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!
Yes there are other games being played besides our numbered days, but close enough.
Dixie State 86 @ WOU 97
Got it done. This should be a win that we look at and go “absolutely quality,” later in the season. Dixie is super well coached and amazingly they start off strong and then tend to get even stronger, and so… Big praise to the Wolves. Dixie is always in contention for the West Regional and usually makes it, so this win helps everyone.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had 19 points and 12 boards among a full house of stats; Darius Luborn had five assists; and Riley Hawken had a great bounce-back game with 21 points and eight boards. Off the bench Demetrius Trammmell made noise with 24 points on great shooting -this time 6-9 from the line; Vince Boumann impresses yet again with a double double of 15 points and 10 boards while going 7-8 from the field; and Ali Faruq-Bey had six points.
Congrats to the Wolves on a great win!
CWU 60 vs. CU-Irvine 65 @ SPU
Good lord, don’t let this score fool you: CU-I did everything in their power to Coug It (that is: clutch defeat from the jaws of victory) after being up by 18 part way through the second half and then… CWU took it seriously and CU-I didn’t.
Wildcat highlights: Khalil Shabazz eight boards; Jawan Stepney had 21 points on good shooting; Fuquan Niles had 14 boards and eight points; and off the bench Malik Montoya had four boards.
Big praise again to the Wildcats for being in it the whole time and continuing to grind. Almost got it done! Next time.
CU-PDX 78 vs. Academy of Art 71 @ NNU
Maybe a little bit of a let-down game, but the Cavs still got it done and came back after being down at the half. Way to go guys!
Cav highlights: Jace Cates had 10 points; Cody Starr had nine points; Jarrett Gray went 10-10 from the line and finished with 20 points; and Christopher Edward had 18 points and 13 boards while being great from the field. Off the bench Bryan Michaels had 11 points and six boards; while Deandre Stallings had seven points.
Good job Cavs, keep it going! We believe in you.
Hawaii-Hilo 59 @ SPU 90
This game looked like it was going to be interesting for the first ten or so minutes, and then it wasn’t, but we’re okay with that.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 11 points, five boards, and five assists while going 4-5 from the field; Sam Simpson bounced back with 14 points; Nikhil Lizotte had 11 points; and Tony Miller had 22 points and nine boards. Off the bench Braden Olsen had six points and six assists; Harry Cavell had eight points and four boards; Hunter Eisenhower had five points; and EJ Poulsen and Nathan Streufert both added four boards as well.
Congrats to the Falcons on the win, now go beat Dixie State! Yay SOS. We get concerned.
Holy Names 74 @ UAA 80
This is another score to not let fool you; Anchorage didn’t stay on it -they attempted to lose, it had been a blow-out. The good news is they still got it done, so non-conference wins for the GNAC, woo-hoo!
Seawolf highlights: Jacob Lampkin had a “quiet” game with only 12 points, 10 boards, and a full house; DJ Ursery had 15 points and six boards; and Josiah Wood had 11 points. Off the bench Malik Clements had seven points and six boards; Brennan Rymer had six points; and Brian Pearson had six points while going 4-4 from the line.
Thank-you Seawolves! We’ll always take a non-con win in any way, shape, or form.
SFSU 92 @ NNU 75
The Crusaders were in it, they were in it and going for it and then the final result happened, but it was still a valiant effort and much experience gained.
Crusader highlights: Carlos Garcia had six boards; Obi Megwa had 13 points; Nikola Prvulj was back in action and had 10 points; and Maurice Jones had 26 points and 12 boards.
Back on it NNU, we believe! Although maybe not against Metro State -we like being wrong though, so upset them!
Overall not a bad day of GNAC play. As you can probably tell -we walk around wringing our hands about conference SOS and this day didn’t stop the practice, but again: A big thanks to WOU.
Game previews for Tuesday will be up on Tuesday and then we’ll probably wait to do POW on Wednesday because then we can include SMU & UAF as well, so that’ll be good.
Good luck to the Nanooks against HNU tomorrow.
Lots of great moments to be proud of and excited about, teams doing what we know they can and getting it done! NNU is looking better than normal, which is great for everyone much less them =) Way to go Crusaders.
