Well that didn’t go as expected:
#1 Western Oregon 76 vs #3 Cal Baptist 80
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had 11 boards and five assists; Ali Faruq-Bey was on fire and finished with 26 points; Riley Hawken was solid and had 11 points and five fouls. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell lit it up with 16 points; and JJ Chirnside had eight boards.
WOU never led for any consistent amount of time, at times it would appear Cal Baptist was walking away with it, and then the Wolves would hit shots. In the final minute, we thought “it’s over,” and yet Demetrius hit a three and Cal Baptist missed two free throws meanwhile having no timeouts. WOU had a chance to send it into OT with a two or win it with a three, we agree 100% with the play they ran, but Tanner Omlid missed the lay-up, we believe Ali missed the putback, and then Cal Baptist got their hands on the ball and it was over. Brutal.
It’s especially brutal when you factor in the idea that Cal Baptist was at home for their conference tournament and Western Oregon had to go all the way up to Anchorage.
The UAA Men’s Basketball twitter called us out for our rant, and so we’ll elaborate a bit more: Initially we loved the idea that the tournament was in Anchorage. We were super excited to go, we had a really fun time at the tournament, we liked the idea that the Alaska schools would for once have an advantage, but by the time it was all said and done and we’d been through the back-to-back with NCAAs, we realized that sending it up there isn’t worth it.
It’s a disadvantage to nine teams to send it to Anchorage, and even with the advantage of not having to travel, both UAA teams (men’s and women’s) were bounced in their first respective games anyway -one an upset, one not. It was a good experiment, but in our opinion it failed. We have nothing against the Alaska schools, but when you commit to one of the Alaska schools or MSUB, you’re committing to an insane amount of travel. The GNAC travel schedule is already bad enough for the I-5 corridor schools, so why make it worse?
If you haven’t experienced the GNAC travel schedule… We wouldn’t recommend it. The greatest example that we can give of how exhausting it is, is that we got Hepatitis A just as the season ended one year and we didn’t even realize we were sick for six+ weeks because the major symptom was exhaustion and we simply attributed it to basketball. When we mentioned it to a GNAC coach later, they went “I wouldn’t have realized it either! I would have just assumed I was tired from the season.”
There’s no point to make that exhaustion even worse with an extra trip to Timbuktu. Plus, the Billings tournament was terribly attended as was the Anchorage. Experiment was tried twice. It failed both times. Oh well. These are student-athletes. Keeping it at Saint Martin’s keeps the distraction and missed classes as minimal as possible, the sleep disruption as minimal as possible, and therefore puts us in the best position to have teams ready for the NCAA tournament.
And speaking of the NCAA tournament, as sad as we are that WOU lost in the Sweet 16…. Holy guacamole did we have a blast at the Regional. To those that didn’t make it: If WOU hosts again: GO! Fun gym, fair priced tickets and concessions, good parking, good staff. The school is fairly easy to get to; from Seattle, it was a four hour trip. Other bonuses include the fact that Oregon doesn’t have sales tax + they pump your gas for you! So nice and convenient.
To the West Region teams, staff, volunteers, and fans in attendance: Thank-you again for being so friendly and hospitable! We loved it. The games were so great we wished there had been more of them.
All of that said: the entire season was amazing, we can’t wait to talk about it, player-of-the-year will be up tomorrow, and then all conference teams later this week.
Once again: Congrats and thank-you to Western Oregon for an amazing season & Regional.
Hope you all survived losing an hour of sleep. Wishing another round of congrats to Saint Martin’s, just because we are ridiculously proud of them and love that program so much.
That said: Western Oregon is still going strong and it’s time to preview their game tonight!
#1 Western Oregon vs. #3 Cal Baptist @ 7pm pacific daylight time
Basically the only acceptable result is that WOU wins big. While impressions no longer matter from a committee perspective, we still think it matters from a Western Oregon mindset perspective. The Wolves are really good, their defense tenacious, their teamwork unrelenting, and their coaching elite. For the most part, we’re not super concerned about this game, but there still remains that little inkling of doubt because at times individual players have looked really bad. Basically every scorer they have can veer on the streaky side, including Vince Boumann who arguably should be easily reliable via the feed-the-big route. We’ll see how it goes. Cal Baptist has some good guys (looking at you Jason Todd & Kalidou Diouf) and they should hopefully continue to prep WOU well for the Elite Eight.
SMU beat Cal Baptist at Cal Baptist, before losing to WOU three times, so…
Prediction: WOU wins, hopefully big.
