They started with the West and the feed didn’t even come up for us until after it was over. Oookay then. Thanks NCAA, always know we can count on you.
The first round will be played on March 11 in Monmouth, Oregon.
Match-ups as follows:
3. Cal Baptist vs. 6. Cal Poly Pomona @ 12pm
2. UC San Diego vs. 7. Chico State @ 2:30pm
4. Seattle Pacific vs. 5. Azusa Pacific @ 5pm
1. Western Oregon vs. 8. Humboldt State @ 7:30pm
So somehow both BitoBaca and I both picked different seedings, got all of the match-ups right, and got all of the seeding wrong. Oookay then, but these were the match-ups we wanted (more or less) so we’re good with it.
WOU/HSU: We’re excited for the football rivals to match-up on the basketball court, and it’s great for Humboldt because as the team (truly) smack dab in the middle of the region, it’s only about an eight hour drive but is considerably less traffic than heading to SoCal. Bonus!
UCSD/Chico State: They’ve already matched up once -Chico won 77-71 on February 12, so at least it’ll have been a month? Should be a good match-up, we’re excited.
Cal Baptist/Cal Poly Pomona: We’re kind of both excited and terrified. On the one hand we do believe in Cal Poly Pomona’s ability to beat ANYONE, they are a very good team. On the other hand, Cal Baptist is looking really, really, really scaldingly hot right now and the Lancers look in prime condition to make some glue. CPP is the Broncos, if anyone’s forgetting.
Seattle Pacific/Azusa Pacific: This is just hilarious because the first time the two teams met up this year, it was in a tournament and both tried to rest their starters and almost lost to an NAIA team and MSUB, respectively. Now they’ve both been playing kinda wonky, but obviously APU is going to want to get some revenge for the first match-up and SPU is going to have to prove they’ve snapped out of it after a massive downturn of play to end the season. We’ll see. We like APU, think they’re a really good team, and you know… Last year SPU matched up with BYU-Hawaii after losing to BYU-Hawaii in the regular season; this year maybe it’s their turn to lose the second match-up?
More thoughts as the week goes on? Sure. Also shout-out to South Central #1 seed Midwestern State -they adopted us last year, so we’re happy to see them kicking some serious booty and getting to host this year.
First and foremost: According to the official NCAA schedule, the Selection Show occurs TONIGHT at 10:30pm EASTERN, 7:30pm PACIFIC, and thus 6:30 ALASKAN. And yeah, we think it’s surprising that it would be that late too, but it is what it is.
Now, here’s what we officially know:
Western Oregon is #1 and the regional host. They have a record of 24-2, won the regular season, won their conference tournament, and the next closest west region school (Chico) has a record of 20-5 and got killed in the first round of their conference tournament by a team that would go on to get killed by the tournament winner -which actually helps their case slightly, but still.
Humboldt State received the auto bid from the CCAA but wasn’t even in contention for an at-large bid, largely because their strength of schedule was so atrocious and they lost eight conference games -way more than anyone else currently vying for an at-large spot.
Cal Baptist received the auto bid from the Pac-West in thorough dominance over Azusa Pacific, but would have likely made it regardless.
Aside from that… We get into bubble territory.
The official regional poll says this:
1. Western Oregon (24-2)
2. Chico State (20-6)
3. UC San Diego (20-7)
4. Seattle Pacific (20-8)
5. Azusa Pacific (20-8)
6. Cal Baptist (24-6)
7. Cal Poly Pomona (19-7)
8. Dixie State (18-9)
9. Alaska-Fairbanks (18-8)
10. Alaska-Anchorage (17-10)
[11. Humboldt State]
All records are updated to include the respective conference tournaments.
Now let’s go down that list again, although this time the bold simply serves to make it easier to read.
1. Western Oregon (24-2) -Won the conference tournament with a scare from Seattle Pacific and a hard fought win over UAF.
2. Chico State (20-6) -Got blown out in the first round of the conference tournament by Cal State LA, won the CCAA regular season.
3. UC San Diego (20-7) -Got blown out by Humboldt in the conference tournament.
4. Seattle Pacific (20-8) -Lost to WOU by one in the conference tournament, has by far the best strength of schedule in the region, with wins over Chico State, APU, and Dixie State, as well as a quality loss to CU-Irvine.
5. Azusa Pacific (20-8) -Got killed by Cal Baptist in the conference tournament game and has struggled more and more as the season has gone on. Not sure what the thread is there, but something The Committee definitely knows.
6. Cal Baptist (24-6) -Quality non-con, had some losses down the stretch but they were to really good teams like Dixie and CU-Irvine.
7. Cal Poly Pomona (19-7) -Questionable non-conference but better than the Alaskas, and in regard to the regular season they mimic SPU in having some weird losses, some acceptable losses (UCSD), and some great wins (Chico).
8. Dixie State (18-9) -Inverse of APU; they started rough, but they played a good non-con and definitely got better as the season went on. Yeah, they got killed by Cal Baptist, but we feel like it says more about the Lancers than it does about the Rebels.
9. Alaska-Fairbanks (18-8) -Played a great game against the elite Western Oregon, but came far closer to losing to the mess that is Western Washington than beating the Wolves.
10. Alaska-Anchorage (17-10) -Got bounced in the first round of the conference tournament by Western Washington, but has more strength of schedule than Alaska-Fairbanks. Really they have no chance of getting an at-large bid at this point but they’re on the list, so we’ll list them.
