We don’t get many statistics back about our readers, but one thing we do get is what country you’re reading from, and as such: We see you Kevin Rima =) ❤
On the horizon for today: Can we pick the Regional host after just one weekend of play? Can we pick the teams likely to make the tournament? Strength of Schedule? And why we don’t pay attention to non-D2 results.
Can you pick the Regional host after just one weekend of play?
No. But we can tell you that a bunch of teams are eliminated. SOS counts officially for D2 now. Here are the teams that by our calculation are still vying for the chance to host:
Chico -wins over CU-I and Dominican.
UCSD -wins over Dixie, Azusa, and Point Loma.
Those two are legit in the hunt to host. San Marcos and CSULA haven’t played any D2 opponents yet and so while they’re technically still in the hunt, it seems unlikely. The rest of the teams have either not strong enough wins or losses to teams that are likely middle-of-the-pack in their respective conferences. While there are always exceptions, generally speaking they aren’t regular. The last four years we’ve successfully picked the Region Host in December of that year. This is premature, but not very.
Chaminade -Beat the Alaska schools, still has to play SPU.
Azusa Pacific -lost to UCSD, but their projected strength of schedule is still insane.
Cal Baptist -undefeated with good SOS still to play.
Hawaii Pacific -Beat the Alaska schools, but doesn’t have any strength of schedule besides that. They’ll have to lose a max of one game in conference to make this schedule work.
Point Loma -Lost to WOU and SMU, we think the loss to SMU officially rules them out because we don’t think SMU is anything but an auto-bid tournament team, but PLNU theoretically has plenty of SOS left -they still play SPU and CSULA. We think CSULA will be good in conference, but if you don’t schedule yourself well in non-con there are teams that do and so it becomes a win out scenario.
WWU -this one is interesting because we’re not sure they can host because they’re playing at Whatcom Community College, which only seats like 750 people. Maybe Carver will be done in time? Maybe the low capacity isn’t a problem? They’re still definitely in the running via play -two wins on the road and still plenty of SOS available in a road game against UCSD and a neutral site game against perennially good Tarleton State.
SPU -We’re as shocked as anyone with how little they return, and while we don’t think it’s going to be a possibility much longer the fact is they won both games and they have plenty of SOS available with a game at Azusa, a neutral site game against Point Loma, and then games against the Hawaii schools in Hawaii.
CWU -That would be fun. We’d love to see CWU host again because the E-burg drive is our favorite. They won both games in California, although their SOS is suspect because they didn’t blow either team out and the only other west region SOS they have comes from Dixie State. CWU needs to be rooting like heck for SPU, WWU, and WOU in particular during the rest of non-con, because those teams all have better SOS and thus the Wildcats need regular season wins against those teams to look elite.
WOU -Took care of business on the road, but their SOS is also lacking in that all they have left is Dixie State and Westminster (RMAC). We love the Wolves and still think they’ll be fine in terms of making the tournament, but it seems like the odds of doing to the conference schedule what they did last year are much slimmer, and thus it would really help to have scheduled more SOS. In the era that Jim Shaw was at UW, that was the biggest knock on Romar’s teams -they lacked non-conference SOS, and it made Selection Sunday stressful. Granted, the Wolves won’t get sent cross country, but they could get sent to Hawaii. And saying that… Wow, Hawaii, that just sounds horrible. Sarcasm.
We think the Alaska schools are officially out of the run to host because both dropped two games in Hawaii and the only other D2west games they play are against middle-of-the-pack opponents at home this weekend. Either team would need basically an undefeated season in conference or all of the teams above them to completely fall apart. Not just one team above. Every team above from all three conferences. NNU is like CSULA/San Marcos; they just don’t play anyone in non-con and thus will need to run the table in conference and that’s hard to do that even with an NCAA tournament veteran, return-every-key-piece team like WOU had last year; considering what NNU has chronically been, it’s for all intents and purposes impossible.
Strength of Schedule is like applying to med school. There’s the method of having a bunch of extra curriculars, volunteering, and/or being a student athlete and submitting a 3.3 gpa (losing to quality opponents in non-con) vs. only focusing on school, and thus needing the 3.98 (either win out or only lose once in conference play). Two different paths, both a way to the dance, but we see the former as much more preferable to the latter. The autobids are often like the kids that have 2.0s coming out of high school, but score 2350 on the SAT and have their pick of colleges because the reality is they’re smart, they just didn’t care.