We’re actually not going to be at this game, but we will be watching it and so tweet at us! Post’ll be up in the AM about the result.
See this is why we don’t talk about the Pac-West and CCAA: Because we have no idea. But it was a ridiculously fun day of games, so we’ll give you their results anyway!
#3 Cal Baptist 81 vs. #6 UC San Diego 67
No real idea what happened in this game, but skimming the box score it apparently was back and forth all game before Cal Baptist successfully made a move with about seven minutes left to go and then walked from there on out. Congrats to the Lancers!
#2 Dixie State 65 vs. #7 Azusa Pacific 69
We never saw this result coming. For some reason we were convinced of Dixie State even though we weren’t impressed when we watched them in non-con. Dixie has a history of coming on strong late and they had an impressive conference record, beat Azusa by 15 the last time the teams met, and yet… Holy guacamole this game was good. Each half seemed to pass in about a minute. It was dynamic and amazing and our highest congrats to Azusa, getting the upset. Bon voyage Dixie State, it’s been real, have fun in the RMAC. We think they’re probably more amenable to confederate flags in those parts, so maybe you’ll have to bring that back?
Now for the real discussions:
#4 Cal Poly Pomona 58 vs. #5 Saint Martin’s 66
This game was molasses-y as all heck. Much as the Dixie/APU game went by in a hot second, this game seemed to take twice as long. SMU played smarter basketball than we’ve seen them play all year and this is the right time to do it and they got the win. We think they’re much more tested both via their non-con and their conference schedule, which likely helped. We’re sooo proud of the Saints! A couple of Western Oregon fans were heckling them as they walked out, saying they were scared of WOU, but… No. They don’t need to watch a ton of WOU blowing out Point Loma because oh gee, they met a week ago. We were there to see it, unlike the WOU big talkers.
Saint highlights: Luke Chavez had 16 points; Matt Dahlen had six boards and eight points; Rhett Baerlocher had eight points on perfect shooting from the line; and EJ Boyce continues to prove he’s the best EJ in the conference, this time having 19 points. Off the bench BJ Standley had five boards and five points; and Tavian Henderson had six boards.
Shorter line-up than usual. We thought CPP was out when they were down by sixteen, but they made a huge push and we were like “hmmm…” but ultimately SMU was playing some really good, Chico State-esque defense and it wasn’t going to happen. The only concerning number we see is EJ’s eight turnovers, but… That number is so high it seems like a one-off. He can’t possibly have that many turnovers again, so… Good he got that out of his system against the Broncos. Congrats to the Saints on a huge win and upset!
Point Loma 66 @ Western Oregon 73
This game was a tale of two halves. WOU absolutely blew out Point Loma during the first half, they were up ridiculous amounts the entire time, and it seemed ludicrous that Point Loma could come back. They did. The Sea Lions did come back. They never took the lead and even when they got it within four the game was still out of reach, but in terms of moral victories for a team that largely consists of underclassmen, it was huge. That said: the Wolves got it done and a ‘W’ is a ‘W’ is a ‘W,’ especially in the NCAA tournament.
Wolf highlights: Malik Morgan had 10 points and six assists; Tanner Omlid had 20 points among a full house of stats; Vince Boumann was LIGHTS OUT against his old coach and had 15 points and five boards; Ali Faruq-Bey had five boards; and Riley Hawken had five boards. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell had six points; and JJ Chirnside had six points.
Curious numbers by the Wolves because we feel like their bench was a lot more valuable than the numbers describe. Those guys run like dogs (no pun intended) and harassed the everliving stuff out of Point Loma. Now the trick will be just to stay on the grind. Luckily, we like the match-up they’re going into.
All times pacific standard.
#3 Cal Baptist vs. #7 Azusa Pacific @ 5pm
As we were reminded yesterday: We know nothing about the Pac-West, but that doesn’t stop the president and it won’t stop us. From what we can tell there’s a bit of a rivalry developing between these two teams; they both entered the Pac-West at the same time, they’ve both been really good since moving up to D2 and Cal Baptist is actually headed up to D1, so… Brief rivalry, but who knows? Maybe Azusa pulls the upset?
Prediction: No. Because we seriously have no idea.
#1 Western Oregon vs. #5 Saint Martin’s @ 7:30pm
Part of us is excited for this game and part of us is heartbroken because two GNAC teams facing off in the round of 32. They did just meet a week ago, and oddly enough there should be quite a bit of fuel for the fire. WOU didn’t play nearly as well as they could have, and yet if SMU had played just a bit better they probably could have won and thus won the conference tournament. We love both of these coaches, think they’re the cream of the crop in regard to the GNAC, and so that match-up will be fun to see again.
