Looking at this for the first time is honestly our own personal Christmas morning, so let’s get started!
vs. Chaminade @ UAA
vs. Hawaii Pacific @ UAA
vs Holy Names x2
vs. UCSD @ WWU
Judgement: The saving grace of this schedule is the neutral site game against UCSD. There are no true road games and that makes us cringe.
vs. Hawaii Pacific
vs. Holy Names x2
Judgement: We get it: they play D1 games in the Great Alaska Shootout, but we maintain our stance that D1 vs. D2 games don’t mean a thing. This schedule is weak, but UAA is definitely rebuilding, so it’s fair enough, but it won’t help them come tournament time.
vs. Hawaii-Hilo @ WWU
vs. ND de Namur @ WWU
vs. Azusa Pacific @ PLNU
Judgement: It’s a good schedule. We’re honestly judging Ryan Looney far more for scheduling SFU than anything else. Then again… He did lose to them at home, on homecoming with a tournament-bound SPU team, so… C’mon Clan! Get that W! We believe in you.
vs. ND de Namur
vs. East Bay
vs. Harding @ Hawaii
vs. Tampa @ Hawaii
Judgement: We’re comfortable with this schedule. The last two are D2, but not D2 west, so less than ideal but far preferable to a non-D2 school. The Vikings don’t like to test themselves early and yet it usually works out just fine, so… Different philosophies. All good.
WHOA website update. It no longer looks like something straight out of 2002.
vs. Sonoma State @ East Bay
@ East Bay
vs. Dixie State @ Westminster (SLC)
Judgement: Typical quality SPU schedule. Last year of the Falcons playing Dixie in-region; the Rebs switch to the RMAC next year.
vs. Fresno Pacific @ WOU
vs. PLNU @ WOU
@ Monterey Bay
vs. Academy of Art @ Cal Baptist
@ Cal Baptist
Judgement: We love this schedule. It’s going to test them really well and give them every opportunity to make the tournament. We also love this schedule because they posted it at the beginning of August, which makes our life a heck of a lot easier when the round-robin gets switched up.
vs. East Bay @ East Bay
vs. Sonoma @ East Bay
vs. University of Mary
vs. Chadron State
Judgement: We’re comfortable with this schedule. They play two true D2 west road games and then against some Northern Sun foes, which is typical for MSUB. It’s not great by any stretch, but it should be fine.
vs. San Bernardino @ CU-Portland
vs. Monterey Bay @ CU-Portland
vs. Hilo @ SPU
vs. CU-Irvine @ SPU
Judgement: We consider this a very quality schedule, are proud of the Wildcats, and hopefully they’ll go 4/4 -it would really help our conference as a whole.
vs. San Fran State
vs. Academy of Art
Judgement: Not sure who the latter two schools will be, but we consider this an okay schedule. With Maurice Jones on that team, maybe it’s a little weaker than we’d like, but it’ll be fine. Very appropriate for NNU, should put them in a good position come conference play.
vs. Monterey Bay
vs. San Bernardino
vs. San Fran State @ NNU
vs. Academy of Art @ NNU
@ San Marcos
Judgement: Nothing but our highest applause and considering they bring back Christopher Edward, we feel completely confident in their ability to get it done and get our conference some nice SOS points. Way to go Cavs!! We’re rooting for you.
vs. Point Loma
vs. Fresno Pacific
vs. Azusa Pacific
vs. Dixie State
@ Holy Names
@ ND de Namur
@ Tarleton State
Judgement: We love it. It’s going to test them really, really well and it’s going to give them some breathing room come conference play, which is actually nice for everyone else because it means more chances for the GNAC to get more than one team into the D2 west.
Overall: We’re really excited and really pleased with the scheduling done by the vast majority of the conference. We should be in a good position to stake some claim on depth and then have an interesting year of conference play. Going to be great.
A reminder: GET YOUR FLU SHOT!! The GNAC Plague will inevitably go around and there’s much less of a chance for it to spread if everyone’s gotten their flu shot.
GIF anticipations up on Wednesday, our pre-season poll next Monday.
Better late than never!
Suki Wiggs -Alaska-Anchorage; Sr.
Taylor Stafford -Western Washington; Sr.
Maurice Jones -Northwest Nazarne; Jr.
Christopher Edward -CU-Portland; Jr.
Tanner Omlid -Western Oregon; Jr.
Spencer Svejcar -Alaska-Anchorage; Sr.
Daulton Hommes -Western Washington; RS Fr.
Tony Miller -Seattle Pacific; Fr.
Preston Beverly -MSU-Billings; So.
Drew Martin -CU-Portland; Sr.
Brandon Davis, Corey Hammell, Diante Mitchell, Cole Preston, Deandre Dickson, Gavin Long, Fuquan Niles, Dom Hunter, and Bouna N’Diaye.