CWU 84 vs. Hilo 79 @ SPU
It looks closer than it was; CWU turned off the gas after having a huge lead. Oh well, got the ‘W’ that’s what counts.
Wildcat highlights: Khalil Shabazz had 25 points and was 9-11 from the line; Marc Rodgers had eight points; and Fuquan Niles was a fantastic 6-7 from the field, 5-6 from the line, and finished with 17 points and 11 boards. Off the bench Malik Montoya had 10 points; and Coleman Sparling had six points and five boards.
Way to get it done Wildcats!
Azusa Pacific 87 @ WOU 99
Pretty much what we expected and numbers from the usual guys. Good performance, solid, looking long and strong.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had 15 points, five boards, and five steals among other stats for a full house; Darius Luborn had seven boards; Riley Hawken had five boards; JJ Chirnside had 10 points and five boards also rounding out with a full house. Off the bench Malik Morgan had nine points; Demetrius Trammell proved his sixth man expertise scoring 24 points on great shooting including 6-8 from three; Janvier Alaby had 10 points; and Vince Bouman 18 points while going 6-7 from the field.
Congrats on a nice win Wolves!
SFSU 97 @ CU-PDX 102
HECK YES CONCORDIA-PORTLAND!!!!!! We knew you could do it.
Cav highlights: Cody Starr had 22 points and 10 assists for the double-double; Jarrett Gray had 22 points and five assists; and Christopher Edward had 14 points and 11 boards. Off the bench Bryan Michaels had a massive 25 on good shooting and while going 6-7 from the line; and Taylor Harris also shot well, finishing with 13 points.
Great job to the Cavs! Ridiculously proud of you.
CU-Irvine 56 @ SPU 79
Ooookay. We’ll take it. We’re confused about whether or not we still think CU-I is a good team though; we’ll have to wait and see and cross our fingers as a conference.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had nine points and five boards; and Sam Simpson had six boards. Off the bench Braden Olsen had seven points; Harry Cavell had 11 points; Hunter Eisenhower had 11 points; and Nathan Streufert had eight points, seven boards, and a whopping seven blocks.
Congrats & thank-you for getting the ‘W’ Falcons! Our conference SOS largely depends on you.
Holy Names 55 @ UAA 63
Not the distribution we were expecting, but UAA won and that’s what counts.
Seawolf highlights: Maleke Haynes had eight assists; Jacob Lampkin continues to impress with a double-dobule of 17 points and 14 boards; DJ Ursery had 19 points and five boards; and off the bench Drew Peterson had12 points and six boards while being 4-4 from the line.
Thanks for getting it done Seawolves.
Academy of Art 76 @ NNU 84
Picking up those non-con wins NNU! Nicely done.
Crusader highlights: Obi Megway ahd 23 points; Jayden Bezzant had 17 points and six boards among a full house; Maurice Jones is Maurice Jones -he had 27 points and 12 boards while being 8-9 from the line. Off the bench Sam Roth had eight points and six boards; while Olamilekan Adetunji had four boards.
Usually in past years NNU would have won by one or two against Art U.; this is marked improvement. Congrats to the Crusaders!
Win the day we did! GNAC goes 6/6 and life is good.
All times pacific.
WOU vs. Dixie @ 3pm
We actually trekked all the way down to Monmouth yesterday (we live in Seattle) and we weren’t impressed with Dixie. We think it’s a super winnable game for WOU, especially at home.
Prediction: WOU wins.
CWU vs. CU-Irvine @ 5pm
The SPU game yesterday confused us because CU-I had good wins last weekend and then the Falcons dismantled them meanwhile putting up terrible numbers. If CWU comes out swinging, there’s no reason the Wildcats can’t win.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
CU-PDX vs. Academy of Art @ 5pm
They had a FANTASTIC win against SFSU yesterday and we can’t wait to see what they do against Art U.
Prediction: CU-PDX wins comfortably.
SPU vs. Hilo @ 7pm
Hilo apparently wakes up for big teams and while the Falcons have been meh the last couple of years, they’re still as egomaniacal as ever, and Hilo has too many losses to do it again. If SPU can stay tenacious they should win, but if there’s any thought of “we don’t need to take them seriously,” Hilo is gonna get the ‘W.’
Prediction: Pick ’em.