Prediction: No, because there’s just too many variables.
It should be a great night of hoops. As always: tweet at us & come say hi! We’ll be at both games. Community is the best part of basketball.
There’ll be some post burn in the coming weeks because we’ve written 90% of a few posts and then didn’t post them because we’re idiots, but oh well. Let’s preview the first day of West Region games!
All games played at Western Oregon University, all times pacific standard.
#6 UC San Diego vs. #3 Cal Baptist @ 12pm
These two teams met earlier this year and saw UCSD lose by five on the road at Cal Baptist. While we believe the seeding is right, we do think that either team can win. UCSD is running hot and coming on at the right time, having just won their conference tournament to get the auto-bid. Cal Baptist just lost to Dixie State in the conference tournament and will be looking to rebound from that. They should be fairly well matched, and it’s hard to say. We think that Cal Baptist will ultimately win a close one, but…
Prediction: Pick ’em.
#7 Azusa Pacific vs. #2 Dixie State @ 2:30pm
We’re excited for this game. We definitely showed our bias in terms of the GNAC thinking that WWU deserved the bid over Azusa, when really: No one deserved that bid, but WWU scheduled terribly in non-con, something we always complain about, and even while scheduling terribly they still managed to lose. They lost to a bad Hilo team as well as a bad Cal State East Bay team, so… We tip our cap to Azusa. You earned this bid, but we definitely don’t think you’ll win, seeing as you lost by 15 last time.
Prediction: Dixie State wins somewhere between comfortably (10 points or so) and a blow-out (20+).
#5 Saint Martin’s vs. #4 Cal Poly Pomona @ 5pm
This is the D2 equivalent to the 5 & 12 game of the D1 tournament. There’s no telling who’s going to truthfully win because it’s just as often that a 5 seed upsets a 4 seed. It’s always a really fun, really intense game, usually with scrappy play by the number 5 team. We like Saint Martin’s chances. They’re coming off of a loss to WOU, yes, but they played in the strongest conference in the west, they’re well tested from non-con, we think that WOU is a lot better than CPP, and so… We think that SMU has every chance to win it. Cal Poly Pomona won the regular season and then just lost to UCSD by two points in the CCAA tournament, but the CCAA is the weakest conference on the west coast this year and it doesn’t help that the Broncos played no one in non-con, so we’ll see.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
#8 Point Loma vs. #1 Western Oregon @ 7:30pm
We’re sooo excited for this game because these two teams started the season playing each other at Western Oregon and one of the teams is going to end their season in that same locale. In the first meeting Western Oregon won 70-69, Preston Beverly now of PLNU, formerly of MSUB had a good game, Tanner Omlid didn’t see a ton of minutes despite a lack of foul trouble, and so… We’re really curious to see how his minutes add up. He had an arguably terrible game in the conference championship game and so he’s going to be wanting to bounce back. Vince Boumann formerly played at PLNU and is going to want to have a good game against his old coach. Ryan Looney, formerly of SPU and now at PLNU, had an incredibly difficult time winning in the Western Oregon gym while he was at Seattle Pacific, and so that’ll be kind of a monkey on his back. We’re super curious about this game because we think WOU could easily blow out Point Loma, but at the same time Point Loma has all the potential of getting the upset.
Prediction: Western Oregon wins big/small/medium or PLNU wins a close one; PLNU won’t blowout the Wolves.
It should be a great day of hoops. We can’t wait. We’re missing the 1st game, but will be there for the second onward, so come say ‘hi!’
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
We’re thinking we’ll do something of six posts, up at 11, 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9pm, so… Be on the lookout.
Contained in this one: Results from Monday December 18th & Tuesday December 19th.
Seattle Pacific 90 @ Stanislaus State 79
Well that was unexpected, and that result was closer than the game actually was; SPU won convincingly -it wasn’t some pull away at the end thing. The big difference in this game from every other this year was they finally had their anticipated starting point guard in Gabe Colosimo.
Falcon highlights: Sam Simpson had 11 points; Gabe Colosimo had nine points, seven boards, and eight assists with ZERO turnovers; yes, it was THAT big of a difference; Tony Miller had 18 points and eight boards; and Gavin Long had 16 points. Off the bench Nihkil Lizotte had 15 points; and Nathan Streufert five boards.
Congrats on a nice win, Falcons!
MSUB 88 vs. Chaminade 100 @ Hawaii Pacific.
It may be an ‘L’ but it’s still West Region! That’s what we call a Quality Loss™.