In summary, potential hosts still include: UCSD, Chico State, Cal Baptist, Azusa Pacific, Chaminade, WWU, SPU, CWU, and WOU. Oddly enough that’s nine teams -one more team than will be eligible to qualify for the regional, and yet we don’t think those are necessarily the teams that will qualify. It’s much easier to qualify than it is to host, because qualifying allows conference losses, auto bids, that sort of thing. The only way you’re going to host as an autobid is if you’re within those nine teams, and those nine teams are likely to get paired down substantially in the coming weeks.
Who do you think is still in the running for an at large bid?
Well, first of all: UCSD, Chico State, Cal Baptist, Azusa Pacific, Chaminade, WWU, SPU, CWU, and WOU.
But also: CSULA, San Bernardino, Cal Poly Pomona, Dixie State, BYU-Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific, CU-Irvine, Point Loma, UAF, UAA, SMU (technically), and MSUB. The GNAC teams we obviously know more -MSUB returns a ton. They’ve been playing terribly, but they return a bunch of proven-to-play well D2 guys. Same with SMU, it feels unlikely for them to qualify for an at-large bid, but we believe in that team and they host the conference tournament, so it feels like of all years, this could be the year they break through and get that auto bid. Humboldt also seems like they again have the potential for the autobid but aren’t likely for an at-large.
Basically half the teams are still in the running. The conference gauntlet is intense for every conference and we just don’t see any other team being able to overcome their lack of SOS by losing fewer than five conference games. We’re guessing that four is going to be the magic number, and that’s with SOS. A number of the teams listed above will require three losses or less, and more likely two, plus at least a win or two in their respective conference tournament.
We’ll see if we disagree with ourselves by this time next week, or better yet the week after.
Why don’t you count D1/other division games when looking at teams and how good they are?
Because they’re one-offs on both sides. D1 teams will often write off D2 opponents and play down to our level. We as D2 often write off D3/NAIA opponents and do the same thing. EJ Poulsen just had five boards against Lewis and Clark. Who cares? He was probably the tallest guy in the game by four inches and he would never play enough minutes to do that in an actual D2 game. That’s what happens in a lot of D1 games too -they do a lot of player rotation early and then go “oh shoot, these guys are better than we were thinking,” and they clamp down and blow a team out. The other side is they continue to rotate players knowing the talent gap and it remains closer than would be if they were playing for real but the fact is they’re not; it doesn’t count against their SOS to lose to a D2 opponent, even if it is embarrassing.
The only teams that have made the tournament in recent history after beating D1 opponents have been SPU in 2012 (Arizona) and WOU in 2015 (Oregon State) and both were at-large bids, thus still had incredible D2 evidence for being elite in the west. The Arizona and Oregon State games made exactly zero difference, because it’s a one off. Why would anyone put much precedence in one game when there are 25 others against truly similar opponents to look at? It’s just straight up cray, but when you make it to the NCAA D2 West Regional: you’re playing D2 opponents. If you want the D1 games to matter, be like Seattle U., abandon the GNAC and join the ranks of D1. *shakes head* Redhawks are such losers.
Pretty much it for today. Game previews’ll be up tomorrow AM and then… Nightlights? Most likely.
We mean previewing in a very abbreviated way. Mostly this is a chance to tell you what time any game is going to be played at because for the vast majority we have no clue what to expect. How about we promise NightLights tonight after all of these games go down? That seems better.
All times Pacific Standard.
SFU vs. Hawaii Hilo @ 3pm
SFU just lost to Quest, so we’re thinking Hilo is going to win.
MSUB @ Cal Baptist @ 4pm
Cal Baptist is ranked 9th in the pre-season poll. Good luck MSUB! Procure us/UAA some strength of schedule by either playing them tough or getting a win!
CWU vs San Bernardino @ 5pm
Very excited to see what the Wildcats do and hopefully pick up some SOS with a nice win against CSUSB!
WWU @ Sonoma State @ 5:30
They better bleeping win, after almost beating Washington. Let’s go Viks!
WOU @ Point Loma @ 5:30
We loved Point Loma last year and this year we’re not sure we can root against them at all no matter what, even when rationally we desperately want/need the Wolves to beat them and beat them good. C’mon WOU, you can do this. *cries*
UAA @ Chaminade @ 7:30
The Seawolves also better bleeping win. C’mon Suki, you’re our pre-season player of the year -that means you have to make us proud or we’ll sit behind you and talk mess in the future. Judging by the way you play the game of basketball you’d probably be okay with that, so we’re good. P.S. Good luck Corey Hammell, Sjur Berg, etc!
CU-PDX @ Monterey Bay @ 7pm
Expecting the worst, hoping for the best. Good luck Cavaliers!!