Elaborating on UAF: Last year, all year we said “BYU-Hawaii struggles off the island.” Then they went and won the Pac-West tournament and we said “Okay, maybe they can win off the island.” And then they got into the West Region and promptly lost to Seattle Pacific (something we have no problem with) and while we’re aware that UAF and BYUH are two very different teams, it’s leading us to lean on the side that BYUH did have SOS, BYUH did win their conference tournament, thus getting the auto-bid, and yet they still flopped. The Nooks could very well go in and win the regional -they’ve been incredibly hot as of late- but we feel like THIS YEAR (this does not necessarily hold in the future) Cal Poly Pomona and Dixie State are both far more deserving of at-large berths.
The seeding? Thank-you Cal Baptist -you were the team that made us go “Okay, wait, maybe we have some idea, maybe.” Even though we technically have no idea who the schools are.
1. Western Oregon -because duh.
2. Cal Baptist -Huge win in the conference tournament, only losses are from quality opponents, have good non-conference SOS.
We feel like 3-7 is a complete wash, and our only request is that Seattle Pacific and Chico State don’t play each other in the first round, because we want a chance to root on Chico.
3. Seattle Pacific -this is a weird one, and it’s all based on the SOS metric because we feel like the only reason they ended up with a record as bad as they have is because for a stretch at the end of the season they weren’t trying to win; they were trying to figure out next year’s point guard.
4. UC San Diego -This comes down to the fact that we feel like even with accounting for the two teams style of play, UC San Diego still got blown out by Humboldt slightly less than Azusa Pacific did by Cal Baptist. Keyword slightly.
5. Chico State -It’s unfortunate to pit two teams from the same conference against each other, but when four teams make it that’s what happens sometimes; at least this is only round three, rather than round four?
6. Azusa Pacific -Yeah they got blown out by Cal Baptist and yeah it’s a rematch, but better a non-con rematch then yet another conference match-up that just happened.
7. Cal Poly Pomona -This was rough. It came down to Dixie State and Cal Poly Pomona and after reviewing the Rebs schedule at the request of one of our commenters -we really, really like it, and we really believe in the Rebels- but the resumes are similar and ultimately we’re giving CPP the nod because of just how badly Dixie got blown out in the Pac-West tournament.
8. Humboldt State -this would be fun because WOU and HSU have a bit of a football rivalry as far as we know (maybe that’s wrong?) and so that would be memorable to meet up in basketball again.
We’ve come to accept that there is a HUGE amount of parity on the west coast this year, and thus the seeding is likely wrong and we’re completely fine with how wrong we are as long as Seattle Pacific is in the tournament and Western Oregon is the #1 seed and physically hosting it on their campus. Other than that, we don’t care what the seedings are and who’s playing who. We’ll feel rather miffed if one of the Alaska schools makes it over CPP/Dixie, but that’s purely because we’re SOS martyrs and SOS is supposed to finally count this year, but if one of those schools makes it, it clearly doesn’t and this is not the year to be screwing around with whether or not that metric matters. Once again: This is not the SEC; this is Pac-12 country.
Edit: We didn’t look at BitOBaca’s seeding prior to doing ours, but it’s hilarious that the match-ups are all the same but the seeds are different. That would be the D2West this year.
Alright. That was stressful and took way too long to figure out. We’ll see you guys in a couple of hours.
We’ll give you the deets on the Pac-West and CCAA and then do our usual run down of who did what in the GNAC game.
Cal Baptist 101, Azusa Pacific 64
From the GNAC/CBU, Kalidou had seven points and Alex Birketoft had 14, and Joey Schreiber (APU via WWU) had five points. Aside from all of that it was a slaughterfest. We never wanted to say that APU was fully out of it, but… CBU walked it up early and then the Cougars were never coming back. Although we still didn’t believe it going into the second half because anything can happen. Pretty nice rivalry developing between the two programs, so that’s fun.
Humboldt State 80, UC San Diego 68
This is a weird one because UCSD has been part of some really low scoring games and yet the Jacks scored eighty, and so it was kind of this weird suspension of the game was never more than four or so possessions away, but with the way UCSD tends to play it might as well have been ten, and yet reality and so you don’t want to say that. Very, very odd feeling, but super proud of the Jacks -although we still love UCSD and are really excited to watch them in person at the West Regional.
Western Oregon 78, Alaska-Fairbanks 71
Back and forth game until the very end. Really fun to watch. Proud of both teams. We’ll go over our final bracketology stuff in a bit, but… Good game played by both teams.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had a great game on 8/9 shooting and finished with 19 points and six boards; Joe Slocum finished with 13 points; Travante Williams had a monster game with 23 points; and Brandon Davis had 10 points.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had 16 points and 10 boards; Julian Nichols had four boards and five assists; Jordan Wiley had 16 points and was 5/5 from the line; Andy Avgi had 12 points and six boards; and off the bench Alex Roth went 5/5 from the field, 4/4 from three, and finished with 14 points. Wow.
Really proud of the Wolves for holding Almir to just TWO points and the Nanooks to a collective 20 rebounds -absolutely nuts. Can’t wait to go to Monmouth, very excited for the GNAC to host the tournament again after the dry spell of two full years. Congrats to both teams on a game well played and good luck to the Nooks as they sit on the bubble.