Yellowjacket highlights: Zharon Richmond had 17 points and six boards; and the bench was all-star with Kobe Terashima being 9-11 and finishing with 19 points and four assists; Hafeez Abdul 19 points and six boards while going 5-7 from the line; and Daniel Shedden had 17 points.
While it’s a loss, those are interesting numbers and interesting names, because honestly: We don’t recognize half of them, so it means we get new guys to watch out for and officially be excited about! Woo-hoo. Hi Kobe & Hafeez! Better luck next time on that whole result thing, MSUB.
MSUB 71 @ Hawaii Pacific 73
On paper it looked like two well matched teams and in reality it was and HPU got the ‘W’ but it was still a super great game played by MSUB.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham had an amazing 25 points on good shooting; Zack Rollins had 23 points; and Sven Jeuschede had 10 points. Off the bench Kobe Terashima had seven boards; and the bench collectively grabbed seven boards.
Yikes on those turnovers, but really good rebounding numbers, Jackets!
Alaska Anchorage 59 @ CU-Portland 55
What we expected: UAA to lose if Jacob Lampkin didn’t play.What actually happened: Jacob didn’t play and UAA won anyway.
Seawolf highlights: Maleke Haynes had 10 points; DJ Ursery had an amazing breakout game with 22 points and 12 boards along with a full house; Josiah Wood had five boards; Jack MacDonald had eight points; and Brian Pearson had eight boards. Off the bench Curtis Ryan had seven points.
Overall great rebounding numbers Seawolves! Congrats on a good win.
Cav highlights: Bryan Michaels had 23 points and eight boards; and Chris Edward had nine boards and five blocks. Off the bench Taylor Harris had five points; Hunter Sweet had five boards and six points; and Deandre Stallings had five points as well.
Every time Concordia loses it legitimately confuses us because we expect them to win. They’re definitively in the upper half this year, or at least they should be, and while we get that Anchorage has a great history and all of that… This was a completely winnable game for CU-Portland and arguably rather critical, so we’ll see about that.
Alaska-Fairbanks 60 @ Western Oregon 81
We had actually planned on going to this game but got stuck in a snowstorm in the Oregon Cascades. Good to see we didn’t miss anything.
Nook highlights: Amenofis Mitchell had nine points; Alex Baham had 10 points; Joe Lendway had six boards; and Michael Kluting had nine points and six boards. Off the bench: Jalon McCullough had six points; an Tre Eisenhut continues to impress with 13 points.
Wolf highlights: Malik Morgan had nine points; Demetrius Tramell!! had nine points; Tanner Omlid had nine points and nine boards; Vince Boumann had 10 points, seven boards, and five assists, wow!; and Riley Hawken had 11 points. Off the bench Janvier Alaby had nine points; and Dustin Triano and Ali chipped in six points a piece.
Theory: Jim Shaw lets each of his starters hit 10 points and then says “enoughs enough.” Next thing you know he’s going to be listing Tanner Omlid as ‘DNP — Old.’ Riley Hawken got extra because he’s been slumping -we still believe in you Riley! You’re great. We missed you so much last year! Riley redshirted last year after playing fantastically at CU-Portland the year prior.
NNU 67 @ CWU 80
What we expected: A pick ’em game.
What actually happened: It was never close; CWU rolled the whole time.
Nighthawk highlights: Khalil Thompson had 22 points; Obi Megway had 16 points and five boards; Jayden Bezzant had eight points; and Maurice Jones was SILENCED with eight points and six boards. Off the bench Sam Roth had seven points.
Wildcat highlights: Khalil Shabazz had 15 points, seven boards, and five assists -whoa!; Jawan Stepney had 16 points and six boards; and Fuquan had a quiet game with 10 points and seven boards. Off the bench Marc Rodgers was 4-4 from the line; and Coleman Sparling had 10 points and six boards.
When we saw that Maurice Jones had a bad game, we assumed Fuquan had an insane game. Oddly enough nope. Go figure. Apparently they contained each other, lol. Really good win for the Wildcats -nicely done.
Congrats on some great wins, great SOS boosts, and continuing to carry on.
Happy Boxing Day!! Do you like that SFU? Canada actually celebrates Boxing Day as a real thing. Super cool.
This was written while we were waiting for the “results” games to be played, so we’re still including the previews.
UAA 50 @ WOU 82
Jacob Lampkin didn’t play. This game was never close. Oh dear. Congrats Wolves!! The evidence currently stands as: Wolves > Seawolves.
