Up a little bit late, and so… Let’s jump right in.
All times pacific. <— All times are being played in pacific time regardless today (and on Thursday) but ah well. Rituals.
MSUB @ CU-PDX @ 2pm
MSUB played WOU respectably, while at the same time we feel like this could be a chance for CU-Portland to pick up a win? Do we seriously think it’s going to happen? No. But it could happen, which is a lot more than can be said about other CU-PDX games this year. The Brendan/Dakota match-up should be good and we’re curious to see the types of numbers put up, because the strategy likely to be employed by CU-PDX will likely be different than we’ve seen of other, better teams. Our thought would be that CU-Portland would in fact try to shut down Brendan, with the thought being that if they can do that, there’s such a drop-off with other MSUB players that the game becomes decently evenly matched. Now, how they’ll shut down Brendan is anyone’s guess; we would probably veer toward a by-committee approach rather than just throwing Dakota at him the entire time, because if you just throw Dakota at him, Dakota is simply going to end up in foul trouble and then BH can do what he wants regardless and now the Cavs are down their second best player. That said, we’ll see.
Prediction: MSUB wins.
UAF @ SPU @ 4:15pm
We’re sooo excited to watch this game. We really like the numbers and rotations UAF has been putting up and so it could and should be decently dicey. In our post non-con review, UAF is really the only “outlier” team that we see having a legitimate shot to vie for the autobid in the conference tournament -outlier meaning that there’s still a reasonable chance they don’t even make the conference tournament, but if they do they have massive upset potential. The fact is, the Nanooks have a crazy number of guys that have had crazy good games, which means they’re not relying on one person to get hot, but can rely on any number of them. We’ve seen greatness out of Shadeed Shabazz, Spencer Sweet, Quinn Daugharty, Koby Huerta, Mawich Kachjaani, Keshaun Howard, and Alex Sommerfield. While they’re not consistent, the odds are there on any given night that SOMEONE is going to be out of their mind, which means teams have to be super flexible in their game planning because you don’t know who it’s going to be and UAF has proven that they’re willing to get it to the hot hand. Super dangerous.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
UAA @ SMU @ 5pm
Another really great game. UAA is coming off a close loss to SPU, SMU is coming off of a loss to UAF that just screamed “inexperience,” which makes sense because they’re so young and so new. Every game has the potential to be that game where the Saints come together or where they completely fall apart. There’s really no telling what could happen in this game, because SMU has a pretty tight line-up, while UAA has been so inconsistent that Rusty Osborne has taken to completely swapping things in attempts to inject energy and so ultimately the guys settle down and settle in. We’ll see what happens in this game; we see it as a situation where either team could lose close, or UAA could win big, but SMU would at most win by seven or so.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
CWU @ SFU @ 7pm
This game feels very similar to the MSUB/CU-PDX game. SFU is the better team, but there’s not enough of a gap so the answer is obvious. While SFU has a good home court advantage, the fact is that CWU is 0-3 and likely know this is one of their better chances to actually pick-up a win. The bad news is that the tables have turned and when we think of the SFU team, there are so many guys that can get hot and make shots, and the Wildcats just haven’t shown that yet this year. They can keep things close, they can take things down to the wire, but there’s no guy on the team that we would describe as ‘reliable’ just yet. This would be a good game for Gamaun Boykin, Matt Poquette, and Kevin Baker to all really step up their defense (if possible) and dig in, but… Will it happen? Not sure. With SFU, the big things to keep an eye on will be Wil Balata not taking stupid shots and then Mike Provenzano and Mike Hannan continuing to click into gear, particularly Mike Hannan on defense.
Prediction: SFU wins.
NNU @ WWU @ 7pm
THIS SHOULD BE AN AMAZING GAME. WWU is more talented but NNU is better fundamentally. NNU is another team that we’ve been waiting to fully click into gear because we truly believe in their guys and their abilities, it’s just a matter of locking them down and tightening things up. WWU it’s pretty near impossible for them to tighten things up, but they are really talented and so… We’ll see how much more talented they are than NNU. We really don’t think the gap is that big, and so if NNU can be self-disciplined with their shooting, they should have a really great chance of procuring another ‘W.’ That said, as much as we like them; they still got blown out by an SMU team that looks very middle-of-the-pack, so they also could lose big to this super talented Vikings team. We shall see.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
All this post has made us think is that we finally want to start coaching again. Alas, it’ll have to wait until April because we’re busy with you all until the end of March.
Today we’ll be at SPU in our usual spot. Come say ‘hi’ if you want.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC, and we’ll see y’all tomorrow morning.