Once again, our biggest of thanks to Saint Martin’s for hosting a fantastic tournament. We look forward to going back next year.
To the blog readers that don’t have a team that ends up continuing in the West Regional -thank-you so much for a brilliant season of loyal readership. Post-season awards will be incoming shortly after the final GNAC-involved men’s basketball game is played for the year.
Sort of more than one game. We’re going to talk about the Pac-West and CCAA, but… As much as we know quite a bit, we feel like if anyone tells you that they know a lot this year: they’re lying. We follow the region as closely as anybody, and we can’t figure it out.
All times pacific standard.
Cal Baptist vs. Azusa Pacific @ 2pm.
We’ll be watching for a bit and then following the rest on our phone. We have no idea what’s going to happen. It should be crazy. The teams played each other really closely during the regular season. APU seems like slightly more of a bubble team than Cal Baptist. There are a few former beloved GNAC players involved in the game: Alex Birketoft, Kalidou Diouf, and Joey Schreiber. Good luck to all three, plus all of their respective teammates.
UC San Diego vs. Humboldt State @ 5:05pm
Another game that we don’t know what’s going to happen. They split during the regular season. Humboldt State is fighting for the auto-bid, UCSD should be safe, but obviously would still love to win. No clue on this one. Part of us says “UCSD” and part of us says “No, Humboldt is going to want it way more.” So we shall see.
Alaska-Fairbanks vs. Western Oregon @ 5:30pm
Who knows. We love how strong UAF has come on and we feel like WOU has been waning just slightly. WOU had a heart attack of a game vs. SPU and yet we feel like it prepared them pretty well for today because it was such a defensive grind-it-out and Andy Avgi was actually rather shut down, so look for him to bounce back. On the other hand: UAF had a game vs. WWU where they got to be all-offense, all the time, so playing defense shouldn’t be too bad because they’ve got their offensive urges out of their system. Travante had a good game, Joe Slocum had a fantastic game, Bangaly was okay but look for him to bounce back. Almir had his best game in a while. Great preparation to take on the mighty Wolves of Western Oregon, so… Should be good. Can’t wait to watch it.
1. Western Oregon
The rest? Who knows. We suspect that even tomorrow when we know who the three autobids are, we’re still going to have no idea how to seed them. So much parity.
Teams that are on the bubble:
Azusa Pacific, Cal Baptist, UC San Diego, Chico State, Cal Poly Pomona, Humboldt State, Seattle Pacific, Alaska-Anchorage, Alaska-Fairbanks.
We think that Humboldt and UAF will only get the nod if they get the respective autobids, which should add substantially more fervency to their play, which is why we suspect they’ll win. If they do win and the following happens (seeds arbitrary except WOU):
1. Western Oregon
3. UC San Diego
4. Humboldt State
5. Azusa Pacific
6. Cal Baptist
We figure that Cal Baptist, Azusa Pacific, and UCSD are all in, regardless of today’s result. So who gets the final three spots?
7. Chico State
8. Seattle Pacific
If UAF and/or Humboldt State lose, it’ll be Cal Poly Pomona vs. Alaska-Anchorage.
Let’s compare those two teams in regard to conference losses and non-conference wins.
Cal Poly Pomona (22-7)
Non-conference: Won at Azusa Pacific and beat Point Loma at home.
Conference losses: UCSD x3, Cal State LA, Dominguez Hills, Monterey Bay, and Stanislaus.
Non-conference: Lost to Cal Baptist, Colorado Springs, and Dominguez Hills; beat Upper Iowa.
Conference losses: Western Oregon (x2), Saint Martin’s, Seattle Pacific, MSU-Billings, Central Washington, and Western Washington.
It’s weird to look at Cal Poly Pomona and go “well, they had a good non-conference schedule” but compared to Anchorage they did. Looking at it this way, Anchorage’s best hope is that UAF and Humboldt both lose because the Nooks and Jacks have by far the worst SOS of anyone in contention.
Seattle Pacific should be in because their record is 22-8, their SOS is the best in the region, and they lost to #1 seed WOU by less than Cal Poly Pomona lost to UCSD. Chico State should be in because they won the CCAA, have a record of 22-6, and their non-conference was middle-of-the-pack.
That’s where we’re at. We’ll see where we’re at either later tonight or tomorrow morning. Our bracketology obsession would suggest you’ll see a post later tonight.
Good luck to all six teams; be safe, have fun, west coast is best coast.
Going to throw up a brief post because there were a few ways this game could have gone and we might as well talk about it now rather than waiting for Wednesday.
First and foremost: Proud of both the Wolves and Seawolves for playing a good game with good sportsmanship. Brief highlights include SUKI’S 26 POINTS ON NOT AWFUL SHOOTING and Julian Nichols 12 assists and 11 boards. We’ll get into more of those tomorrow morning, but still: Congrats guys. Game well played, both teams.
Just in case you didn’t see the result:
UAA 66 @ WOU 76
But that score doesn’t tell the whole story. The long and short being that WOU gave up the lead in the last five minutes and then managed to get it back and UAA fouled and ta-daaa. Game.
A WOU win means:
-The Wolves/GNAC is that much closer to hosting the West Region tournament.
–CPP picked up two losses.
–UCSD picked up a loss.