Seawolf highlights: Brian Pearson had eight boards and 16 points; and off the bench: DJ Ursery had seven points in just ten minutes; and Drew Peterson went 5-5 from the line. The Seawolves shot 81% from the line overall! Yay! Bright spot!
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had 10 points, five boards, and a full house in just 20 minutes of play; Vince Boumann had 15 points and was 7-9 from the field; and Riley Hawken was back in the starting line-up and had five boards. Off the bench Nick Nestell went 3-3 and had nine points; Janvier Alaby and Darius Luborn both had six points; Dustin Triano had six points and four boards; Ali Faruz-Bey had 12 points and four boards; and JJ Chirnside had six points and four boards.
Low rebounding numbers, but… WOU shot 66% from the field and 46% from three specifically. Wow. Nicely done by the Wolves, great job sharing the wealth, and good luck to the Seawolves in bouncing back.
UAF 81 @ CU-PDX 66
At one point CU-PDX led… And then they didn’t. We’re confused about this Concordia team, but we’re confused about a lot of GNAC teams and will get into that more later.
Nook highlights: Amenofis Mitchell had eight points; Alex Baham went 6-6 from the line; Davis Kimball had 17 points, eight boards, and a full house; Joe Landway had nine points; and Michael Kluting was dominant with 23 points and 10 boards. Off the bench Tre Eisenhut had seven points.
Cav highlights: Jace Cates had 7 points and five boards; Jarrett Gray had 22 points and seven boards; Chris Edward had 11 points and 14 boards!! for the double-double; and off the bench Taylor Harris had five points. Lots of good individual numbers, but apparently not cohesion as a team.
Congrats to the Nooks on a great one… Again: CU-PDX, we’re confused. The numbers are fine, and you’re a good team and we know it, and yet… This, at home, okay? Um, what?
Tampa 77 vs. WWU 86 @ Hawaii Pacific
Solid result, if not irrelevant. Congrats to the Viks on another win.
Viking highlights: Trey Drechsel was once again playing great with 30 points and seven boards on good shooting; Logan Schilder had 10 points; Deandre Dixon had 10 points and six boards; Trevor Jasinsky had eight boards and eight points; and Daulton had 13 points and and seven boards, but it wasn’t a particularly good game for him -key word: HIM. Off the bench Brett Kingma had seven points; and Siaan Rojas had eight points and four boards.
Congrats to the Viks on the win -the numbers looked good.
MSUB 81 vs. Hilo 63 @ Hawaii Pacific
Hilo has a losing record, but all good: A West Region win is a win we’re grateful for. Nicely done MSUB!!
Yellowjacket highlights: KENDALL DENHAM WAS HIMSELF!!!!!! He had 17 points including going 5-5 from the line; Zharon Richmond had a great game going 4-5 from the field and finishing with 11 points and a full house; Zach Rollins had 15 points and eight boards; and Sven Jeuschede had 12 points. Off the bench Zack Lessinger had a solid game with 10 points and five boards.
Nicely done Yellowjackets! Is it a road game technically? No. Will we count it as one? For now. We feel like being nice.
All times pacific.
SPU @ Stanislaus @ 7pm
This game is way more interesting than we thought it would be at the beginning of the season, largely because Stanislaus is way better than anticipated. The Warriors are currently 8-2 and SPU still has no idea what their identity is, so…
Prediction: Stanislaus gets the ‘W.’
MSUB vs. Chaminade @ Hawaii Pacific @ 9:30pm
Chaminade is looking really solid with wins over the Alaska schools, Dominguez Hills, Cal Baptist, and Hawaii-Hilo and losses coming via CU-Irvine and Hawaii Pacific. It’s essentially a home game for the Swords, and thus…
Prediction: Chaminade wins. No idea on the margin.
Oh dear Spillings… What is happening to you?
Next post’ll be up at 1pm.
Results and then predictions for today.
CWU 80 @ MSUB 75
Wildcats got it done, MSUB put up a great fight. Just when you thought CWU was walking away with it, MSUB came in and said “absolutely not, you guys are gonna have to work harder than that,” and while it got dicey, Central pulled it out.
Wildcat highlights: Khalil Shabazz had nine points; Jawan Stepney had 12 points, five boards, and five assists (with ZERO turnovers!); and Fuquan had 23 points and five boards along with zero blocks -we consider this Fuquan being contained. Off the bench Marc Rodgers was 6-8 from the line; Sage Woodruff had a good game with four boards and 16 points; and Coleman Sparling had six points.
