Results and then predictions for today.
CWU 80 @ MSUB 75
Wildcats got it done, MSUB put up a great fight. Just when you thought CWU was walking away with it, MSUB came in and said “absolutely not, you guys are gonna have to work harder than that,” and while it got dicey, Central pulled it out.
Wildcat highlights: Khalil Shabazz had nine points; Jawan Stepney had 12 points, five boards, and five assists (with ZERO turnovers!); and Fuquan had 23 points and five boards along with zero blocks -we consider this Fuquan being contained. Off the bench Marc Rodgers was 6-8 from the line; Sage Woodruff had a good game with four boards and 16 points; and Coleman Sparling had six points.
Yellowjacket highlights: Zack Rollins had 12 points; and Sven Jeuschede had 20 points and five boards. Off the bench Kobe Terashima had five points; Zharon Richmond had 11 points; and Daniel Shedden was 5-6 from the field, 3-4 from the line, finished with 14 points, and grabbed five boards, and fouled out.
YIKES on those turnovers MSUB. 28. MSUB had -28- turnovers. Improvement every day, congrats to the Wildcats on the road win.
WWU 80 vs. Harding 76 (Central region) @ Hawaii Pacific
The good news is that WWU won. The bad news is that not only is Harding out of Region, they were 0-7 coming into this game. If we had looked into it ahead of time, we would have expected a 30 point WWU blow-out. The fact that they only managed to beat an 0-7 team by four makes our Region look weak as all heck. Go figure.
Viking highlights: Trey Drechsel had eight boards and a full house; Trevor Jasinsky had five boards; and Daulton Hommes WENT OFF with 37 points and 12 boards. Off the bench Brad Wallace had five points; and Siaan Rojas had 13 points and four boards.
Way to pull out the ‘W,’ WWU.
Now to preview tonight’s games…
All times pacific standard.
UAA @ WOU @ 5pm
We think WOU should kill UAA, but we feel it’ll be closer than that. The thing is, UAA just hasn’t shown to have anything outside of Jacob Lampkin. He plays well, they win; he sits out or plays badly, they lose. That’s what the evidence has been. Except in this case WOU has so many options like that. Tanner Omlid is critical, but it takes multiple people having a bad game in order for the Wolves to lose, and so… Talent disparity. Provided WOU doesn’t fall into a black hole, they should be fine.
Prediction: WOU wins comfortably but not outrageously.
UAF @ CU-PDX @ 5pm
We’re super curious about this game because it seems like CU-PDX and MSUB are fairly well matched and so we expect UAF & CU-PDX to be fairly well matched. On the one hand the Cavs are at home, but on the other hand it’s Christmas break and Christmas break games are always weird. We’ll see what happens.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
WWU vs. Tampa (South region) @ Hawaii Pacific @ 7:45pm
Tampa is 4-5. The Vikings are so talented they should win comfortably, but their record doesn’t imply that they will necessarily. As long as they don’t lose, things are fine, so c’mon Viks! Get it done.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
MSUB vs. Hilo @ Hawaii Pacific @ 10pm
This is sooo fun. We love late night hoops! Hilo has lost to every GNAC team except WWU, will MSUB keep that going? We’ll see. The thing is -they’ve beat both Biola and CU-Irvine, two Pac-West teams that look legitimate. Is the GNAC reaaaally good? Is the Pac-West reaaaally bad? Is it somewhere in between? We were thinking the GNAC was having an up year and yet… Now we’re not sure.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Should be a good night of hoops. We’ll try to get all but the MSUB/Hilo game results up in the previews post, but that game’ll be 50/50 because we have a super early wake-up tomorrow, so it may end up being included with Tuesday’s post instead.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
Publishing this an hour earlier than normal because we’re hearing rumblings that WOU may debut as the number one ranked team and so we thought we’d throw in our two cents because why not?
Well, here’s why not: We really do not pay attention to what’s going on with teams outside of the Region, for the most part. We keep a loose thread of what’s going on with:
Midwestern State -because they adopted us last year when we crashed the South Central Regional.
MSU-Moorhead -because GNAC teams played them early in the year.
Tarleton State -because GNAC teams frequently play the Riders in non-con.
Still; we never like to miss a good chance to talk out of our rear-end, so down the rabbit hole we go. It should be noted that records listed are in-conference, not overall.
Here are the two teams ranked ahead of WOU and what they did this past week:
#1 Augustana (SD) (17-1): Lost at Northern State (10-8), then won at #8 MN-Moorhead because of course.
#2 Fairmont State (WV) (13-3): Lost to #6 West Liberty and #4 Wheeling Jesuit, it appears as though by free throws, so take the point differentials with a grain of salt.
Fairmont is going to fall, but by how much? And does it mean that WOU moves into the top spot? We have a stigma against teams we like holding the top spot ever since senior year when SPU became the number one team and then fell on our feathers against Dixie State. On the one hand, we have no problem with WOU being ranked number one: they’ve earned it, they’re a great team, we’re excited to have them hopefully host the Regional; on the other hand, because of superstition, part of us hopes the nod goes to Wheeling Jesuit.