–WOU beat UCSD on the Tritons homecourt. That was big. Especially because it was due to stupid decisions that the Tritons themselves made.
A UAA loss means:
-The Falcons earned a one-win redemption, plus had their loss to the Wolves somewhat validated. They took them to OT while the Seawolves lost in regulation.
-UAA’s only signature road victory remains at SPU over Christmas break.
-The GNAC is that much farther away from being a three bid conference.
Ultimately chaos is reigning in the west region and it’s honestly kind of great because chaos loves company and the GNAC hit our chaos before the CCAA did, so now we’re waiting on bated breath for the Pac-West to hit some chaos? If they hit chaos? Thing about the Pac-West is that CBU and APU are the cream of the crop with CU-Irvine being tertiary but more in that conversation than not in that conversation. Dixie State was played by a huge number of GNAC teams and can usually be counted on for SOS, and thus it’s hurting both us AND the Pac-West because they inevitably count on the Red Storm for SOS as well and that getting a hard fought win in St. George actually means something. Right now they’re acting like WWU is currently.
Which could very well mean that they take APU/CBU to the conference championship game, win, and cause more chaos. WWU’s been threatening and this could very well be the year that they do it up here.
We shall see. It’s an interesting time in the D2West, there are still miles to go before we dance, and… We can’t wait for Saturday when we find out more.
MSUB 61 @ UAA 81
Pretty par for the course. We’re disappointed in Jamie Stevens for not trying something to contain Suki, but oh well. Guess that’s him doubting his own player personnel, which is sad because we actually kinda sorta believe in these guys; they definitely have their moments. UAA is a good team though, so… Wouldn’t be surprised to see them ranked in the future here if they continue doing what they’ve been doing.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham had 12 points, Jordan Perry had 13 points, six boards, and five assists; Emmanuel Olufemi had six boards; and Emmanuel Johnson had five boards and three assists off the bench.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had 21 points, eight boards, six assists, and two steals (whoaaa, hello well-rounded); Diante Mitchell had nine points; Spencer Svejcar had five boards and 19 points; and Corey Hammell had 10 boards. Off the bench Christian Leckband had 16 points; and Brian McGill had seven points.
Anchorage got it done. 95% expected and we’re proud of them as such. Keep grinding.
Why do we always designate the city for Concordia-Portland? Because we sort of, kind of, deal with schools across the country and there are 15 Concordia schools. Our graduate team just played the NAIA Concordia from Nebraska and so between them, CU-Irvine, the D3 Concordia that seems to get referenced fairly frequently, and our own Concordia, it has the potential to get really confusing. Better just keep it blog official by doing the Concordia-Portland/CU-Portland/CU-PDX designation.
Does OT affect the POW nominees? It can. Usually it doesn’t. Sometimes it can be bad; if you miss a bunch of shots or turn the ball over a ton, it definitely doesn’t help you. While it adds how many minutes guys play and can up the free throw number, because we do it by school and not by best numbers, it generally doesn’t bump anyone out of nomination that otherwise would have been. In regard to the winner, we’ve never seen it push someone into winning that otherwise wouldn’t have because generally speaking guys aren’t playing two OT games in a row and even if they are, if they’re playing two 45+ minute games in a row and still have the stamina shoot well and play good D and all of that… It’s wholly earned.
Burnt out already? Getting there and getting there fast. You’d think adding one more team into the mix wouldn’t really be that intense and yet… It’s seeming to be the straw. We love the project, we love all of you guys for reading it, but on a scale of one to burnt out, we’re getting there, even though we know that in two short months we’ll be wishing we had blogging to do. So if it’s seeming to get a little cryptic and/or more snarky than usual: We’re doing our best. It’s January in the pacific northwest; we need to up our Vitamin D intake.
Why didn’t we do a preview for yesterday’s game? Because we didn’t. Because we figured Anchorage would blow MSUB out and it’s better to ask forgiveness. There was just nothing really to say about it. When we started the blog we were committed to not making predictions or anything like that, then we fell into a rut of doing it, and now we’re not as into it any more, so… That’s where we’re at. Inevitably a part of it is that it used to be easier to predict GNAC games and now it’s not, so why do it when a lot of them are truly pick ’ems.
5. Cal Poly Pomona -Good win at Stanislaus and very convincing win against Chico State.
8. Cal Baptist -did what they needed to do against FPU and Chaminade.
10. MSU Moorhead
11. Western Oregon -win your games and go down; that’s what happens when your key strength of schedule drops games like they’re hot. Looking at you SPU; this is your fault.
14. UC San Diego -Sounds good to us. Their website was down at the time this post was being written, so we’ll talk about them next week.
25. Chico State -Yes, they beat Humboldt, that’s a rivalry game; they lost by a lot to Cal Poly Pomona, so… The Wildcats should. not. be. ranked.
Seattle Pacific (5) -??????????????? We’ve been saying for a few weeks that we don’t want them ranked, but how bad they actually are we’re still yet to figure out. The Western Oregon game was odd, to put it lightly.
Humboldt (4) -lost in a rivalry game to Chico, votes are fine but whether or not they should actually be ranked is still up for debate, so we’re good with this.
Alaska Anchorage (3) -We’re veering on the side that we’d like to see them in the spot at 25th over Chico, if a West Region team has to be there.
