Mostly just writing this for the GNAC context and so we know what we’re looking at next week going into the NCAA tournament.
#6 Art U. 64 vs. #3 Chaminade 90
As far as we saw, this was never really a game. Art U. is typically among the really bad Pac-West schools and so we’re starting to think that them making it to the conference tournament and then getting blown out is a signal that the conference is even more top-heavy than normal.
Knights highlights: Josh Hill had 23 points and 14 rebounds for the double-double; Victor Ruiz de Carranza had five boards; and off the bench Dante Williams had nine points and six boards among a full house of stats.
Silverswords highlights: Andre Arissol had 24 points; Elet Donley had 15 points and six boards; Bil Awet had 15 points in 20 minutes on perfect shooting; and Kendall Small had six boards, 10 assists, and 12 points for the double-double, wow. Off the bench Isaac Amaral-Arathree had 16 points; and Kevin Kremer had nine boards.
Honestly? Academy of Art’s numbers were so bad and Chaminade’s were so good, that we’re kind of thinking Chaminade isn’t quite as good as we were thinking/hoping they were? It’s too big of a discrepancy, meanwhile Chaminade still has some puzzling losses and a 15-7 record in conference play, in a conference that sent a 10-12 team to the six team conference tournament.
GNAC context: It’s a bit too soon to say, but… We like NNU and WOU’s odds against Chaminade, despite the fact that both teams lost today.
#5 Biola 86 vs. #4 CU-Irvine 77
This game actually matched the UAA/NNU game really well. We felt like CU-I was in control most of the way and yet then at the end Biola got it back and got the win. Biola has a 13-9 conference record and we’ll be honest: We don’t know nearly as much about them as we do CU-I, but… All the better to burst bubbles?
Biola Eagle highlights: Chris Rossow had 31 points and six steals on solid shooting and while going 6-6 from the line; Michael Bagatourian had 18 points, six boards, and six assists; Whitten Dominguez had 17 points and five fouls while going 5-6 from three; Jesse Elrod had 12 points and seen boards; and Alex Right had eight boards among a full house of stats in 40 full minutes. No real bench play.
CU-I Eagle highlights: Kayle Knuckles had 21 points; Robert McCoy had 16 points; Andre Green had 14 points; and Jamel White had six assists. Off the bench Kyle Gray had seven points; Cameron English had seven points and four rebounds in just 11 minutes; and Austin Clark had six points.
Interesting, so while CU-I was deeper, Biola got way more out of their starters. Biola out-rebounded CU-I 32-24, so that’s an interesting number. As noted on twitter: CU-Irvine would like to say that this burst their bubble, but… We don’t think it really did. We think the losses to WWU and SPU early meant that the Eagles of Concordia-Irvine were going to have to have a pretty darn amazing conference record in order to undo it, and… They finished fourth. They were going to have to win the tournament to get a bid this year; the CCAA is just too good, as are PLNU, APU, and Chaminade.
Let’s be real here: the only interesting thing about tonight’s Pac-West games was the Biola upset, and even that’s paltry because when SPU was busy looking like a mess early in the year, they still beat CU-Ivine, so… Congrats Biola? Sincerely looking forward to seeing what you do against Azusa Pacific tomorrow.
Our GNAC Tournament Day #2 preview will be up in the AM.
Be safe, have fun, and as always: West Coast is best coast!