This was actually a really fun year for player-of-the-year with how much parity there was and how well they compared to each other in regard to production and team impact. It’s fun having so many underclassmen on these teams because we to keep most of them.
We’re about four weeks out and we absolutely cannot wait.
Player-of-Last-Year will be up in an hour.
Beginning our traditional “oh crap, it’s almost September and we need to finish all of last season’s stuff,” burning of posts.
For the games on February 16th and 18th, respectively.
UAF: N/A —> Dom Hunter, CWU.
UAA: Suki, because Suki gonna Suki.
SFU: Michael Provenzano
WWU: Daulton Hommes
SPU: Gavin Long
SMU: Cole Preston
MSUB: N/A —> Joe Rasmussen, Seattle Pacific.
CWU: Fuquan Niles -Fuquan gonna Fuquan. And by Fuquan we mean dominate.
NNU: Maurice Jones -Mo gonna Mo. And we want MO! Always.
CU-P: Drew Martin
WOU: Tanner Omlid. Because duh.
Nothing in depth because it’s been six months, but we had a blast refreshing our memory of these numbers -some really great performances and as much as we’ve procrastinated, it still comes back and we’re like “OH MAN, that was SO great!!”
Winner’ll be up in an hour because while it seems stupid six months later… Routines are routines.
Interesting. Someone from the conference told us that Concordia couldn’t make the conference tournament and CU-Irvine isn’t allowed in the Pac-West tournament, so no idea what that’s about, but whatever. We get to watch more games with Christopher and Drew, so that’s happy.
Also happy is that every single home team won on senior night and thus… Let’s jump into Saturday’s awesome slate of games:
CWU 72 @ UAA 84
Back and forth for a lot of the game until UAA finally walked it up and put it away. Proud of the Wildcats for hanging around as long as they did and doing their darndest. Experience gained.
Wildcat highlights: Marc Rodgers had 10 points; Dom Hunter had 24 and went 7-8 from the line; Terry Dawn had five boards; Jawan Stepney had 14 points; and Fuquan had just five points, but did grab 10 boards and four fouls. Off the bench Jerome Bryant had five points; and Chris-Michael Garret had five boards.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had a normal Suki game again, finally, scoring 26 points and grabbing nine boards; Diante Mitchell had 18 points and five boards meanwhile being 7-7 from the line; Spencer Svejcar had 21 points and five boards among a full house of stats; Corey Hammell had 14 boards; and off the bench Ashton Pomrehn had five points and seven boards.
Congrats to both teams on a good game well played -we’ll see the Seawolves in the conference tournament and thanks to the Wildcats for a fantastic season!
MSUB 56 @ WOU 72
Another back and forth game until WOU managed to put it away, at least as we recall. We feel like WOU managed to truly put it out of reach in the last 10 or so minutes, but the MSUB fought really hard.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had 15 points and six boards among a full house; Marc Matthews had six boards; Kamal Tall had 12 points and eight boards; Sven Jeuschede had five boards; and off the bench Kendall Denham had nine points and 10 boards, just missing the double-double.
Wolf highlights: Evan Garrison had 10 points; Tanner Omlid had 17 points, eight boards, and five assists along with a full house; Ali had 11 points and six boards; JJ Chirnside had six boards; and off the bench Akil had five points; whilst Demetrius Trammell had 11 points.
Congrats to the Wolves on a senior night won, and congrats to the Yellowjackets on making the conference tournament!
SMU 66 @ WWU 90
Straight up domination, the entire time, no question. This is quite the statement to make to the committee for the Vikings, and we’re really excited about it. They dismantled the Saints. That being said, the conference tournament is still this week and anything can happen. The Vikings are 100% in the NCAA tournament, that’s not a question, but seeding is still up in the air. We think at this point it would be hard for them to earn less than a four seed, but what do we know?
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had 16 points; Tyler Copp had 11 points; Fred Jorg played well with 16 points, five rebounds, and four blocks. Off the bench Rhett Baerlocher had 11 boards; and Brandon Kenilvort had five points and five boards.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had 25 points; and Jeffrey Parker had 21 points and five boards. Off the bench Brett Kingma had 10 points; and Deandre Dickson continues to beast with 15 points and 10 boards for the double-double.
Definitely not what we were expecting out of the stat lines for the Vikings with a score like that. SMU did a good job at shutting down Daulton Hommes and Logan Schilder in particular, so that’ll be interesting film to watch for the Vikings opponents. The stats tell a picture of a close game; the score tells a picture of a game that was nowhere near that at any point in time. Interesting stuff. Good luck to both teams in the conference tournament.
SPU 82 @ SFU 93
AHAHAHA. SPU actually tried to win (rather than just playing their seniors), the numbers are all normal, and yet they still lost because we get the feeling no one took it seriously. Good job Clan, ya done us proud!
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had six boards and 18 points; Tony Miller had 18 points and 11 boards; Joe Rasmussen picked up five fouls; Olivier-Paul Betu had eight boards; Gavin Long had 24 points and five fouls; and off the bench Hunter Eisenhower had nine points.
