9-10, UAA to end up at 10-10, SFU to end up at 10-10, and WWU to end up at 9-10.
If that happened, it would simply be UAA and SFU in the conference tournament.
Unfortunately for WWU, not everyone ahead of them can lose. WWU’s best case scenario would be:
In that scenario WWU makes the tournament. But if they were to drop one game and MSUB were to beat UAA but lose to UAF, we could end up with a scenario of all four teams being 9-11, and how does that tiebreaker work?
WWU split with UAA and SFU, and is 0-2 against MSUB.
SFU split with UAA, WWU, and MSUB.
UAA split with SFU, WWU, and in this scenario would be 0-2 against MSUB.
MSUB holds the tiebreaker over WWU and UAA.
In the case of UAA vs. SFU vs. WWU where they’ll have all split straight up, we believe the tiebreaker goes to the team with the best record against the top teams and in that case it’ll be dependent on what’s gone on between the Puget Sound schools and NNU.
UAA is 0-4 against the Puget Sound schools but split with NNU.
SFU is 1-3 against the Puget Sound schools but split with NNU.
WWU is 1-3 against the Puget Sound schools and 0-2 against NNU.
Basically: It’s a mess and we’re not going to know until we know. This happened back in 2017 as well, so… We shall see. And we know that holding your breath through an entire basketball game is unhealthy, but… Eh. Oh well =)
Game previews will be up tomorrow morning.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!