Let’s Talk About the Bracket.

This is as wrong as we’ve ever been about a D2West bracket and yet we still like it better than last year’s?

As much as we dislike some of the match-ups, it does match our core feelings really well in that GNAC was bad and the Committee took that into account way more than we thought they would.

1 – UCSD – Duh.
2 – APU – Stand by it.
3 – CPP – Yup.
4 – SPU – You really had to go and do this, huh?
5 – Chico – Yup.
6 – PLNU – Yup.
7 – CSUSB – We’re guessing East Bay keeping it close against UCSD made this possible.

Basically what this bracket does is say that the GNAC is terrible, and mathematically it was. We’ve said it all year. We said it in the bracketology post. We just didn’t think they would actually seed a tournament winner that finished 2nd in their conference, 8th.

Is it bad that we’re kind of in love with this bracket? We usually never have any idea who’s going to win any given game, and yet the first rounds should be pretty low-key, with the exception of Cal Poly Pomona vs. Point Loma.

UCSD will beat WWU.
Chico will beat SPU.
APU will beat CSUSB.

And thus…

UCSD vs. Chico

It seems like this bracket was geared toward the second round match-ups way more than the first. All the first does is get the bad teams out without any upset potential. Chico vs. SPU does not count as an upset because SPU is blatantly seeded too high. And no, we don’t feel that way about APU because APU proved themselves in non-con and then Biola gave PLNU all the Sea Lions could handle as well.

With our preferred bracket:

UCSD beats Chaminade (or CSUSB; doesn’t matter.)
APU and WWU takes it to the wire, more likely than not.
CPP and SPU takes it to the wire, more likely than not.
Chico and PLNU takes it to the wire, more likely than not.

And then in the second round, you either have:

UCSD vs. PLNU or Chico State
APU vs. SPU or Cal Poly Pomona

And we’ve found the reason they seeded the bracket as they did. Had they seeded it as it arguably should have been, it would have been widely considered that the Pac-West and GNAC had the advantages, despite the CCAA being definitively the best conference.

We get the arguments for San Bernardino over Chaminade, namely that the Pac-West was extremely top-heavy with APU and PLNU, while the CCAA was definitely the strongest and so they deserve four teams, but… We also think it’s a product of the seeding. San Bernardino being a 7th seed when they got bounced in the first round seems highly questionable. And it’s not like they were upset by a 7th seed; a 4/5 match-up is wholly legit and they lost that battle. Go Pioneers!

On the whole, we’re 100% good with this bracket. This year is a throwaway because of UCSD and so…

We look forward to watching UCSD hopefully tear through the bracket (or be upset by Chico State) and then getting down to business contemplating whether next year’s GNAC will be as chaotic as this year’s.

Game previews’ll be up on Friday morning.

Be safe, have fun, and as always: West coast is best coast!