Clan highlights: Hidde Vos had nine boards and six assists; Michael Provenzano had 15 points; and JJ Pankratz bounced back after a very meh season, to have his way with the Falcons dropping 24 points on great shooting. Off the bench Othniel Spence had a fantastic game with 24 points, five boards, and a full house; Iziah Sherman-Newsome had 14 points and four boards; and Tyrell Lewin grabbed four boards.
Congrats the Clan on a very strong finish to the season, and to the Falcons: TGIO. Thank God It’s Over.
NNU 70 @ UAF 73
And UAF gets the win at home on senior night. Terrifying game. Very fun. Congrats to the Crusaders on a great season, being in the hunt for the conference tournament through the very last game.
Crusader highlights: Pol Olivier had 12 points; Jayden Bezzant grabbed five boards; Bouna had 20 points; Kaileb Rodriguez (can we make K-Rod a thing?) picked up five fouls; Maurice Jones was insane (please come back Mo!!!!!!!) and had 23 points and 18 boards while playing 40 minutes; and Marko Lepovic had five boards off the bench.
Nook highlights: Nahjee had six assists while playing 40 full minutes; Bangaly had five boards; LaDonavan Wilder had 14 points and six boards; Zach Pederson had 18 points and eight boards; and Brandon Davis had 22 points, six boards, and five steals while also playing 40 full minutes.
Congrats to both teams on ending with a strong final game of the year!
While there wasn’t a ton of stuff mid-season this year, that means there should be quite a bit post-season. In a year of chaos where no given night meant anything about the next and implications were just as easily false flags, we feel like we know every team really well. There are so many guys on each team that we’re actually excited to talk about, so… That’ll be cool in the coming days.
Player-of-the-week stuff for this week and last is on the horizon, previewing the conference tournament is on the horizon, previewing the conference tournaments for the other two D2 West conferences is on the horizon. POW stuff is probably going to take a backseat. We will put up the final standings chart because we think it’ll go down as one of the most parity filled years of GNAC basketball ever. Lots of blogging still to be done. We’re excited. We’re excited to sit down and really take a long look at the bracketology, both before and after the conference tournaments. Post-season awards, all that good stuff.
The good news with SPU not making the tournament is that these three days of silence is the entirety of our mourning period. For those of you that haven’t been with us in prior years -SPU loses in the NCAA tournament and then the blog goes silent for months. This year we’re not really that depressed because the season itself was so depressing; the end simply brought relief. Now we’re just excited to watch a bunch of other guys that we love throw themselves into what should be a really chaotic and fun March.
Last conference game day of the regular season! And spots in the tournament still aren’t decided. Very exciting stuff.
All times pacific.
CWU @ UAA @ 4pm
CWU needs the win, UAA would like the win. Honestly, we really want to see Connor Devine and Corey Hammell bounce back. Their numbers have been meh as of late, plus it’ll be really cool to watch them take on Fuquan. Not super worried about Spencer -should be good. Suki is always with a watch. Diante is 50/50. With CWU hopefully Naim Ladd is back in the starting line-up, Dom Hunter will be fun to watch play against his old school in his old gym (were they playing in that gym when he was there? It was brand new if he was), Fuquan, of course, hopefully Sage Woodruff sees some good minutes. Jawan should do work. Understated player.
Prediction: Pick ’em. #1 game of the night.
SMU @ WWU @ 7pm
Should be a really good game. We’re excited. Fred vs. Logan. We tend to trust Logan more than Fred, although they’re at opposite ends of the spectrum. Logan doesn’t look like a college basketball player, Fred looks like a former college basketball player on the opposite end of the spectrum. Regardless it’ll be fun to watch some of the match-ups. Brandon Kenilvort, Rhett Baerlocher, Daulton Hommes, and Jeffrey Parker most notably. Trey Ingram vs. Brett Kingma could be good, but it most likely won’t happen because Brett has been pretty silent this year, sadly. Cole Preston and Taylor Stafford play different positions, so while you’re “they’re both great guard!” Cole is all 1 and Taylor is all 2.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
SPU @ SFU @ 7pm
We’re 50/50 on what we want the Falcons to do. On the one hand, they’re not in control of their own destiny and so we say “forget it, just play the seniors as many minutes as they want to play and let them go out proud” and then on the other hand, you want to genuinely try to get this win, just in case. The seniors could get this win -the seniors on the Falcons would likely be the best players on the SFU team, but… It’s a toss-up. SFU has had really good moments. We don’t know that all of the young guys the Falcons have really need to learn from this game. It would be cool to watch everyone go in and clamp down on defense and make a point, but… It’s the last game of the season. Does it really matter? No. But it would be nice for the Clan to pick up one more in-conference win, and we know they’re wholly capable.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
MSUB @ WOU @ 7pm
WOU’s officially in the conference tournament, MSUB it’s chaos. MSUB is a good team, we’re really happy to see Kendall Denham back in the starting line-up and playing really well. Marc Matthews is great, Preston Beverly how much more can we possible say? We adore that kid SO much. That being said: WOU has Tanner Omlid, Ali, and JJ who’s been coming on strong. Oddly enough we feel like MSUB has more talent that’s proven their worth overall, but Tanner Omlid is far and away the best player in the game, which means that WOU has a very good shot at winning it. “But WOU has a way better record.” Yeah, this is basketball. One player can affect everything, for good and for bad. MSUB has several very good players, WOU has one crazy amazing player, a few very good players, and a smattering of good players. MSUB probably has a higher “average” level of talent, but WOU is able to use their talent more in the trenches because of that crazy amazing player.