Yellowjacket highlights: Zack Rollins had 12 points; and Sven Jeuschede had 20 points and five boards. Off the bench Kobe Terashima had five points; Zharon Richmond had 11 points; and Daniel Shedden was 5-6 from the field, 3-4 from the line, finished with 14 points, and grabbed five boards, and fouled out.
YIKES on those turnovers MSUB. 28. MSUB had -28- turnovers. Improvement every day, congrats to the Wildcats on the road win.
WWU 80 vs. Harding 76 (Central region) @ Hawaii Pacific
The good news is that WWU won. The bad news is that not only is Harding out of Region, they were 0-7 coming into this game. If we had looked into it ahead of time, we would have expected a 30 point WWU blow-out. The fact that they only managed to beat an 0-7 team by four makes our Region look weak as all heck. Go figure.
Viking highlights: Trey Drechsel had eight boards and a full house; Trevor Jasinsky had five boards; and Daulton Hommes WENT OFF with 37 points and 12 boards. Off the bench Brad Wallace had five points; and Siaan Rojas had 13 points and four boards.
Way to pull out the ‘W,’ WWU.
Now to preview tonight’s games…
All times pacific standard.
UAA @ WOU @ 5pm
We think WOU should kill UAA, but we feel it’ll be closer than that. The thing is, UAA just hasn’t shown to have anything outside of Jacob Lampkin. He plays well, they win; he sits out or plays badly, they lose. That’s what the evidence has been. Except in this case WOU has so many options like that. Tanner Omlid is critical, but it takes multiple people having a bad game in order for the Wolves to lose, and so… Talent disparity. Provided WOU doesn’t fall into a black hole, they should be fine.
Prediction: WOU wins comfortably but not outrageously.
UAF @ CU-PDX @ 5pm
We’re super curious about this game because it seems like CU-PDX and MSUB are fairly well matched and so we expect UAF & CU-PDX to be fairly well matched. On the one hand the Cavs are at home, but on the other hand it’s Christmas break and Christmas break games are always weird. We’ll see what happens.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
WWU vs. Tampa (South region) @ Hawaii Pacific @ 7:45pm
Tampa is 4-5. The Vikings are so talented they should win comfortably, but their record doesn’t imply that they will necessarily. As long as they don’t lose, things are fine, so c’mon Viks! Get it done.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
MSUB vs. Hilo @ Hawaii Pacific @ 10pm
This is sooo fun. We love late night hoops! Hilo has lost to every GNAC team except WWU, will MSUB keep that going? We’ll see. The thing is -they’ve beat both Biola and CU-Irvine, two Pac-West teams that look legitimate. Is the GNAC reaaaally good? Is the Pac-West reaaaally bad? Is it somewhere in between? We were thinking the GNAC was having an up year and yet… Now we’re not sure.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Should be a good night of hoops. We’ll try to get all but the MSUB/Hilo game results up in the previews post, but that game’ll be 50/50 because we have a super early wake-up tomorrow, so it may end up being included with Tuesday’s post instead.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
We’re going to go ahead and do the UAF/UAA preview first to get it out of the way:
Anything can happen in a rivalry game and neither team has looked particularly impressive thus far, although Anchorage definitely more so than Fairbanks. We’re curious to see what Jacob Lampkin does against the Nooks, but that’s pretty much it.
Now, for the Bracketology:
Teams that we think have a legit shot at an at-large bid even if they lose several games during conference play:
Cal State LA -they got killed by Cal Baptist, but it was on the road and they played non-con largely within the region with a solid mix of A-B-C teams.
UCSD -While they have three losses, those three losses come from Azusa Pacific, Cal Baptist, and Dixie State; all traditionally strong teams. They also have a win against WWU -another team that projects to be strong.
San Marcos -Solid non-con; only loss was a blowout against CU-Irvine, and they have wins against both Azusa Pacific and CU-Portland, both of whom project as middle-of-the-pack teams in their respective conferences. They’re honestly the epitome of a bubble team in regard to how non-con looks.
Cal Baptist -Only loss comes from a surprisingly good SMU team.
CU-Irvine -Only loss is to Seattle Pacific, has wins against San Marcos (A), Central Washington (B-), and Chico (B+).
Point Loma -They have wins against an SMU team that beat Cal Baptist, and a Simon Fraser team that doesn’t look as bad as it usually does. Their losses come from GNAC-leading WOU and a good UCSD team.
Western Oregon -Our choice for now to host the regional; they got through a quality non-con schedule completely unscathed and then their formal travel partner upset Cal Baptist for them.