SPU vs. Humboldt @ 7pm
Humboldt was really good last year. *covers eyes* C’mon Falcons! They have so much history of regenerating that we feel ridiculous for doubting, but… They return NOTHING. Not even their head coach.
SMU @ Fresno Pacific @ 8pm
So freaking excited for this game. It should be fairly evenly matched, so… We’ll see. Good luck Saints!!
UAF @ Hawaii Pacific @ 9:30
This falls into the CWU category -we’re really, really, really curious. Good luck Nooks!
NNU is playing an NAIA game, so… Pray for them? They should be fine. Simpson is usually upper middle in their conference, and hasn’t been to the NAIA tournament in a while (we only know this because they’re our grad school rival) so the Crusaders should have a good chance to see what they’ve got.
Alright. Night Lights tonight will go up initially around 10pm and then we’ll update them after that so Fairbanks is included. We’ll be on twitter periodically, so feel free to @ us with your thoughts on any given game.
Let’s go GNAC -Great is in our name, time to prove it.
Alright, here we go. Sorry Western Oregon =( Better late than never.
The Round of 64
Azusa Pacific 77, Seattle Pacific 66
We’re going to be blunt: APU straight up dominated SPU, which wasn’t necessarily unanticipated. SPU seemed to get worse as the season went on, APU had lost the initial meeting, and we think APU had to navigate through a much more difficult conference schedule than SPU did. It was what it was. We’re incredibly displeased with the performance, but we suspect everyone knows that considering it’s taken us six full months and all-out desperation of “$&%! football is starting, we need to put up these freaking posts,” because it was that bad. It wasn’t the Stanislaus collapse down the stretch (as in SPU collapsed in Bernardino two years ago), it was full on not show up, not give a crap bad. Except Bryce. Bryce Leavitt is exempt from all criticism.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had a double-double with 13 rebounds, five assists, and 14 points while being 4/4 from the line; Will Parker had eight points; Gilles Dierickx had 10 points and six boards but only played 23 minutes while getting in foul trouble; Mitch Penner had 19 points in his final game for the Falcons; while off the bench Brendan Carroll went 2/9 from the field in his final game. There just aren’t words to describe the level of disgust we feel about Brendan, Gilles, Garrett, and Will. It’s one thing if an entire team plays like crap and there’s nothing you can do about it, but to do it while one player keeps sacrificing is beyond abhorrent. Mitch had a decent shooting game but where was the rebounding, where was the tenacity he so notoriously played with during his sophomore and junior years? Not there in his final game. Pathetic.
Western Oregon 82, Humboldt State 65
First and foremost: We’re so proud of Humboldt for winning their conference tournament and procuring the CCAA autobid. Sorry you got stuck with the Wolves, but there was so much parity this year (except for WOU) and you guys came on strong at the right time, and didn’t beat what would ultimately be a Final Four team, but still: Making the Regional is hard and you should be incredibly proud.
On the other side of incredibly proud… WOU played as perfect of a game as we’ve ever seen. Literally no bad numbers. Wow.
Wolves Highlights: Devon Alexander had 16 points and six boards; Julian Nichols had five boards, four assists, two steals, and 17 points; Tanner Omlid had a craaaazy amazing game with a double-double and perfect full house amongst six boards, three assists, a steal, two blocks, 18 points, and ZERO turnovers; and Andy Avgi had 15 points. Off the bench Alex Roth had five points; and Janvier Alaby had 11 points and five boards.
Together the team made 77% of their free throws and had just five turnovers. Wow.
The Round of 32
Western Oregon 81, Azusa Pacific 69
Yet another game that was incredibly well put together. We have to give Jim Shaw an incredible amount of credit in getting these guys to peak at the right time. WOU epitomized the “Well oiled machine” that teams need to be in the tournament to make it deep and… That’s what they did.
Wolves highlights: Devon Alexander had seven boards and 19 points; Julian Nichols had a full house with 18 points, six boards, eight assists, two steals, and a block; Jordan Wiley had 11 points; Andy Avgi also had a full house with 22 points, six boards, one assist, two steals, and three blocks. Off the bench Alex Roth went 4/4 from the line and contributed 7 points.
WOU & the Sweet Sixteen
UC San Diego 55, Western Oregon 60
We’ll actually talk about this game because we love UC San Diego -they’re our CCAA team; we fell in love with them over the fact that they don’t wear man-pris and they finished and won a game earlier this season with four players. If a coach does that, he has to be nuts, and you guys know we swear by nutso coaches. Plus, he’s shoved all the way down in San Diego so no one else has to deal with him 😉 We approve. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to catch a game in person this year.