Prediction: Pick ’em. Game of the night #2.
NNU @ UAF @ 8pm
Should be another really good game. Bangaly’s final game. We’ve loved having him the past two years and are so ridiculously proud of him. You’re amazing Bangaly!! That being said, we also suspect it’s NNU’s Maurice Jones final regular season game in the GNAC. We’d love for him to stick around, but there’s not a big history of that at NNU, so until we see him play a game in a Crusader uniform next year, we won’t trust it. The game should be ridiculously competitive because NNU is a good team and UAF is an okay team, but they’re playing at home and the Patty Center is hella good. Be interesting to see what happens.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Can’t wait to watch all of the games, we’re proud of all of y’all, it’s been an amazing, crazy, insane, chaotic, unforgettable regular season, and so let’s finish it out strong and healthy!
Well shoot. We were wrong. Seattle Pacific is still technically contending for the conference tournament, but we’re not going to bother to figure out what the tiebreaker situation might be, because it’s a mess. Congrats to WWU for officially winning the conference this year!!
WOU 67 @ CU-PDX 69
Hooooooly bananas was this a good game. This is starting to be like Utah/Colorado in that initially we were like “this is a “”rivalry”” ” and yet it’s gotten ridiculously competitive and ridiculously anything can happen really fast, which is super fun. Congrats to both teams on an insane game well played, congrats to the Cavs on keeping on keeping on. Very, very proud of you this year.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had a full house with 19 points, seven boards, four assists, and five steals among other stats; Ali had 16 points; and JJ Chirnside had 12 points. Off the bench Isaiah Edwards had four boards.
Cav highlights: Drew Martin had 13 points and six boards; Christopher Edward was a near-miss on a double double with nine points and nine boards; Jarrett Gray had an incredible 26 points and five boards; and off the bench Tre’ Vance had five points.
Crazy hard, well fought game for both teams. Congrats to the Wolves on a great transitional regular season, and congrats to the Cavs on a fantastic second year in the GNAC. We’ll see you in the conference tournament next year =)
SPU 87 @ WWU 89
Oddly not brutal. WWU was dominating the Falcons for a huge stretch, but anything can happen in a rivalry game and that’s what happened -WWU has the experience and pulled it out, most likely knocking the Falcons out of a longshot at the conference tournament.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had eight assists; Tony Miller had 29 points and 15 boards (whoaaa!); and Gavin Long had 17 points, five boards, and a smattering of other stats for a flawless full house (zero turnovers). Off the bench Sharif Khan had seven points and four assists; and Hunter Eisenhower had 14 points.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had five boards; Blake Fernandez had 12 points; Daulton Hommes had seven boards among a full house of stats; and Jeffrey Parker had 14 points and six boards. Off the bench, Deandre Dickson made a statement with 27 points and five boards (hi Falcons, you got TORCHED); and Trevor Jasinsky had seven points.
Okay game. Proud of the Vikings for pulling it out and now allowing the upset. Not sure it makes the greatest statement to the committee in terms of seeding, but it doesn’t make a bad one either -getting it done at all costs.
SMU 102 @ SFU 78
Really pleased with this result. Lacking in defense, yes, but a fun game all the same. Congrats Saints!!
Saints highlights: Cole Preston had 13 points and 11 assists FOR THE DOUBLE-DOUBLE!!; Jordan Kitchen had 21 points on nearly perfect shooting; Rhett Baerlocher had 14 points; TYLER COPP had 18 points; and Fred Jorg had nine points and seven boards. Off the bench Trey Ingram was a perfect 5-5 from the field and finished with 16 points; and Brandon Kenilvort was fantastic, going 5-7 from the field, making all of his free throws, and finishing also with 16 points.
Clan highlights: Michael Provenzano had 11 points; off the bench Othniel Spence had a whopping 29 points; and Graham Miller had 12 points.
Congrats to both teams on a fun game well played.
MSUB 77 @ CU-PDX 79
What can the Cavs really say? They enjoy being spoilsports and we support them wholeheartedly in it. That being said, we’re yet to look at what Preston did and we’re curious, because either people have started to shut him down or he’s started to slump -it’s okay, we still love you Preston!