#4 Wheeling Jesuit (15-1) -upset #2 Fairmont State (13-3), and beat Shepherd (6-10) by 8.
#5 Lincoln Memorial (16-0) -blew out two teams by 30 a piece.
#6 West Liberty (14-2) -beat #2 Fairmont State, beat Shepherd by 12.
Wheeling also gets credit in upsetting the former number one that is now #6 West Liberty earlier this year. They are a really good team with really good SOS, partly because their conference in particular (the Mountain East) seems incredibly brutal.
The obvious question to look at with Wheeling as the 4th is who the #3 team played and what their SOS is like. Oh wait.
#3 Western Oregon -beat #19 Seattle Pacific (10-4), and beat Saint Martin’s (4-10) by 12.
………………………. We really don’t know. Again: We love the Wolves, we believe in the Wolves, and in that we don’t want them to pick up the #1 ranking. That being said, from a rational standpoint, we’re incredibly torn.
We like the argument for Wheeling Jesuit, we like the argument for Lincoln Memorial because we’re not passionately vested in their SOS, and we like the argument for West Liberty to be back in the #1 spot. The thing about WOU and Wheeling is that each only played one difficult game. While we know the Wolves struggled a bit early in the SMU game… We don’t count that as a reason to hold them back. The big question is: How big was the SPU win? How good is SPU?
The Wolves got a road win, which is always huge, but… SPU. An area that’s out of our expertise in regard to difficulty playing there. The Falcons are a good team and that doesn’t change just because of the setting. WOU is a good team and their play doesn’t change with their setting either. Whether or not WOU is hard to play at is also unknown by us because SPU can always be counted on to struggle at WOU, regardless as to the record of either team. Much like WWU @ UAF, the Falcons could win a national title and yet would still almost be guaranteed to have a loss in Monmouth on their schedule.
WOU beat the #19 team and a team with a record of 4-10 in conference.
Wheeling Jesuit beat the #2 team in the country and a team that’s 6-10.
The thing is though: We’re starting to believe in the GNAC. We’re so beyond thrilled with UAA’s play, even with the losses to SPU and SMU, that we don’t think those two losses matter. Suki, Brian, and Corey are the real deal. Spencer Svejcar was fairly quiet this weekend but is also a baller. Christian Leckband is a heck of a 6th man. The NCAA Tournament is about winning when it counts. UAA went toe-to-toe with WWU and down the stretch they got it done. Is WWU a super crazy amazing team this year? No. But the Seawolves took on a (perennial power) team looking to upset them, went to 2OT, and got out of it, all on the road.
WOU was down by as much as 14 against SPU and came back and won. We’ve seen the Wolves go down and come back a lot, but doing it on the road against a somewhat legitimate team like SPU is impressive. Somewhat legitimate because they have no functional big men, their best point guard is in a massive shooting slump, their small forward shoots and misses until the kangaroos come home, and that leaves you with their one amazing wing in Mitch Penner and thus he becomes the guy every team focuses on. And yet he still miraculously had a really good game against WOU -and this is with him underachieving in regard to rebounding.
After all of that… We love WOU. We believe in them. We watched SPU almost make it to the Sweet 16 last year, with only four functioning players. We love Andy, Julian, Jordan, Alex, Devon, and Tanner; we truly consider their lineup to have six starters. And we don’t think that they should get the nod over Wheeling Jesuit. Not this week. But if/when they get the sweep in Alaska, we’ll be the first to say “Give ’em the #1.”
Oh and we expect SPU to stay in the rankings, despite the loss. There also is the potential they move up. While as of last week they had one of the higher loss totals of the ranked teams, SOS will save you. Their losses come via CU-Irvine, UAA, UAF, and WOU x2; all teams with winning records that are/would be guaranteed bids in the respective conference tournaments.
Our usual Wednesday discussions about the reality of the rankings will be up tomorrow at 10am.
Why we felt the need to do this, we’re not sure. RPI is a brat and a half to calculate on the D2 level because everyone counts their non-D2 wins as wins (which they’re not -they’re simply non-losses) so to the SIDs and committee members reading this: You’re sort of welcome. Only sort of, because it really doesn’t matter.
Basically we kicked the butts of the non-west region schools we played, but none of them are doing particularly fantastically except for MN Moorhead, so… Thanks to the Dragons for the OOR (out of region) legitimacy that splitting with you guys brought. RMAC/South Central Region -You’re our OOR buddy, we had fun attending your Regional last year, and we believe in you and your teams, so those games should increase in quality as conference play goes on.
Ultimately after going through all of the non-west region stuff, we circled back around to our original belief that none of it truly matters because of the small chance that any given team is going to match-up with one of these regions in the post-season, and the fact that if and when they do meet up -there’ll be another two thirds of the season between now and then.
Still -interesting and fun numbers. We have all of them, so if you’re curious about a particular context or something such, feel free to ask questions in the comments or on twitter.