NNU vs. San Fran State @ 7pm
We think SFSU is a good team. We think NNU is an okay team. We think that it’s possible for NNU to win, but it would be an upset if they did.
Prediction: SFSU pulls out a win, but not without a scare.
UAA vs. Holy Names @ 8:30pm
Last night was closer than we expected and yes UAA plays back-to-back games against a Pac-West bottom dweller. It is what it is, but we are judging them for it. We know it tanks the conference SOS, but we hate them scheduling this school so much that… We’d kind of like an HNU upset because we figure the SOS is tanked regardless.
Prediction: UAA wins.
Should be an interesting night of games. Really curious about the WOU/Dixie game in particular, although we consider this to be a mostly stacked night of games.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
Good morning and welcome to the third big day of non-conference play.
First, the results of last night’s D2 (but non-region) game:
MSUB 75 vs. Mary 72
MSUB played a game against a Northern Sun school (non-region D2 opponent) and we had no idea what to expect out of it, so we didn’t put a prediction, but it did end basically as we expected with it being an incredibly close game. MSUB is now 3-0 in D2 play, which is awesome.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham finally had a good game with 13 points and four assists; Tyler Green continues to impress with a fantastic 24 points and six assists; Kamal Tall had 11 boards; and off the bench Zharon Richardson had 10 points and six boards; while Daniel Shedden had seven points and five boards.
Congrats on a nice win, Jackets!!
Game Day Previews.
All times pacific standard:
CWU vs. Hilo @ 4:30pm
We’re really curious about this game because Hilo has now lost to SFU and SMU, meanwhile beat WWU. The trend would say that CWU should beat Hilo without too much of an issue, and so we’re going with that.
Prediction: CWU wins reasonably.
CU-PDX vs. San Fran State @ NNU @ 5pm
Really curious about this game because it should be a good test for the Cavs. It’s a neutral court being in Nampa and should be a good step-up test for the Cavs. SFSU looked pretty good last week with wins against Academy of Art and Dominican, so we’ll see what Christopher and Jarrett can lead the team to.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
WOU vs. Azusa Pacific @ 5:30pm
Another interesting game. Azusa is usually good; WOU projects as being really good, and we’re excited for the Wolves to get another chance to truly run. They got a nice win over Point Loma and we have full confidence that they’ll continue that today.
Prediction: WOU wins a close one.
SPU vs. CU-Irvine @ 7pm
Yet another interesting game. Irvine was looking pretty darn good last week with a win over Chico and a blowout over San Marcos. This is going to be a big test for the Falcons -it’s the first team they’re facing where they know going in that the opponent is good, and so we’ll see how they respond to it.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
NNU vs. Academy of Art @ 7pm
Should be well matched. AofA and NNU usually sit in similar spots and we really like the team that NNU has this year -even without them having been tested on a D2 level yet. The Crusaders have a surprisingly good home battlefield advantage (’cause they’re Crusaders, get it?) and Maurice Jones is back and we’re confident about him.
Prediction: NNU wins.
UAA vs. Holy Names @ 8:30pm
Seriously UAA? It can’t be that hard to get people to come and play you. For those missing it: HNU usually sits really low in the Pac-West, so this should be a gimme-game and they’re facing the Hawks two games in a row at home. At least go play them on the road twice in a row, geez.
Prediction: UAA wins big.
Should be an interesting day of games. As always -tweet at us with thoughts/questions/etc.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
Why is blogging happening so late this year? Because we’re used to knowing something. We’re used to being able to extrapolate meaning out of all of this data, but this year the data is meaningless. We ended up in basketball really randomly and, via the demographic we came from, we’re aware that if we can’t make sense of these numbers -no one can.
If someone tells you they can make sense of them, they’re lying. It’s like someone saying they can drive in the snow in Seattle. We grew up driving in eastern Washington, Idaho, and Montana snow and through those mountain passes in the winter. We can drive in the snow just fine. We cannot drive in the snow in Seattle because Seattle usually sits around 20 degrees when it snows (even at night) and warms up as sunlight hits it, thus it’s nothing but a mess of ice with the constant thaw-refreeze-thaw that happens as any given day-of-snow goes on.
It’s impossible drive in Seattle in the snow.
It’s impossible to take any meaning out of these numbers.