The Tritons played an incredible game but ultimately got nothing from their bench and getting nothing from your bench isn’t going to make a win very likely against the elite team that WOU proved to be throughout the season.
Wolves highlights: Devon Alexander had six assists; Julian Nichols had 10 assists and zero turnovers; it was Andy Avgi’s turn to shine and he put the team on his back, with a perfect full house and scoring 25 points while being 6/6 from the line. Alex Roth was 4/4 off the bench and contributed four points, which very well could have been the difference.
Overall two incredibly good, incredibly well matched teams. WOU posted a line of 0 turnovers, which we’re not sure we believe. They’re a great team, but… Zero turnovers with a low rebounding number seems a little suspect. Who knows.
Tomorrow we’ll post the stuff about WOU in the Elite Eight and the Final Four.
These previews are easy to do because… You’ll find out.
All times pacific.
#3 Cal Baptist vs. #6 Cal Poly Pomona @ 12pm
Cal Baptist is freakishly hot having blown through the Pac-West tournament with a blow out every game. Cal Poly Pomona was bounced by UCSD in the conference tournament with a point differential of seven. That would lead one to think that Cal Baptist should blow CPP out, and with how hot the Lancers are, it would make sense. But Cal Poly Pomona still has a great coaching staff, they’ve won big games (although their non-conference wasn’t anything to write home about), but they’ve also lost games that they shouldn’t have any business losing to. We’re leaning on the side of Cal Baptist because the Lancers are looking like national champions right now, BUT it is fully within the capability of the Broncos to upset them, so… We shall see.
#2 UC San Diego vs. #7 Chico State @ 2:30pm
After losing horribly to CSULA in the first round of the conference tournament, we’re sure the Wildcats are itching to prove that the win was a fluke. UCSD has their own itchiness to contend with -they got blown out by Humboldt State in the championship game. We’ve really liked UCSD this year, but at the same time we also definitely believe in Chico. The two teams met once in the regular season with Chico winning by nine, but that’s a very reasonable score and we’ll see what comes of their second meeting of the year.
#4 Seattle Pacific vs. #5 Azusa Pacific @ 5pm
As noted in another post: the two teams played during a non-conference tournament. The game was played on Saturday and both teams had to face a not-as-good team on Friday, and both the Cougars and the Falcons tried to rest their guys and ultimately almost lost to said not-so-good teams, so that was pretty fun. Azusa would go on to be the regular season champion of the CCAA, while the Falcons fell into fourth place. We hear that losing to SPU is pretty unpleasant, and so we suspect that this loss definitely lingered in the minds of the Cougars, so probably a good game to expect some revenge. If not for the payback factor, we don’t know. SPU’s been playing badly as of late, they need to bounce back, but will they? We feel oddly pessimistic.
#1 Western Oregon vs. #8 Humboldt State @ 7:30pm
Western Oregon is a freakishly good team. They could have gotten blown out in the first game of the conference tournament and they’d still be hosting. That’s how far and above WOU is. However: Humboldt wouldn’t be dancing at all if they hadn’t managed to get hot at the right time and win the autobid via the conference tournament. The Jacks 100% deserve to be here considering the run they just went on, but is there still gas left in the tank? If yes, this game could be interesting. If no, expect WOU to roll, maybe even roll big.
Alright. Previews up. We’ll see you on Twitter/in Monmouth.
Just some thoughts that are kicking around. We’ll see how this goes.
Why did Humboldt State make it?
Because they received the auto-bid via winning the CCAA tournament.
Would Humboldt have made it without the auto bid?
No. They had no non-conference strength of schedule and lost eight in-conference games.
Why didn’t Alaska-Fairbanks make it?
1. Because they lost in the conference championship game and thus failed to procure the GNAC’s auto-bid.
2. Because while the Nooks were hot to end the season, they had no strength of schedule -something that’s now an official criterium. Strength of schedule largely comes from winning on the road and scheduling tough teams during non-conference. UAF didn’t play a single true road game, and while playing on a neutral court (MSUB) they lost both games to Dixie State and Dominican, respectively. And remember -this was a Dominican team that had a loss to NNU during non-conference. Had Alaska-Fairbanks literally won out in conference play (or gone something like 18-2) they would have had an argument for an at-large berth even without the strength of schedule, but they were competing for an at-large against teams that did have strength of schedule.
Who was the first team out?