Yellowjacket highlights: PRESTON BEVERLY HAD A GREAT GAME!!!!! Yay. He scored 29 points and was a perfect 9-9 from the free throw line, in addition to grabbing eight boards and rounding it out with a full house; Kendall Denham had five boards and was back in the starting line-up <3; and Kamal Tall had what we’ll personally consider a triple double with 19 points, 10 boards, and five fouls. Off the bench Zach Lessinger had seven points; and Sven had 10 points and four boards.
Cav highlights: Drew Martin had six boards; Christopher Edward had 10 boards; Jarrett Gray had 20 points; and Taylor Harris had 12 points. Off the bench Davis Nuaimi had seven points. Collectively the team grabbed eight additional boards -nicely done CU-PDX!!
Positively insane game. Congrats to both teams! Again, congrats to CU-PDX on a fantastic sophomore season. We love you and can’t wait to see you dominate the GNAC the way you dominated the Cascade conference.
CWU 74 @ UAF 67
YEAAAAH WILDCATS!! We’re oddly obsessed with Naim Ladd. Like, we’re so proud of that kid and his heart and his hustle. Initially we were like “yeah, right,” and then yeah, he’s like D2 Isaiah Thomas, so we can’t be a hater. He’s too awesome. And yet he played poorly this game; oh well. Congrats to the Nooks on a battle well-fought -y’all shut these people down, even if you didn’t pull out the win.
Wildcat highlights: Marc Rodgers had 13 points; Dom Hunter had 13 points and nine boards; Jawan Stepney had six boards; and Fuquan was SHUT-DOWN (good job Nooks) with a mere six boards. Off the bench Cameron Burton had six points; and Chris-Michael Garet had 14 points and five boards.
Congrats to both teams. Good luck to CWU against the Seawolves and UAF against the Crusaders.
NNU 73 @ UAA 81
There really wasn’t a bad game to watch last night. Ridiculously proud of the Crusaders against the Seawolves up there in their hella nice lair. The Seawolves have been off as of late, so we’re curious to see what the numbers are like. They’re going to need to be in ‘destroy’ mode against CWU tomorrow, so… Who knows.
Crusader highlights: Pol Olivier had 10 points and six assists; Jayden Bezzant had 19 points and six assists because teamwork makes the dream work; Bouna had seven assists; and Maurice Jones had a quiet game with a mere nine boards on terrible shooting. Odd. We believe in you Mo! You’re amazing. You’ll bounce back. Beware Nooks. Off the bench Mark Lepovic had seven points.
Seawolf highlights: Suki bounced back with 27 points; Diante Mitchell was great, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 boards for the double-double; Spencer Svejcar also had a double-double with 24 points and 10 boards -we swear, the Aloe Blacc song is about Spencer because he is THE MAN; Corey Hammell was again either off or shut down because he only had 10 points and six boards; and Connor Devine had five boards. Off the bench Travis Parrish grabbed seven boards.
Congrats to the Seawolves on pulling out the victory at home and doing a great job shutting down one of the premier players in the conference, that being Maurice Jones. Congrats to the Crusaders on hard fought battle in a difficult place to play.
Really fun three nights of basketball. Things are still insanely tense, which is nuts. We really need to check in with the other conferences. And y’all are like “AND DO OUR PLAYER OF THE WEEK AND UPDATE THE STUPID STANDINGS CHART.” Yeah, we know, sorry. It’ll happen. That’s our third year of doing that chart and so we’re pretty excited about it because it is such a great info graph.
Game previews up tomorrow in the AM-ish. Hopefully.
Yes, the ball was dropped on POW yet again -we’ll do it tonight while we’re watching these games.
First and foremost: SPU, SFU, and we believe UAF are now all officially eliminated from making the conference tournament, at least from what we understand.
Second of all… all times pacific:
SMU @ SFU @ 5:15pm
SFU could play the spoiler, but really SMU just needs to get through this game. They should be in kill mode. Will they? Who knows. After last year and watching UAA/CWU control their conference tournament destiny, they should be wholly ready for it and we can’t wait, but… We’ll see. Anything can happen.
Prediction: SMU gets it done.
MSUB @ CU-PDX @ 7pm
CU-PDX upset WOU on Tuesday and although they’re not eligible for the conference tournament, they’re making great headway being the upset darlings. If you can’t make the conference tournament, why not ruin it for someone else? Spoiler is as spoiler does. They’ve been playing really, really good basketball as of late, and while we swear by the talent of MSUB and are thrilled that Kendall Denham is starting again… Who knows. They’re fighting for a spot in the conference tournament on paper… Hopefully they play like it in reality.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
NNU @ UAF @ 8pm
Really excited about this match-up. They should be really evenly matched teams; one is essentially underachieving while the other is overachieving. They’re playing in Fairbanks, which is a challenge unto itself. UAF, chance to the spoiler at home? Absolutely.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
CWU @ UAA @ 8pm
GAME OF THE NIGHTTT. CWU needs to win. UAA it would be nice to get a win. We’ve missed the early-conference play as of late. People have figured out how to shut them down and they have been. We’re not sure which direction this game will go -the Seawolves absolutely blew out the Wildcats initially during the first game, but then CWU battled back and it was really close. We’re sure it left a lasting impression on CWU, but we’re not sure the same could be said for UAA, so it’ll be interesting to see how both teams respond. It’s hard to win in Alaska, but CWU has the fire of trying to make the conference tournament under their tuckuses, so hopefully that rockets them along.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Not sure what to think other than that we’re excited.