And that’s why we’re struggling to put up posts on time. It’s not that we don’t care, it’s not that we’re not following things insanely closely, it’s that as much as we love highlighting these guys… We want the highlights to be real. And right now without context we don’t know what real is.
For the (ahem Central) people that are like “you just don’t care as much because SPU is a mess” um, it’s a pretty darn good year for our alma mater to be a mess considering with the level of parity, we essentially have 11 teams in the GNAC in play.
Yes. 11. 11 teams. Simon Fraser, welcome to the Club.
There are definite player highlights from the past weekend we can touch on…
NNU 53 “@” CSU East Bay 71
-Bouna N’Diaye went 7-9 from the field, finishing with 14 points
-Maurice Jones went 6-7 from the field, finishing with 17 points and eight boards.
NNU 68 @ Chico 79
-Bouna N’Diaye and Kalieb Rodrieguez both finished with 17 points apiece.
Funny/fun game just because they actually got Chico to push the tempo. Usually Chico is a defensive grind it out, which is incredible, but can be fun to see the points rise. We like Chico. They and UCSD are “our” CCAA teams.
WOU 65 “@” Westminster 58
-Tanner Omlid had 10 boards, five steals, and 23 points.
-Malik Leaks had 10 points off the bench.
WOU 73 @ Dixie State 78
-Tanner Omlid had 7 assists and zero turnovers.
Once again… We really have to compliment WOU on how well they take care of the basketball. Another funny thing because along with lack of SOS, how many turnovers those mid-2000s Romar teams had was the other major complaint. The Wolves definitely have that one taken care of; and WOU’s SOS is admittedly better this year than last.
SFU 67 “@” CU-Irvine 80
-TYRELL LEWIN HAD 24 POINTS ON 12-12 SHOOTING.
-JJ Pankratz had 19 points.
MSUB 86 “@” Western State (CO) 77
-Kendall Denham had 14 points off the bench.
MSUB 83 @ Colorado Mesa 68
-Jace Anderson went 6-6 from the line and finished with 22 points.
SPU 79 “@” Point Loma 86
-Tony Miller had 11 boards
SPU 73 @ Azusa Pacific 68
-Coleman Wooten had 14 boards.
Fresno Pacific 58 “@” UAF 74
-Bangaly Kaba went 9-10 from the line and finished with 17 points.
Fresno Pacific 66 @ WWU 75
-Jeffrey Parker went 7-7 from the line and finsihed with 21 points.
Essentially those were the best numbers the games had to offer. We’re only doing that because the rest… Our arms are crossed and we’re waiting. We believe in all of them, but this isn’t little league. Some will score more, some will score less. Some teams will win more, some teams will win less. And the numbers will matter. Eventually.
Conference play starts tonight. CU-PDX @ WOU. The obvious thing is that WOU is going to beat Concordia and we feel pretty confident in that pick. We’re very proud of Tanner. If you make our pre-season all conference team and then play well, you’ll be in our good book for a long time. If you play badly, we’ll openly complain about you the following year even if you’re sitting within earshot.
We’ll do POW here in a bit, although the nominations and award will probably be in the same post since so few teams played two actual D2 games. Still means just as much, but most of the time we try not to bombard people with posts.
Other than that… We see a Phil Jackson-style shenanigans post in the near future, no pun intended.
Better late than never. Football, Saturday napping, and still contemplating what the heck is going on with this conference were taking priority. Last night’s numbers… The only numbers that might be the slightest bit meaningful are APU vs. SPU and that we don’t even believe/feel like we’re being homers for considering. The game was a mess on the side of the Falcons. But does that mean they’re getting better or that Azusa was having issues?
MSUB @ Western State Colorado @ 2pm
TBD. We’re liking the numbers the Yellowjackets have been putting up as of late, but have no idea the type of competition, plus it’s non-West Region which in a year of so much parity, we’re not sure how much it matters anyway.
WWU vs. Fresno Pacific @ 3:15
WWU more, FPU less. FPU is by no means a terrible team and WWU is by no means a tested team, but we think the Vikings have been winning in a way that says “dominant” thus there should be no issue -especially at home.