Saint Martin’s -Stellar non-con, only loss is to Point Loma, and they have a win over Cal Baptist. Love it.
Seattle Pacific -We’re not thrilled with how the Falcons have looked as of late, but the fact is: They have wins over CU-Irvine and Dixie State, one of their losses was on the road in 2OT, and then the other loss was D2 but non-west region on the road.
MSUB -isn’t on this list because while undefeated, they play the bulk of their non-con schedule in a few weeks.
Teams to keep an eye on despite a meh non-con:
Cal Poly Pomona -Lost to Azusa Pacific, beat Dixie State, but both were home games and that was the entirety of their D2 non-con.
Chico State -Lost a close one on a neutral court to CU-Irvine, killed Biola and Dominican; this is a terrible non-con schedule, just saying.
San Fran State -Lost to CU-Portland on a neutral court, beat NNU in OT on the road, barely beat Academy of Art & Dominican. All four teams project to be B & C teams in their respective conferences, so while SFSU has an okay record right now, we’re not impressed.
Dixie State -They went through a positively brutal non-con, with losses coming via Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State LA, Western Oregon, and Seattle Pacific, and then their one win was against UCSD. Do they need to have a great regular season? Yes. Should they be able to do it? Absolutely. Dixie usually gets better as the year goes on, and again: they couldn’t have tested themselves any more in non-con.
Azusa Pacific -Another brutal non-con, and they have wins against UCSD, Cal Poly Pomona, and an SFU team that isn’t as bad as it normally is. Their losses come via WOU and San Marcos, so completely legitimate.
Chaminade -We want to see them win on the mainland. They barely beat Dominguez Hills, and while they beat the Alaska schools in Alaska, the Alaska schools are worse than normal this year.
Shockingly, we’re going to do the GNAC differently, because despite a meh non-con, almost every team is still in contention. Here are the teams that we think could only lose one or two games in conference, otherwise they’ll rely entirely on the auto-bid:
UAF -They barely played anyone and they only beat Hawaii Pacific.
UAA -Playing Holy Names is subtraction by addition. We get that they didn’t return anything, but they were projected to be wayyy better than they’ve proven thus far.
CWU -Played no one except CU-I and Hilo in non-con and they lost to CU-I at that. Sorry, but seriously two schools? Nope.
The good news for the three schools above is that CWU is a notoriously hard place to play, as are the Alaska schools, and then the conference tournament is hosted in Alaska. The bad news is that if everybody beats everybody and everyone ends up with four or five losses, they’re not going to deserve nor should they get the benefit of the doubt.
Is there quite a bit of the benefit of the doubt being given by teams that have proven themselves in the past, particularly in the Pac-West? Yes. But regeneration is much easier than starting from the bottom, and it’s such a big everybody’s-beaten-everbody-except-WOU that it’s what we’re going with. It’s awesome. It should be a really fun regular season.
And yes: the GNAC came out looking fantastic in non-con. Congrats in particular to CU-Portland, Northwest Nazarene, and Simon Fraser for still being in contention for at-large bids!
One question we’re now contemplating… If by February 1st it looks like neither Alaska school is going to make the conference tournament, is there any way we can send it back to Lacey instead? Just thinking out loud here.
Have fun, be safe, go GNAC!
First and foremost: We owe the Saints cookies. Really good cookies. And this week is nuts and so they may be waiting a week for them, but we promise: We will hold up to our end of the bargain because they may have just sent the Regional to Monmouth. Why wouldn’t it be hosted in Lacey? Because they lost to Point Loma. The only way to give yourself a legitimate shot at hosting is to get through non-con completely unscathed OR go something like 19-1 in conference, and quite frankly: this is the GNAC. Pac-12 football thinks they know the Circle of Suck; oh no, no, no… When you don’t know the final order of 8/11 schools until after the very last conference game has been played, that’s when you really know the circle of suck. At least last year. This year it may be termed the Circle of Strength, in no small part thanks to SMU!
UC San Diego 80 vs. UAF 56 @ WWU
Praise the lawd. Sorry Nooks, love you, but this needed to be how it is.
Nook highlights: Joe Lendway shot well, finishing with 13 points and six boards; and Michael Kluting had a good game with 19 points and five boards.
Oh dear. Still Nooks, learning experience, right? Right.
CU-PDX 69 @ Cal State LA 91
Not surprised on this score; Cal State LA looks really legit this year, so it’s fine from a conference perspective. Learning and growing moment, eh?
Cav highlights: Jarrett Gray had five assists and 14 points; and Christopher Edward had eight boards, 19 points, and five fouls. Off the bench Bryan Michaels had eight points; Deandre Stallings had seven points; and Daniel Thiesen had eight points on perfect shooting.