All times pacific.
CWU @ SPU @ 4:30
Rivalry game. Anything can happen. SPU could get blown out. CWU could win a close one. SPU could win a close one. It’s at home, they almost upset the Wildcats in their house so there’s going to be a lot of tension, both with CWU wanting to prove that they’re still one of the best in the conference (which they are, there are just a lot of teams in that conversation right now) and wanting to prove that SPU isn’t anything this year. SPU still mathematically has a chance at making the conference tournament, so they need this win big time.
Prediction: CWU wins big or else it’s close. Don’t think the Falcons are able to blow out the Wildcats.
WOU @ SFU @ 7pm
SFU came so close to beating Concordia and it seems like of any year for it to happen, this could be a year for them to upset the Wolves, but… No. Not happening. The Wolves lost a very uninspired game in Bellingham; time for them to remind the Clan of their place in the conference.
Prediction: WOU is victorious.
CU-PDX @ WWU @ 7pm
Concordia has looked really good as of late until they looked really bad against SFU. Bounce back game? Can they beat the Viks on their home court? Talent wise, absolutely, ability to see it through and win? Doubtful. WWU played really terribly until pulling away in the last couple of minutes against WOU -time to get back on track.
Prediction: WWU wins.
NNU @ SMU @ 7:30pm
Not sure what we’re thinking on this one. They should be really evenly matched and it should be an exciting game. NNU looked like a mess against SPU on Thursday, but we don’t expect that to hold. SMU played a tough game against CWU, even with CWU missing one of their top scorers, but ultimately pulled it out. Should be interesting.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
MSUB @ UAA @ 8pm
Game of the night, in our personal opinion, no offense to CWU/SPU. UAA is a really good team with a really good home court advantage. MSUB is a really good team that on any given night has the ability to beat anyone or lose to anyone. When they click, they’re amazing. When they don’t, they’re pedestrian. On Thursday against UAF, it appeared Preston Beverly was feeling the weight and tried to do too much. It’s a difficult thing because on the one hand we would encourage him to rely on his teammates, but on the other hand the statistics rarely support that idea -it’s very 50/50 as to whether or not he needs to play hero ball on any given night (because make no mistake: He has willed them to multiple wins this year) but figuring out what type of night it is, is challenging for anyone against any opponent, much less a sophomore against a ridiculously deep and experienced UAA team.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Should be a really good night of basketball, although ultimately we could see some blowouts. That’s what’s weird this year -CWU could blow out SPU, WWU could blow out Concordia, UAA could blow out MSUB, WOU should blow out SFU, but there’s no telling if any team will actually do that. The only “true” pick ’em game for a normal year would be NNU/SMU, but… It’s not a normal year, so we’ll see.
UAA 68 @ UAF 61
Exciting game. It was looking dicey for a long time and then we believe Spencer Svejcar hit a three and then the Seawolves were able to walk it up and mostly keep it out of reach.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had eight boards; Diante Mitchell had 21 points; Spencer Svejcar made a statement, getting a double-double with 24 points and 10 boards; Corey Hammell went 4-4 from the line and grabbed 11 rebounds; and Connor Devine grabbed five boards. No real bench play.
Nook highlights: Nahjee had 18 points; Bangaly had five boards and a full house; LaDonavan had six boards; and Brandon Davis played 40 minutes and finished with a full house among 19 points and three steals. Also no real bench play.
NNU 68 @ SPU 83
Falcons showing their youth, but getting it done much better. Even last week, they weren’t able to close games like this and tonight they did. The Crusaders played really hard and did their best to exploit, but ultimately couldn’t quite get it done.
Crusader highlights: Bouna went 9-11 from the line; Kaileb Rodriguez had 14 points; Maurice Jones had a double-double including 14 boards; and off the bench Nikola Prvulj had five points.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 14 points and seven boards; Tony Miller had 24 points; Joe Rasmussen had 14 points and six boards; and Olivier-Paul Betu had six assists. Off the bench Nathan Streufert had seven boards along with a full house; and Hunter Eisenhower had nine points.
This is potentially a big statement for the Falcons -it says that they’re finding themselves, which on a team as young as they are is big. This Falcons team had no concept of how to win earlier this year and slowly but surely they’re learning. As for NNU, no big deal. The conference is a mess. The Crusaders are still a super great and talented team.