Simon Fraser vs. Concordia-Irvine @ Cal Baptist @ 5:15
CU-Irvine isn’t as good this year as they were last, but they’re still gonna kill the Clan. The Clan put up good numbers against Cal Baptist (even while getting killed) so that’ll be the thing to focus on -playing their own game and playing good fundamental basketball regardless as to what the score is. Stay within themselves, not in the sense of being less than CU-I, but in not trying to match them and know that if they play good defense and play smart on offense, that’s the only way winning is going to be a possibility regardless as to what the actual chance is.
SPU vs. Point Loma @ Azusa Pacific @ 5:30
No idea -we have no idea what the Falcons are going to do in any given game, much less one against their former coach.
Western Oregon vs. Dixie State @ 6:30
Big game of the night and again: we have no idea. CWU beat Dixie State. SPU lost to Dixie State. Dixie State lost to UC San Diego on the road while WOU lost to UC San Diego at home in 3OT. Theoretically that makes Dixie slightly better than WOU, but yeah right. This game… Who knows?
Tweet at us. We’re keeping an eye on these games, but have been watching the Michigan/Ohio State, USC/ND, and now are very focused on the CU/Utah game.
Hi West Region folks! On the agenda today: Losses in the Pac-West & CCAA, as well as the WOU/SPU game up in the GNAC, and if WOU doesn’t host then who should?
If you’ve been reading this blog since August 2015 or before, go ahead and skip to the next section; this is just the regional format of D2, provided for the new-to-D2 people.
A question was broached last night about D2 and who’s who and what’s what and we have a couple of pages up about it under “the kingdom” “other kingdoms” and “the empire,” but it’s maybe not as clear as it might be, so we’ll go over it just a bit now:
How many teams play in March? 64.
How many regions are there? Eight.
How many bids does each region get? Eight.
8 x 8 = 64. Pretty simple.
But the big difference between D1 and D2 is that we’re limited by region. We like the system better than the D1 system because we like being able to stalk the other teams we’re potentially playing all year, and have an idea of who we’re gonna match-up with, but the one drawback is that you can end up with what’s essentially three number one seeds all in the same region.
That happened to the D2 west most recently in 2013; Western Washington was ranked 2nd, Cal Poly Pomona was ranked 3rd, and Seattle Pacific was ranked 4th. Cal Poly Pomona exited in the round of 32, Seattle Pacific the round of 16, and Western Washington at made it to the Elite Eight/Final Four, although didn’t win the title.
Still: We think the geographic defined regions work well because if you want to win a national championship, you have to beat everybody; it doesn’t matter where you’re from, where you’re ranked, or how you’re seeded. When it comes down to it: Win. That’s it. That’s all you’ve gotta do. And look no further than D1 Duke’s propensity to lose in the 2nd round to see that it truly doesn’t matter who and where you play.
Pac-West games of note this past week:
HPU 83 @ APU 80
CBU 88 @ Dixie 94 in OT
Hilo 86 @ Dom. 76
Dominican is currently just edging out BYU-H for the 6th spot in the Pac-West, while Hilo is near the bottom.
Hilo lost to CWU/SPU/SMU, while Dominican lost to NNU while beating UAF & MSUB. Additionally Dominican has losses to Sonoma & Chico, and wins over Monterey Bay and Stanislaus.
Hawaii Pacific is currently 3rd in the Pac-West and has losses to both of the Alaska schools and a win over Western Washington.
Neither Hilo nor HPU played any crossover with the CCAA.
Pac-West Relevant Standings:
CU-Irvine is 14-2
APU is 10-4
HPU is 10-5
CBU is 9-5
Dixie is 8-5
Dominican is 8-6
BYU-H is 9-7
Chaminade is 8-7
And CU-Irvine isn’t eligible for the Regional and thus we assume isn’t going to the conference tournament either.
CCAA games of note this past week:
DH 62 @ CSULA 69
HSU 59 @ SFSU 85
CSULA 59 @ San Marcos 55
UCSD is 13-2
Chico is 12-2
CPP is 11-4
San Marcos is 9-5
Humboldt is 9-6
Monterey Bay is 8-7
Sonoma is 7-8
SFSU is 6-9
Humboldt lost big to SFSU and we’d say we’re surprised but we’re not. The SOS in the CCAA is minimal at best; UCSD is fine, but no one really played anyone and in conference play everyone has questionable losses.