Quality loss, men.
SPU 77 @ Westminster 83
Honestly we’re not concerned about this loss. They’re RMAC, it was on the road, big whoop. The Falcons didn’t look particularly impressive and it is what it is.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had six boards; Sam Simpson had five boards and 11 points; Nikhil Lizotte had five boards and 11 points; and Tony Miller had 17 points. Off the bench Braden Olsen had six points; Harry Cavell had 12 points; and Nathan Streufert had seven points and five boards.
WOU 87 @ Notre Dame de Namur 48
There we go.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid shot fantastically and finished with 11 points and four steals; Ali Faruq-Bey finally was felt with 19 points; and Riley Hawken had 10 points. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell had 10 points; Janvier Alaby had nine points; and Dustin Triano, Brandell Evans, and JJ Chirnside added five points a piece.
SFU 55 @ Point Loma 79
Welcome back to reality Simon Fraser. No, we don’t think you’re going to be the conference basement dweller like you have been, but we also don’t think Point Loma is quite as good as you made them look, which gets complicated when you factor in that you’re not as bad as normal.
Clan highlights: Othniel Spence had 20 points; and Iziah Sherman-Newsome had 10 points.
SMU 93 @ Cal Baptist 88
Saint hightlights: MATT DAHLEN had 16 points and 10 boards for the DOUBLE-DOUBLE; JORDAN KITCHEN had 14 points and seven boards rounded out with a FULL HOUSE; EJ BOYCE had nine points and FIVE assists; LUKE CHAVEZ had 17 points and five assists on GREAT SHOOTING. Off the bench JARED MATTHEWS had 19 points on good shooting; BJ STANDLEY had five points; and TAVIAN HENDERSON had 10 points.
There are no words. We saw this result and started freaking out, and we’re still freaking out this morning. Holy heck Saints, thank-you so much!!
NNU 93 @ Regis 103 in OT
Another loss we don’t really care about because it’s an RMAC opponent and NNU looks good, so whatever.
Obi Megwa had 16 points and seven boards; Nikola Prvulj had 12 points; and Maurice Jones had 18 points, nine boards, and five fouls. Off the bench KHALIL THOMPSON had 29 points on very good shooting; and Marko Lepovic had five points and six boards.
Whatevs NNU, we believe in you and still are ridiculously proud; this loss means nothing and the OT is nice.
There’s gonna be a lot of discussion in the coming week as we get ready to go into the first weekend of conference play. Congrats on lots of great wins and good losses; none of the losses truly matter from an SOS perspective, so life is good.
All times pacific.
UC San Diego vs. UAF @ WWU @ 2:30pm
UCSD should put away the Nooks without issue, but if for some reason the Nooks upset the Tritons, everyone loses because it doesn’t make UAF look good; it simply makes UCSD look bad.
Prediction: UCSD wins. Please.
NNU @ Regis (Denver) @ 4pm
Regis is 4-0. This is a great test for NNU. Hopefully the Crusaders pull it out, but…
Prediction: Regis wins. No idea on the margin.
CU-PDX @ Cal State LA @ 5pm
Cal State LA looks good this year and so it should be an interesting battle. There are implications in both directions that CSULA should win/CU-PDX should win, so…
Prediction: Pick ’em.
SPU @ Westminster (SLC) @ 6pm
Who knows? The Falcons escaped Dixie State last night but it wasn’t pretty. It’s an RMAC crossover game, so it’s not insanely critical but at the same time it is D2 and all non-con wins are good non-con wins.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
SFU @ Point Loma @ 7pm
We want SFU to win sooo badly, but, let’s be real:
Prediction: PLNU gets the ‘W.’
P.S. C’mon Clan! You can do it! We want to be wrong!
WOU @ Notre Dame de Namur @ 7pm
Prediction: WOU wins big.
SMU @ Cal Baptist @ 7pm
Another game where we want the GNAC team to upset sooo badly, but it just seems unlikely to happen. CBU is currently 6-0… We will bake the Saints cookies, really good cookies, if they can get this upset. This game is one of those games that if we win it (as a conference) it should have implications for rest of the season. The good news is if the Saints lose, it doesn’t really matter a ton because everyone knows CBU is good and the Saints have a quality enough schedule that it is a legitimate win for the Lancers.
Prediction: CBU wins.
More games of intrigue than we expected. It should be a super fun day of basketball. Good luck to all the teams playing; have fun, be safe, go GNAC.