Azusa Pacific (1) -close wins against Dixie State and Chaminade
Central Washington (1) -Guessing this is coming from
Pretty much where we’re at. Game previews’ll be up tomorrow at 10am.
Because there isn’t a new poll this week, we’ll go ahead and do a West Region ranking by what we’ve gleaned through our analysis of non-conference. It’s going to be more in-depth than usual, because what else do we have to do on Christmas Eve Eve? First the list, then the explanations.
1. Western Oregon
2. Cal Poly Pomona
3. Seattle Pacific/UC San Diego
5. Cal Baptist
6. Azusa Pacific
7. Point Loma
9. Chico State
10. Humboldt State
1. Western Oregon (8-0). This position ultimately came down to “best win” and the Wolves took it. Their best win is at UCSD, getting it done 67-63. The Wolves take on Seattle Pacific on January 7, so that’ll be a very anticipated match-up. Not really much to say about these guys -they get it done, they get rest where they can, Andy is amazing, their point guard play needs to step up quite a bit. If you’re a regular reader you know we love Julian Nichols and think he’s awesome, but he just hasn’t put it on display this year as much as we anticipated.
2. Cal Poly Pomona (9-0). We like the Broncos a lot, their SOS not withstanding. Their best win is a close one at Point Loma, the Broncs escaped 54-53. They play at UCSD on January 2nd, so we’ll definitely be watching that game with bated breath to see what happens. In one sense it really doesn’t matter because UCSD and CPP are both two very good teams, but we feel like UCSD is much more thoroughly seasoned at this point, so… Maybe the Broncos’ll prove us wrong, maybe they won’t, but we’re 99% sure we’re going to be witnessing a really, really good game.
3. Seattle Pacific (8-1) & UC San Diego (9-1). We’ve been meditating on this and looking at the numbers and then meditating some more and then looking at the numbers some more and ultimately we just couldn’t make a decision on which team we think is more capable. Both are getting tested really soon as noted above, so that’ll be good, but even after those “big” tests we’re not sure if we’ll feel comfortable making a distinction even still. Both are two super good, super well tested teams. In that sense, we feel like the Tritons hold a slight edge because the Tritons faced CBU and WOU, but when it comes to opponent records the Falcons own the slight edge (36-35) to the Tritons (47-47). We like both teams, we think both are great, both are super good defensively, both have fantastic coaching staffs, both have really dedicated guys. It’s a complete wash and honestly that fact makes us happy. We get to indulge in watching two really good teams -what more could you want?
5. Cal Baptist (10-2). At this point it’s not record so much, but what you’ve done with that record and the Lancers have done a lot. CBU’s most quality win is against MN-Moorhead, but they’ve also got a couple of quality losses in regard to UCSD and Azusa Pacific (quality + rivalry in the case of the Cougs). UCSD came down to free throws, so while the gap was bigger than it might have been (9) it was a pointed nine. It was within reach. We really like their SOS, they’ve got a good GNAC win over Alaska-Anchorage, they’ve got a crazy good win over Point Loma, absolutely brutalizing the Sea Lions 98-73. We like the path they’re on, they’ve already got good Pac-West wins against APU and Dixie State, and we’ll see what they do in the coming conference portion of the schedule.
6. Azusa Pacific (7-3). SOS is our MO. They have three losses but they come against Cal Poly Pomona, Seattle Pacific, and at Point Loma in OT. We’re a big believer in winning on the road because in the case of APU -they’re guaranteed to be on the road for the Regional and so what are they going to play like? The Cougars best win is a close one against rival CBU and on their horizon is a chance to beat the Lancers again. Will they? We’ll see. It’s on the 16th.
7. Point Loma (5-5). This is a little bit of a reach considering how badly they got beat by CBU, but we do want to at least acknowledge heavily their schedule. Their losses literally come via Western Oregon, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Baptist, a heartbreaker against Dixie State, and a free throw final against CU-Irvine. We respect that a lot. We think they’re well seasoned. Do we truly expect them to make the regional? Maybe not. We think they’ll definitely be in play for it, but while they have a win against APU, they have that awful devastation against CBU. Still, San Diego is becoming a lively place for D2 basketball and the Sea Lions are 100% a part of it and we’re proud of them. Now get some big wins. Next opportunity is against CU-Irvine on the 13th.
8. CU-Irvine (7-1). Seems a little far for a team that only has one loss, but that loss comes against San Marcos (3-5) and their win was against SPU on a neutral court in OT while the Falcons were playing their first game with what’s essentially a brand new roster. They have another decent win against Point Loma and because CU-I winning definitely helps the GNAC (they played CU-P twice, along with SPU once) we need to see them get some quality wins now. Dixie State could potentially be a quality win, Point Loma could be another potentially quality win, they don’t play CBU until the 30th of January, but hopefully the Eagles keep winning and they’ll build toward that.
9. Chico State (7-2). The issue we’re having with Chico is that they just don’t have any good wins. They have some okay wins (Dominican [6-4], SFSU [5-3]) and a quality-ish loss against Seattle Pacific, but the game against SPU was at home -not on the road. They lost to Sonoma, but that’s a rivalry so we’re not particularly concerned with it. Obviously because of the GNAC tie, we want Chico to do well, and then they benefit by being in the CCAA this year with having some good chances to get quality wins.