GNAC games of note this past week:
UAA 108 @ WWU 105 in OT
UAF 78 @ WWU 64 -doesn’t mean much in regard to standings, but it was a surprisingly thorough blowout.
WOU 84 @ SPU 82 in OT
Really the GNAC isn’t that interesting at the moment because the spots in the conference tournament are theoretically completely solidified. The order of the finish isn’t, but there’s a pretty big gap between the top six and the bottom five.
That’s the gap you’re looking at. Within the groups (those in the conference tournament and those not in the conference tournament) there’s tons of parity, but is it stuff that non-GNAC people need to be concerned about? Not really.
UAA beating WWU theoretically basically affirms the fact that the Seawolves should get an at-large bid, even if they pick up a loss to WOU and/or at CWU. CWU has a pretty good home court advantage and is great about getting up for big games, so definitely something to at least look at as a potential to happen. While the Seawolves SOS isn’t great, it’s better than teams of similar records in the Pac-West and CCAA, so this year they should get the nod.
The WOU @ SPU game… It was intense. It was everything we expected and more. The Falcons went up by a lot and were up by quite a bit at half time but we didn’t buy it for a second. That’s not how these two teams play. We knew it would come down to the end and it did and the Wolves pulled out the victory and in doing so could have reserved themselves the spot of West Region host over SPU, which… Doesn’t make a ton of sense if you look at the standings, because right now UAA has a better record than SPU, and yet… UAA has a much harder remaining schedule, and no Strength of Schedule, while the Falcons have Strength of Schedule and only play two games that come in as question marks.
UAA notably has: @MSUB, vs. UAF, @CWU, and vs. WOU; four out of their remaining six games are rough. MSUB at home would be fine, but as we regularly say: It’s hard to play in Billings. MSUB on the road is brutal, doesn’t matter who you are.
SPU notably has: vs. WWU, @ CWU.
While every game each team plays is up for grabs, particularly in a year like this, at the same time you have to think rationally, weighing it all. We know that every game is losable for both teams, but we also know that every game is winnable because SPU and UAA are two very good teams, and with that: The Seawolves may very well get the win against WOU, particularly because the Wolves are playing up in Alaska and playing up in Alaska is brutal. Really brutal. They have incredible home court advantage. But the Wolves are a really, really, really good team.
Looking at “potential” West Region hosts:
CU-I isn’t eligible.
APU just lost to FPU, HPU, and Dominican.
Cal Baptist just lost to Dixie State and has a loss to UCSD in non-con.
HPU got swept by the Alaska schools + five in-conference losses.
UCSD has a couple of big losses to Humboldt and Monterey Bay, and plays Chico on Friday.
Chico has a brutally back-loaded schedule and still has to play CPP, UCSD, Humboldt, and DH.
CPP has two losses to UCSD.
In the GNAC:
WOU has a road win over UCSD, two wins over SPU, and thus far: Only one in-conference loss and it’s on the road to a CWU team that’s for sure making the conference tournament.
SPU has two losses to WOU, but also boasts wins against Chico, APU, Dixie, BYU-H, and an overtime loss to CU-Irvine. In terms of SOS, this is the cream of the D2West crop.
UAA isn’t relevant because they have a comparable number of losses with SPU, without the strength of schedule to counterbalance.
WOU beating SPU theoretically seals the region’s fate that we’re bound for Monmouth, because even with an expected level of chaos it would be hard for WOU to lose enough and other teams to win enough that the tournament would go elsewhere. But even if it did, we see UCSD and SPU being the big schools to be considered, even with the kind of chaos that might go on, because the fact is:
THIS ISN’T THE SEC; THIS IS PAC-12 COUNTRY. PLAY DIFFICULT SCHEDULES. WIN AGAINST GOOD TEAMS.
We really don’t want SPU to host, but if chaos happens and it’s basically drawing a name out of a hat in regard to hosting: The Falcons wholly deserve it because they schedule fearlessly, and they always have -even before SOS was counted. While WOU went down and played at UCSD, it was only one game and we don’t buy that the Wolves thought it would be a tough game. We’d been preaching how much we liked the Tritons all year, but no one really started taking them seriously until late November, early December.