CU-PDX 74 @ SFU 73
SFU was — that close to winning and then they committed a stupid foul and they didn’t. The Cavs got out by the skin of their teeth, but it is what it is and was what it was. Congrats Cavs, you done got lucky.
Cav highlights: Drew Martin had 13 points; Christopher Edward had nine points, 10 boards, and four steals among other stats meriting a full house, Jarrett Gray had 10 points; and Harris Taylor had 19 points. Off the bench Latrell Wilson had 18 points.
Clan highlights: Kedar Wright had 21 points and five boards; Iziah had 15 point,s, five boards, and four steals; Michael Provenzano had 21 points; and off the bench Tyrell Lewin had six boards.
WOU 63 @ WWU 73
This game was a mess. Both teams are good, but it was seriously an ugly game of basketball that the players knew was ugly, thus they made it even uglier by getting all chippy. Because the game was so ugly, the chippyness wasn’t entertaining -it was just desperate. Congrats to the Viks on ultimately getting it done.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had 19 points; Ali had 20 points and five boards; JJ Chirnside had five boards; and off the bench Bryan Berg had five points; while Isaiah Edwards had five boards.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had 26 points as well as four boards, four assists, and four steals; Logan Schilder had seven boards; and Daulton Hommes had seven boards. Off the bench Deandre Dickson had an awesome eight boards and 18 points; and Trevor Jasinsky had five boards.
Yeesh. We’re glad this game is over. Interesting for the Wolves though -their game was ugly against the Falcons too and they got away with it; can’t do that against WWU.
MSUB 74 @ UAF 83
Close the whole game. Agonizing. The parity continues. The Nooks played really well, finally. Great game from them, super proud!
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had nine boards and finished with a full house; Marc Matthews had 19 points and six boards; and Kamal Tall had eight boards. Off the bench Kendall Denham had 11 points; and Cade Alcorn had five boards.
Nook highlights: Nahjee had five boards and six assists; Bangaly had 10 points; LaDonavan had 13 points; Zach Pederson made a statement with a double double of 11 boards and 11 points; and Brandon Davis played another 40 minute game, finishing with 22 points. Off the bench Michael Kluting had nine points.
Again, congrats to the Nooks on a great performance. Good luck to the Yellowjackets against the Seawolves.
CWU 79 @ SMU 80
This game was insane. Naim Ladd didn’t play, Fuquan shut down Fred, and the Wildcats still almost pulled it off. We admittedly fell asleep watching it, but… That was because of the insanity that’s been going on in our state this week. It ultimately had a 9:15 start time because both Cascade passes are closed, thus CWU had to go down around and up. Yup -what would have/should have been a two hour bus ride turned into six. For those that don’t live here -pretty much all of western Washington shutdown on Monday due to snow and then Tuesday due to ice. The entire week has been weird. It’s now 55 degrees outside. Go figure.
Wildcat highlights: Jawan Stepney had 17 points; Fuquan turned in a classic center performance with a double double of 15 boards and 14 rebounds while missing three shots from the line; and off the bench Cameron Burton had six boards and eight points; while Sage Woodruff continues to make a mark with 14 points.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston rocked it yet again, playing 40 minutes and scoring 15 points and dishing out 10 assists for the double-double; Rhett Baerlocher had 20 points and eight boards; and off the bench Trey Ingram added 14 points; and Brandon Kenilvort a double-double with 17 points and eight rebounds.
Big congrats to the Saints, huge win. CWU, we still believe. Not in your bubble, your bubble has now official burst, but we still know you’re a great team and are proud of you all the same =)
What a night. It was incredible. Everyone played really hard (minus the Westerns) and it was a night to be proud of -even the Westerns.
The season is dimming, bubbles are shifting, and it’s time to regularly take a look at what’s going on with the other two conferences.
For our new readers, a Summary:
In NCAA Division II basketball, the Big Dance is literally split up Regionally. That means we know our potential post season opponents 24/7 365.25 days a year. For us in the West Region, it includes schools in the GNAC, Pac-West, and CCAA -see the “Cast of Characters” tab if you want to know who each specific school is.
The #1 seed in the Regional, generally speaking, hosts. If the #1 seed isn’t in the main 48, then the Regional is split between a school in the main land and then the #1 seeded school.
We’ve joked that we wanted to see a year in which the seeding was:
5. Hawaii Pacific
7. Simon Fraser
Not because we hate the CCAA by any stretch, but just because those schools are the most remote and spread out locations, with the added bonus of SFU, the only metropolitan location, requiring a passport and Canada having a history of not allowing players from certain countries.
For all of y’all, remember: We’re used to knowing things. Last year we put up a prognostication, Bit-o-Baca put up a prognostication, and then the committee produced the actual Bracket, and not only were all of the teams the same for all three, all of the match-ups were the same, while all of the seedings were different. Usually we have a pretty good grasp as to what’s going on -not this year.
