Previewing the 1st Round!!

Gooood morning! We are wheels up to San Diego as we’re writing this and then you’ll be reading it shortly after we touch down.

There are four potentially AMAZING games ahead of us today, and so… Let’s talk about them.

All times pacific.

#3 Saint Martin’s vs. #6 CU-Irvine @ 12pm

This game intrigues us. This is the D2 equivalent of the 5-12, and so… Saint Martin’s is going to have to be on high alert. Jordan Kitchen, Jared Matthews, and Rhett Baerlocher are likely to ultimately be the major difference makers, because regardless as to how their shots are falling, they are going to be rebounding and playing really smart basketball. The either/ors come from Luke Chavez, EJ Boyce, and BJ Standley. Can one of them get hot? We shall see. If they don’t and CU-I sticks to teamwork focused fundamental basketball, it could be a really long night for the Saints.

Prediction: Pick ’em.

#2 Seattle Pacific vs. #7 Chaminade @ 2:30pm

Personally, we’re terrified of this game. Last time SPU was a 2 seed (back in 2014), they got bounced in the first round after being up by 25 on Stanislaus. Chaminade is a really good team, they gave Point Loma all they could handle earlier this season, they made a solid run in both conference play and in the conference tournament, and the Falcons are going to have to be on their toes the whole time because it doesn’t matter what you can do, it matters what you actually do.

Prediction: Pick ’em.

#4 UC San Diego vs. #5 Cal Poly Pomona @ 5:15pm

On the one hand, we’re beyond annoyed that this game is happening. On the other hand, we’re super excited to watch it in person. The two teams have gone back-and-forth all year, they’re incredibly well matched, they matched up in the CCAA six days ago. Will their be fatigue after facing each other twice consecutively? Maybe. We could see one team go up by a fair bit and the other team reel them back in, we could see both teams being lethargic, or we could see both coming out in a fight to death. We’re hoping for the fight to the death.

Prediction: Pick ’em.

#1 Point Loma vs. #8 Western Oregon @ 7:30pm

Here’s the thing about Western Oregon: It’s a dangerous match-up because they’re good defensively, and they’re coming in hot having made the conference championship game, buuuut: that was on a neutral court. And WOU has a really, really bad record on the road. On the road they have losses to UAA, WWU, SPU, SMU, NNU, and CU-PDX. The other bad news is that SPU and Point Loma compare really favorably and WOU has two big losses to the Falcons (one home, one neutral), and there’s a running thought that Ryan Looney teams can’t win at Western Oregon, so… *rubs hands together* The Sea Lions lost to the Wolves in the Regional at WOU last year, Ryan Looney hasn’t won in that gym since 2013, and… Revenge is a dish best served hot and sweaty.

Prediction: Point Loma wins.

We’re excited. This is being posted right around halftime of the SMU/CU-I game and it’s mostly just as much of a mess as we expected.

Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!