SPU? The Falcons scheduled Elite Eight participant Azusa, perennial powers Chico State, Dixie State, and BYU-Hawaii, and a CU-Irvine team that was seen as a huge threat to pull a Cal Baptist/Azusa Pacific and come in and immediately dominate (which they have). And they won every game except the one against CU-Irvine. No one matches the Falcons strength of schedule. No one. The Falcons played a more difficult non-con than most of the other potential at-large teams combined. Ryan Looney scheduled his guys a death march of non-con and especially in this first year of SOS being official criterium: if WOU doesn’t get the bid to host, SPU should. Not because they’re the team most likely to make it to the Elite Eight -honestly we have no clue, because we’d place our bets on ineligible CU-Irvine- but because the region-wide pathetic non-conference scheduling has got to stop.
Sorry to the teams that played the top schools and are now being insinuated as “pathetic non-conference opponents.”
POW Noms & Winner’ll go up at 10 and 11am, respectively.
HOOOOLY GUACAMOLE. We’re proud of and stunned over the vast majority of the West Region right now because there were SO many close games being played today. Teams were playing up, teams were playing down, and battles were being had up and down the entirety of the west coast (including up in Alaska and out in Hawaii) and WOW.
So let’s talk about it. Here are all of the games that came down to a possession-ish:
Seattle Pacific 74 @ Alaska-Anchorage 71
Northwest Nazarene 70 @ Concordia-Portland 72
MSU-Billings 76 @ Simon Fraser 72
Fresno Pacific 94 @ Azusa Pacific 90
Hawaii Hilo 80 @ ND de Namur 82
BYU Hawaii 87 @ Point Loma 71 -not a close game, but a big upset
Hawaii Pacific 63 @ Dixie State 84 -also not a close game, but a surprising blowout
Cal Baptist 81 @ Concordia-Irvine 82
San Bernardino State 92 @ Humboldt State 93
Sonoma State 65 @ Dominguez Hills 88 -unexpected blowout, although we’ve been preaching DH since mid-November.
UC San Diego 41 @ Cal Poly Pomona 35 -meditate on this; we’re still confused and are going to end up re-watching it closely.
San Fran State 49 @ Cal State LA 63 -huge upset.
The CCAA Friday night games are what make some of those results particularly interesting. You see: Friday night was normal. Sonoma beat CSULA and San Fran State beat DH, both with roughly 10 point margins.
Records of potential conference tournament-bound teams:
Overall while the GNAC is experiencing chaos and parity, there also is separation. The CCAA, there are seven teams competing for theoretically six bids and it’s going to be a bit chaos-y, but not anywhere close to as nuts as the Pac-West. The Pac-West is a full on glorious mess. Think Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-Off food fight mess; yes, that good.
We’ve been following the Pac-West but hadn’t looked at the standings and now that we have… We’re aware of just how nuts they truly are: Nine teams are .500 or above in conference and Fresno Pacific is a mere two games out, with two games against 2-10 ND de Namur and a game against 2-11 HNU still to play. Granted, the rest of FPU’s schedule is terrifying, but they upset Azusa tonight AT Azusa, so… Maybe not as undoable as it looked yesterday?
With the GNAC… UAF, UAA, WWU, SPU, CWU, and WOU (in our usual blog order) are all pretty locked into their spots in the conference tournament. While we fully expect 0-12 SFU to beat someone (even someone in the top six) we still don’t expect it to undo the standings. We’re through just over half of conference play and because each pair is represented once in the top six (except the Alaskas, who are both in there) it should be fairly maintainable for all six teams.
As for the CCAA, it’ll get dicey but UCSD, Chico State, and Cal Poly Pomona can probably feel safe about their conference tournament bids. The other four it’s going to be nuts and that’s all we can say. We may be talking about another team here in the coming weeks, it all depends.
The region motto this year might as well be “Expect the unexpected,” and thus the seatbelt sign remains on. We’ve had two games in the second half of conference play and would like to remind you that seatbelts need to remain fastened until conference play comes to a full and complete stop.
What are we thinking in regard to the West Region? Who. The. Falcon. Knows.
Not them. Not the Falcons. That’s just our latest rated ‘R’ term gone ‘G.’