That being said: WE’RE GOING TO HAWAII. Maybe; and not us personally, but the Regional should be split in terms of being hosted by Hawaii Pacific and Cal Baptist.
Chico State imploded this weekend. They’re still great, their bubble didn’t burst in the slightest, but they’re no longer in contention to host after losses to both Sonoma (rivalry!) and San Francisco State. SF State is legit and we get that rivalry is as rivalry does, but there are teams that haven’t faltered. Don’t let certain trends fool you -getting the nod to specifically host the Regional is ridiculously hard. All that being said:
What’s your opinion on the #1 Seed hosting the Regional?
Honestly, we don’t think it’s fair when an LA school hosts it and other LA schools get to play in it. This year if it does get split between CBU and HPU, we’d like to see no other Hawaii school playing in Hawaii and no other SoCal school playing in SoCal, but it won’t happen because on the surface it doesn’t make financial sense. There’s a legitimate argument that even when WWU hosted the tournament, the SPU games were dead -even though SPU is only two hours away.
Our legitimate argument is that if the tournament was consistently hosted in a central location that already has good fans and good infrastructure, it would become a big thing yearly for the locals to be excited about attending. We host our conference tournament at SMU every year and it’s great. The location is central located, the facility is nice, parking is easy, and the locals actually come out and watch non-SMU teams play.
What school could/would do that on a Regional level?
Easy: Chico State.
They have a strong men’s basketball program and athletic department, they make the tournament regularly, it’s a big gymnasium, their locals genuinely care about basketball, they’ve got the best radio play-by-play guy in D2, and location wise it’s perfect:
-It’s at least an hour drive for every other NorCal school.
-It’s six to eight hours for the SoCal schools.
-It’s 10-12 hours for most of the GNAC schools.
Entirely driveable for the vast majority of teams. Alaskas, Hawaiis, and MSUB being the exception. Every other school IN THE ENTIRE REGION can drive there within 13 hours.
In D2, you have to look at your primary target demographics as to who actually is attending the games. In reality, it’s parents of players and locals. Chico State has great locals and is a good location for the vast majority of West Region parents. Literally the only knock on Chico is that there’s not a super convenient major airport, but that’s true with almost every school. The only schools that have convenient major airports are Dominican, Dominguez-Hills-ish, and Concordia-Portland. Every other location is either remote (see: Honolulu and Anchorage) and/or you need a car.
Chico hosting permanently won’t happen, and we’re honestly fine with the #1 seed hosting, but it is an interesting discussion none-the-less.
What’s your current bracket?
Ooooh, good question. We’ll be honest: We haven’t paid any attention to rankings this year, because we figure we know better than the voters. “All you’ve said for months is that you don’t know.” Exactly. Any ranking someone comes up with regarding schools in the D2 West is completely meaningless because the vast, vast, vast majority of games are pick ’ems, even when the game ends up being a blow out. MSUB beat WWU, got killed by SMU, and then blew out a very good and proven CWU at CWU. Oookay. Nothing makes any sense. Literally 10 teams are still in the running for making the conference tournament, that’s how much parity there is.
|D2 West Bracketology|
|1||CBU||HPU||Beat CBU recently.|
|2||HPU||CBU||Lost to HPU recently.|
|3||WWU||SFSU||Beat Chico State, non-con continues to look impressive.|
|4||UCSD||UCSD||Best non-con in the CCAA, even with a loss to Chico.|
|5||Chico||Sonoma||Legit wins against Chico and UCSD.|
|6||CWU||UAA||Currently up on WWU by half a game and they split in their meetings.|
|7||Dixie||Dixie||Hasn’t yet played HPU/CBU.|
|8||SFSU||WWU||Swept by the Alaska schools, Texas A&M Commerce is 7-5 in conference.|
At this point we don’t expect that bracket to hold in the slightest because there are too many games left to be played and all three conferences are clouded in parity. It’s great, eh? CWU is currently out but we don’t necessarily expect them to stay out either because one of the schools in another conference loses twice or because they procure wins at the Alaska schools or something as such. There’s still tons of variability, but it is fun to look at a snapshot of what things look like this week, and we had a blast looking at our seeding from two weeks ago simply because it’s never not a well reason argument, the arguments just change as you get more evidence.
If I’m a CWU fan, should I be freaking out right now?
No. You still get to go play the Alaskas and there are plenty of other difficult and interesting match-ups in the other two conferences as well.
If I’m a UAA fan, should I feel safe?
Absolutely not. Your bubble is a redhead’s skin after 10 hours in the sun without sunscreen. Not only do you still have to face Billings, you still have to face NNU and CWU, plus add in the fact that there are a lot of impressive games that can be won in the CCAA and Pac-West still.
Think we’re a genius? Think we’re an idiot? Have a solid argument as to why we’re slightly wrong? Tell us about it on Twitter or in the comments!