10. Humboldt State (5-1). There was some thought of putting someone else here, but no one has the loss-credibility yet besides PLNU. However: the Jacks barely have the win credibility, even at 5-1. Their wins come against Holy Names (2-9), CSULA (2-7), Sonoma State (6-4), SFSU (5-3), and Fresno Pacific (5-3), with their loss being to San Marcos (3-5). We liked Humboldt last year, we’re definitely not against the potential that the Jacks could be really good, we just haven’t seen enough yet to really say either way. They don’t have a good win and they do have a bad loss, but they are 5-1 and hence they’re ranked 10th.
Other teams we’re keeping an eye on: Alaska-Anchorage (5-3), Alaska-Fairbanks (5-2), Western Washington (4-4), Dixie State (4-5), Dominican (6-4), BYU-H (5-3), Dominguez Hills (4-4), and Sonoma State (6-4).
In a sense this list is kind of striking because there are seemingly very distinct tiers within the region, which doesn’t always happen.
Tier one: Western Oregon, Cal Poly Pomona. Guaranteed 99.9% to make the regional; we don’t like saying 100%, just ’cause.
Tier two: UC San Diego, Seattle Pacific, Cal Baptist. 90% chance of making the regional as of now. All three teams look really good and did enough during non-conference that provided they keep winning, they shouldn’t have to worry about their bubbles bursting. Fans of these teams: We recommend worrying anyway.
Tier three: Azusa Pacific, CU-Irvine, Chico State, Point Loma. Four above average teams. We won’t be surprised if any of these teams make the tournament, but we also won’t be surprised if one or more gets left out after conference play and particularly after the respective conference tournaments are said and done.
Tier four: The Alaskas, Western Washington, Humboldt State, Sonoma State, Dixie State, BYU-Hawaii. Six teams with the potential to come in and win their respective conference tournament and procure an auto bid. From where we stand now, there’s no way for one of these teams to get into the tournament via an at-large bid.
The Alaskas didn’t prove they can play off the tundra and the GNAC is too weak to get enough quality road wins to prove otherwise. Western Washington has a big history of making the championship game, they got Evan back, but teams above them have proven that they can win while not firing on all cylinders -the Vikings haven’t. Humboldt State was talked about above. Sonoma has been interesting, no great wins, but some good wins. Dixie seems to be improving, they have a couple quality-ish losses against SPU and APU; we’ll see what they do in conference. BYU-H was an absolute mess on the mainland, but they’ve done well on the Islands, so… Hopefully winning close to home taught them how to win and they’ll be able to do more of it from now on.
On the agenda for tomorrow: Discussing the Transitive Property of College Basketball.
Just kidding about this not going up. The internet came back, thank Blog.
On the agenda today: Starting to think about this year’s GNAC tiers, speculating the West Region host; and discussing the rankings.
How is the GNAC separating itself now that we’re almost completely done with non-conference play?
The last D2 non-conference game is going to be played tomorrow by NNU and we’re so mystified by the Crusaders that… who knows. Still, here’s what we do know:
Top-Tier: Western Oregon and Seattle Pacific. Both have a few proven players and thoroughly proven teamwork. Their schedules have also tested them and they’ve come out on top.
Conference tourney bound: UAA, UAF, and WWU. Suki is dynamite, we’re hoping Brian McGill is back soon, Diante Mitchell has had good games. With UAF we’re loving Bangaly Kaba and Travante Williams, and Almir is starting to warm-up again. Thing is though -neither Alaska school has proven anything in terms of strength of schedule, particularly off the tundra. With Western, we really liked what we saw against SFU this week -getting Evan back looks like it’s going to be huge- but the Clan didn’t have Max Barkeley and while one player doesn’t make all the difference, it would have spread the Viking defense a lot better. SFU was up early before WWU decided to get serious. The Vikings also played a full line-up -they didn’t get to rest any starters against SFU, even without Barkeley, so that makes us wonder.
Battling it out: Saint Martin’s, potentially NNU, potentially CWU. SMU has shown promise and progress, getting a couple of non-conference wins and almost beating WWU. They didn’t do as much as we would have liked against SFU, but we’ll see. NNU is a very 50/50 team; they beat a decent Dominican team, then lost in a big way to a terrible CSULA team. We’re curious about what they do tomorrow against San Fran State, but… We’ll see. CWU, as noted pre-season: the Hawaii wins mean nothing, and even less than normal because the Hawaii schools are worse than normal. They got swept in Alaska and the men’s basketball culture at CWU has a reputation around our conference for being toxic, so… We’ll see. We don’t feel you can wholly rule the Wildcats out because they’ve only got one bad loss (against UAA), but they also don’t have any quality wins.
Conference Thorns: We’re calling them ‘thorns’ because they’re going to beat teams and it’s going to be ugly and unpleasant, but they will do it. That would be CU-Portland, Simon Fraser, and MSUB. We’ll get more into why next week.
We’ll do a more thorough review of non-conference stuff next week, but those are some of the things to be thinking about.
Any projections for the West Region host?
Thus far no real separation. Last year it was pretty obviously headed to Azusa, the year before Bernardino. Obviously Monmouth is going to be getting a serious look with how well Western Oregon is playing, Cal Poly Pomona is another school that’ll get a close look. The Pac-West is kind of pulling a Pac-12 thus far and having too much parity for us to give either Azusa or Cal Baptist serious consideration. Even between the three conferences… We’re leaning toward the CCAA being the stronger one, but that’s another discussion for next week.