Here’s a west region prognostication maybe with a little bit of seeding but kinda sorta maybe not really who knows. It’s so much chaos it seems ludicrous to make a list like this, particularly with seeding, but… Here we go:
1. Western Oregon -best record, holds the tiebreaker over UCSD and it was great because it was a road win.
2. UC San Diego -great team, think they’re amazing, very solid CCAA resume.
3. CU-Irvine -we’ve liked them since they beat SPU in the first game of the year and continue to believe in them.
4. Seattle Pacific -We’d rather stick Anchorage here, but SOS counts this year and the Falcons undeniably have it.
5. Cal Baptist -another nod because of SOS with Moorhead, but we’re really not sure how we feel placing them here.
6. Chico State -their only SOS continues to be their losses to the Falcons and Cal Poly Pomona by 10 points a piece. They’re a good team, but the game at UCSD on the 12th looms rather large.
7. Alaska-Anchorage -We want them higher, but their biggest win was at SPU a month ago and the Falcons just beat them. Aside from that, they lack a quality road win because their wins against Chaminade and Hawaii Pacific were at home.
8. Azusa Pacific -Between them and BYU-Hawaii it’s not close because BYU-H’s non-conference was a mess while APU’s was quality, plus BYU-H really hasn’t had too bad of a conference schedule so far and it’s about to get brutal.
Shockingly we feel kind of comfortable with that. We don’t think it’s right in the slightest, but we feel like it’s well-reasoned at the very least, which is kind of the best you can go for right now. This is all theoretical physics, basketball edition.
Alright. Now we’re off to go write the GNAC Recaps and maybe start on some of the math for POW stuff because we like doing it by hand rather than letting a program do it for us. Statistics are good therapy, which… With this region, we need it. We need a way to let our brain relax with formulas that are consistent.
Have a great night, thanks for coming on the ride with us, it’s far from over, and for the non-GNAC, West Region people: We’ll catch-up with you on Wednesday for some discussions about national rankings.
Nothing really to discuss because we’ve been discussing things for two straight weeks, so we’ll go over the positions and that’ll be it. Teams in italics are non-west teams that west region teams have played.
3. Western Oregon
5. Cal Poly Pomona
8. Seattle Pacific
13. UC San Diego
14. Cal Baptist
21. Chico State
Receiving votes: Azusa Pacific (8), Colorado Mines (2)
We discussed this last week: We didn’t think WOU would move up because the teams ahead of them did what needed to be done. Same with Cal Poly Pomona. UCSD moved down, but that was after playing San Marcos in what was a very ugly game. It’s great that the Tritons got it done with only four players in the final minute and it’s great for San Marcos being able to do that, but… San Marcos has a losing record and the Tritons escaped by the skin of their teeth, so we understand them being dropped. Had they only played Western Oregon between now and then, that would be a different story.
Seattle Pacific moved up a spot, which likely just means that the sixth or seventh team lost because the Falcons haven’t played since the last poll. Cal Baptist seems fair -they did what they needed to do in killing PLNU. Chico State continues to receive too much credit for their loss to SPU, and… It continues to bug us in regard to Azusa Pacific. Chico State hasn’t played anybody BUT Seattle Pacific. Azusa has played Seattle Pacific, Cal Poly, and Cal Baptist. Yes, they only won one out of the three, but they still BEAT CAL BAPTIST. Chico doesn’t have a win like that. We like Chico, we want the Wildcats to do well, but right now their resume just doesn’t have it and the Cougars does, so… APU should be in and Chico should be in the merely receiving votes category.
CU-Irvine is no longer receiving votes, which… Ooookay. Do they have a truly great win? No. But do they have good wins? Yes. Do they have more than Chico? Yes. The Eagles have merely a loss to San Marcos and have wins against Seattle Pacific and Point Loma. Is a great resume? No. Would we vote them in? No. But they still have more than Chico. It may be a strength of conference thing -UCSD and CPP are really good, so mix that with the loss to SPU and you have a Chico team that looks good, but… Not buying it. The CCAA is probably slightly stronger, but the Pac-West is seeming a bit deeper.
Ridiculously excited to get into conference play starting tomorrow. There are a few huge match-ups this weekend from a regional perspective:
Seattle Pacific takes on the Alaska schools.
UCSD takes on Humboldt State and Cal Poly Pomona
We’ll see how those games play out. Obviously UCSD vs. CPP in particular has big implications in regard to rankings, so… Fun stuff on the horizon.