Here is the bracket:
Just so we’re clear:
- Point Loma
- Seattle Pacific
- Saint Martin’s
- Cal Poly Pomona
- Western Oregon
Quite honestly… We can’t stand this bracket. This is why D2 brackets should be decided Regionally because unlike D1 where it’s easy to watch all of the good teams and conferences, the Regions know best.
Point Loma at #1 makes sense.
Seattle Pacific at #2 makes sense.
Saint Martin’s at #3 MAKES NO DARN SENSE. They didn’t make their conference championship game and they only barely won their conference regular season title. They’ve been fading. They lost to WOU by 15 and barely beat GNAC #9 Central Washington as the last game of the season. We also dislike it because we consider CU-Irvine to be THE MOST favorable match-up out of any of the top four seeds.
UC San Diego at #4 on the surface makes enough sense.
Cal Poly Pomona at #5 MAKES NO DARN SENSE. Cal Poly Pomona and UC San Diego LITERALLY JUST FACED EACH OTHER. They also both are clearly hotter than Saint Martin’s and UCSD had a blow-out win over the Saints in non-con if you want to make that argument. If you’re making the argument that non-con doesn’t matter, then Cal Poly Pomona ALSO won their conference regular season title AND made it to their conference championship game. Either way it spells UCSD and CPP over Saint Martin’s.
CU-Irvine at #6 makes okay sense, and we are really curious to see them match-up with SMU. While CU-I had a blow-out loss to SPU in non-con, it’s been a long time and they managed to remain #2 in the Pac-West all year, plus lost respectably to Point Loma both late in the season and in the Pac-West championship game.
Chaminade at #7 makes sense. We made that argument in the final bracketology post.
Western Oregon at #8 makes questionable sense. They just beat Saint Martin’s. Yeah, there’s the whole “what have you done for me lately” thing, um, they made the freaking GNAC championship game. “They lost to both SMU and SPU in the second match-up of the season. They just got blown out by SPU.” Yeah, and their non-con was questionable too, we get it: They were an at-large bid and you can’t place them at #7 because SPU was so solidly the #2 seed, buuuuuut now you have a team that just beat the almost-#1 seed, in southern California where they could reasonably upset the actual #1 seed.
All to say: We hate the bracket, but it makes as much sense as it can with the eight best teams in the west all receiving a bid. It would have been easy and far less complicated to leave Chaminade out, but there is no question that they are better than East Bay, and the bracket as it is will make for some really fun match-ups.
A reminder of the match-ups because the screen cap sucks:
#1 Point Loma vs. #8 Western Oregon
#2 Seattle Pacific vs. #7 Chaminade
#3 Saint Martin’s vs. #6 CU-Irvine
#4 UC San Diego vs. #5 Cal Poly Pomona
We wrote all of that as soon as the bracket was announced, and then decided to sit on it for about 24 hours to see if we calmed down.
Overall… We agree with what we wrote last night. Our preferred bracket at this point would be:
- Point Loma -Duh.
- Seattle Pacific -Questionable non-con, but good run in-conference, and conference tourney champions.
- UCSD -Good non-con, questionable in the late season, but righted the ship and became conference tourney champions.
- Cal Poly Pomona -Non-existent non-con, but good run in-conference, and made the tourney championship game.
- Saint Martin’s -Good non-con, good run in-conference, but starting to look a little tired.
- Western Oregon -Upset the would-be #1 seed, has wins over all of the top GNAC teams, peaking at the right time.
- CU-Irvine -Questionable non-con but the consistent #2 to a quality Point Loma all year.
- Chaminade -Decent non-con, good run in-conference, but #3 in both the regular season and the conference tourney.
The flaws with that bracket include:
- Two Pac-West teams playing immediately but they were on opposite sides of the conference tournament bracket and so they didn’t just play each other, unlike the actual bracket that has the CCAA championship game being repeated six days later. We’re so annoyed about that. Like we get that it’s only eight teams, but seriously?!
- Saint Martin’s being seeded higher than the WOU team that just beat them but by WOU not being eighth there is tacit acknowledgement that they did make it to their conference championship game.
- CU-Irvine was a bubble team; while you could make an argument that they’re seeded lower than they might be, as noted in Bracketology Pt. 4, they had the possibility of their bubble being burst, and so a 7th is still reasonable.
Those arguments made and how much we dislike this bracket covered… The regional format is the Regional format, and it means that you have to play everybody. Our favorite reference: In 2013, three of the top four teams overall nationally were in the west region: Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, and Cal Poly Pomona. They all played the first round against other opponents, and then SPU and Cal Poly Pomona met in the round of 32, and SPU and WWU met in the round of 16. It sucked.
But that’s not this year. This year, it was amusing watching the selection show and listening to the guys rave about various regions and talk about how “strong Division II is right now,” meanwhile we’re sitting there going “NOT THE WEST REGION!” Thankfully they didn’t wax poetically about how great the West Region is, merely noted the parity. That’s fair, lol. But just a reminder: PARITY DOESN’T MEAN GOOD. It just means parity. West Coast Life. Pac-12 football; different league, different sport, same sh*t.
We’re curious to look at the numbers our Region puts up vs. a few of the other Regions. We’re also curious to see what happens at our Regional. From a match-ups standpoint, the bracket is compelling.
Those are our thoughts on the bracket. Our “all tournament team” and/or our MVP of the GNAC tournament will be up tomorrow.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!