This week’s rankings?
The short version:
3. Western Oregon -this doesn’t count the UCSD game, thus they’ve remained stagnant, which is good. No being arbitrarily moved down.
5. Cal Poly Pomona -Again, stagnant. Wins against Monterey Bay as well as East Bay -both of who are looking decent, which is good. Maybe the wins are a bit closer than preferred, but the Pioneers from East Bay have looked surprisingly okay thus far.
9. Seattle Pacific -moved up four spots, likely a mix of other teams losing and their win against Azusa Pacific.
11. UC San Diego -this doesn’t factor in the loss to WOU, but we honestly think this is where they should be regardless. Chico is likely still in the rankings purely because of their loss to Seattle Pacific, so… Yeah. UCSD’s ranking is absolutely deserved. We’re still really, really pleased with the Tritons.
17. Chico State -We feel like they came too close to losing to East Bay to merit this ranking. We need to look more closely at what other top 25 teams are doing, but as of now we think the Wildcats are getting too much credit for the loss (at home) to Seattle Pacific.
18. Cal Baptist -They should be ahead of Chico, 100%. They have a home win against #4 MN Moorhead and their losses come via 11th ranked UCSD and a one point loss against Azusa Pacific (which, we feel is a rivalry and thus judged differently anyway). If Chico is 17th because they lost at home to #9 SPU by 12, then Cal Baptist should be ranked higher for winning against Moorhead at home, losing to #11 UCSD on the road, and losing to a talented APU team by 1.
Others receiving votes: CU-Irvine (11 votes). Their only loss is to San Marcos and they have an OT win against Seattle Pacific on a neutral court. We still feel like they’re getting votes because they’re SPU’s only loss and we’re still not sure about whether or not it’s deserved because they really lack any quality wins outside of it. At this point because they’re a 1-loss team, you have to give them consideration, but at the same time we’re not sure whether or not we project them to make the West Region tourney because again: they just haven’t played anybody.
Sometimes answers simply lead to more questions and that is this post in a nutshell, but we wanted to get some form of Discussions up this week, particularly regarding the rankings. Tomorrow we’ll preview the SFSU game, and then next week we’ll do kind of a hardcore look at what’s gone on during non-conference and what it implicates for conference play going forward.
On the agenda for today: Fred Jorg’s physique, Pac-West chaos, the rankings situation, and why we’re never impressed with SPU.
Finally watched SMU in person. We’ve been calling Fred tubby for months, but as it turns out… He’s actually just a legitimately big, big person. That sounds ridiculous. He’s a 7 footer, how would you expect him to be anything but big? Well, here’s the thing as it applies to the D2/D1/Euro/NBA species:
Big/Big guys (ex. 7’0/300)
Medium/Big guys (ex. 7’0/250)
Small/Big guys (ex. 7’0/225)
Big/Medium guys (ex. 6’5/225)
Medium/Medium guys (ex. 6’5/215)
Small/Medium guys (ex. 6’5/190)
Big/Small guys (ex. 6’2/190)
Medium/Small guys (ex. 6’2/175)
Small/Small guys (ex. 6’2/160)
The first part refers to structure and has everything to do with body fat percentage. We assumed because Fred was 300lbs, he was fat, because yes: Even 7 footers are typically fat when they weigh 300lbs. No one should weigh 300lbs for any significant length of their life. Once Fred stops playing seriously he’s going to want to make sure his weight drops to 260 or so within three or four months because even as a big/big person, his body is going to get very unhappy very quickly. We also suggest this coming year that he do his off-season cardio in the pool rather than on the court, because he’ll get enough running cardio through shooting drills and things like that, without actually doing plain old running that’ll murder his feet and knees.
So yeah. Fred Jorg. Big, big person, not tubby medium sized big person.
We play the vast majority of our non-conference against the Pac-West, thus what they do matters to us a lot. They also played their first round of conference games this past weekend and in short: We’re really happy with how it went. Winners in bold, reason we like the result after.
Holy Names @ Hawaii Pacific = HPU projects better than HNU, GNAC beat HPU 2-1, helps SOS.
Dixie State @ Cal Baptist = Strong team is strong; they beat both GNAC teams, thus we want them to look really good.
Azusa Pacific @ Point Loma = Point Loma is 1-1 vs. the GNAC, really liking what we’re seeing out of them, want them to be strong; we already know APU is strong.
CU-Irvine @ Chaminade = SPU lost to CU-Irvine, thus the better they are the more quality the loss.
A of A @ ND de Namur = Not super relevant.
CU-Irvine @ Hawaii Pacific = Again, we want CU-I to win as many games as possible.
Dixie State @ Point Loma = Dixie State is 3-1 against the GNAC; want the losses to look legitimate and the win to look worthy.
Holy Names @ Chaminade = Stronger looking wins; they’re 0-2 against the GNAC.
Fresno Pacific @ Dominican = We’re really liking Dominican, they’re 2-0 against us so far, so them being good would help make the losses matter less.
BYU-Hawaii @ Hawaii Hilo = 1-2 against the GNAC, we’d really prefer that BYUH was good, granted same thing for Hawaii Hilo.
Cal Baptist @ Azusa Pacific = We like and think both teams are really good and CBU only lost by a point, thus this helped us out. SPU plays APU on Saturday and we shall see.
The NABC Poll
3. Western Oregon -We don’t feel great about this considering their resume isn’t as good as UCSD, they didn’t go as far as SPU in the tournament last year, and while SPU lost everyone and WOU returned everyone, we feel like the Falcons still have a better resume.
5. Cal Poly Pomona -Perfect record, good wins against PLNU and Azusa Pacific.
13. Seattle Pacific -did what had to be done against WWU and SFU, good win against Chico, but we still feel this is a bit too high because the wins against Dixie State and BYU-H weren’t as quality as intended.
14. UC San Diego -They should honestly be ranked higher than SPU; more convincing win against two ranked teams. We get that SPU intended to have taken on three or so ranked teams, but the reality is that it didn’t happen.
20. Cal Baptist -Bordering on great win against #4 MN Moorhead, close loss to Azusa, we think Azusa is awesome, so dropping 10 spots feels too far, especially when their only losses come against Elite Eight participant APU and 14th ranked UCSD.
22. Chico State -Disagree. The loss against SPU looks fine but the Wildcats barely got past East Bay, and they don’t have a signature win. It’s not that they’re a bad team -it’s that outside of the SPU game, where have they truly been tested? If a west region team belongs in this spot, it’s Azusa Pacific.
Others receiving votes:
Azusa Pacific (1 vote): Swap APU and Chico and even then Chico deserves more than one measly vote (although we disagree with them being ranked at this point). APU we’re 50/50 on. We really like the Cougars, but we respect the opinion that they’re not quite there yet because of the two loss thing.
CU-Irvine (1 vote): They have a good win against SPU and a bad loss against San Marcos, so… It’s not that we don’t get it, it’s that we think this comes from someone giving them “quality win” points against SPU without accounting for the fact that the so-called quality win came on a neutral site. By all means it was a deserved and earned win, but was it quality?
Overall, we think CPP, WOU, SPU, UCSD, and CBU 100% belong in the rankings, while Azusa Pacific and Chico State are question marks with APU having the more deserving resume of the two.
Why do we pick on SPU and how do they feel about it?
We’re still waiting for our ring by Spring. National championship or bust. Get that ring, then we’ll stop picking on them for approximately six months.
We pick on SPU partly because we know that at least 3/5 starters are fully aware that they deserve to be picked on, and then the other two are pansies and can suck it. We also pick on them because they know what we think in regard to the positives of what they’re doing due to the fact that we say it all the time anyway. SPU is just different in that we know those coaches very well, we know how they coach, we know their expectations, we know their thought processes, so we’re less concerned about coddling because we know it’s been said anyway -most likely multiple times. WOU falls into that category-ish, but… Not quite ours; we didn’t go there. You’re always gonna be rougher on your own. MSUB and WWU are 100% ours, but right now getting after them would feel like kicking a couple of puppies.
TL;DR: SPU is fine with us picking on them because they DGAF[ishstick].
We’ve been trying to find and figure out Hanukkah shenanigans to post, but so far it hasn’t happened; hopefully it does. Otherwise: We’ll see you guys on Friday for the game day previews.
Holy Names plays @ CSU Monterey Bay, @ CSU Dominguez Hills, and Sonoma State.
Dominican plays @ CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU East Bay, Sonoma State, @ Chico State, and San Francisco State
Cal Baptist plays @ CSU Dominguez Hills, and @ San Francisco State,
Point Loma plays CSU Dominguez Hills, @ Cal Poly Pomona, and Cal State Los Angeles.
Fresno Pacific plays @ Cal State Los Angeles.
Academy of Art plays @ San Francisco State.
Dixie State plays Stanislaus.
A final tally of 19 games involving all but four Pac-West conference schools; the Hawaii schools are too busy playing GNAC schools to get into the mix against the CCAA.
The first thing that stands out is that Dixie State plays CSU-Stanislaus. From a conference perspective, Stanislaus was the team that beat SPU in the tournament during OT, Dixie State beat SPU in OT in non-conference last year, the teams are going to be different but there’s still a connection. Stanislaus is rather reminiscent of MSUB in terms of the GNAC; they got really good as the season progressed and so their conference record didn’t necessarily reflect their capabilities. Always fun to watch those teams.
For the most part the schedule above shows mismatches of the strong playing the theoretical weak. There are only a few tournament teams that play each other. It’s becoming a trend that the tournament teams tend to play smaller division schools. I wish this was more frowned upon; as I’ve noted: I’m a big fan of strength of schedule, just because… compelling match-ups are compelling. While we’ll always say ‘any given year’ c’mon! Let’s get more of the frequent tournament teams playing each other. I grew up in the Pac-10, where beating each other up is not only expected but encouraged.
And unlike football, basketball schedules aren’t set in stone years ahead of time; while there’s some early scheduling, there’s still plenty of room to move even during the month of August. No, there’s probably concern about reputation on a national level and the whole “no one really wins when everyone has an average record” but… even as a REGION, the number of D2 teams we collectively play outside of our region is negligible, plus doesn’t really matter because only one team is gonna make the Elite 8 anyway.
Originally the plan was to post the CCAA, GNAC, and Pac-West D2 non-west region match-ups, but the CCAA is yet to post their composite schedule, so we shall see what’s on the horizon for tomorrow.