In our opinion Dixie State. Dixie State had good strength schedule but lost too many non-conference games. They went 18-5 in conference, same as UAF. That goes to reiterate that even had UAF had strength of schedule, their bubble may have still burst. In non-conference Dixie lost to SFSU, Seattle Pacific, and Sonoma State; while beating Alaska-Fairbanks and MSU-Billings. Say Humboldt doesn’t get the auto-bid, you go back to that UAF/Dixie match-up, and you’d have to go with Dixie. But UAF returns a lot; they’ll have every opportunity for an at-large berth next year.
What do you think about the seedings and the resulting match-ups?
We agree with the match-ups. The seeding was incredibly variable -there were so many good arguments for the teams that made it being in spots 2-7, that we can’t complain at all. What we find hilarious is that while the seedings were variable, the optimal match-ups weren’t. Here’s a graphic that shows as much:
Three different seedings. All the same match-ups. Is it annoying to have the two GNAC teams potentially meeting up in the second round? Sort of, not really. The keyword there is potentially. While we have complete faith in the Wolves, we’re terrified of the Azusa match-up from an SPU perspective. The Falcons haven’t been playing particularly well and the brilliant cohesion we saw during non-conference hasn’t been seen in weeks. We’re incredibly worried.
In no year do seedings truly matter because the West Region is always a mess, but this year especially. Six teams. Toss them into a hat and draw names; that’s your seeding. In the D1 tournament it’s said that if you want to win, you have to beat everybody. On the D2 level that sentiment is on steroids because there are only eight teams and in years like this, it can mean that two could-be Elite Eight level teams meet in the first round. Cal Baptist and Cal Poly Pomona? Absolutely. Both 100% have the talent and skill to make it to the Elite Eight. There’s a 1/8 chance that either team will. Every team in the region this year has shown the ability to be at the level, including Humboldt. It’s going to be such a huge matter of who can get hot at the right time. This year’s GNAC tournament was balls-to-the-wall crazy and we have no idea what to expect out of the West Region. Even knowing the types of blowouts Cal Baptist and Humboldt State managed and the type of blowouts Azusa Pacific and Chico State were subject to, there’s no telling what’s going to happen.
And we love it. Welcome to the effing madness, put your seatbelt on because it’s going to be a wild ride.
Are you going to the Regional this year?
Yup, so come say ‘hi!’ if you’re there. Unfortunately we’re going to miss the first two games of the day because of work commitments, but we’ll be following the stats and keeping up on twitter, so whether you’re in Monmouth or watching at home -tell us what you think! You can either @ us on twitter via @GNACMBBlog or come talk to us in person during the second session. We’ll be wearing maroon and acting really hyper; we keep trying to calm down and be a grown-up, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Will there be game previews on Friday morning?
Absolutely. It’s on our to-do list for today, so theoretically that means it’ll be done by tomorrow. And yes: We will be talking about every game.
Are you going to talk about non-GNAC teams if both get bounced in the first round?
Most likely not. We don’t usually get enough hits to make it worth it, and we found it kind of drove our in-conference followers bananas last year, even previewing non-GNAC games. We’re 50/50 on that this year, just because there is so much interlocking play and it has been so intriguing from a regional perspective, but… Most likely when the last GNAC team’s season ends, our season will end, and we’ll get into our post-season awards and those types of posts.
Alright, any questions not answered: Ask us on twitter or leave a comment. Otherwise we’ll see you guys Friday morning for the West Region Day 1 preview.
They started with the West and the feed didn’t even come up for us until after it was over. Oookay then. Thanks NCAA, always know we can count on you.
The first round will be played on March 11 in Monmouth, Oregon.
Match-ups as follows:
3. Cal Baptist vs. 6. Cal Poly Pomona @ 12pm
2. UC San Diego vs. 7. Chico State @ 2:30pm
4. Seattle Pacific vs. 5. Azusa Pacific @ 5pm
1. Western Oregon vs. 8. Humboldt State @ 7:30pm
So somehow both BitoBaca and I both picked different seedings, got all of the match-ups right, and got all of the seeding wrong. Oookay then, but these were the match-ups we wanted (more or less) so we’re good with it.
WOU/HSU: We’re excited for the football rivals to match-up on the basketball court, and it’s great for Humboldt because as the team (truly) smack dab in the middle of the region, it’s only about an eight hour drive but is considerably less traffic than heading to SoCal. Bonus!
UCSD/Chico State: They’ve already matched up once -Chico won 77-71 on February 12, so at least it’ll have been a month? Should be a good match-up, we’re excited.
Cal Baptist/Cal Poly Pomona: We’re kind of both excited and terrified. On the one hand we do believe in Cal Poly Pomona’s ability to beat ANYONE, they are a very good team. On the other hand, Cal Baptist is looking really, really, really scaldingly hot right now and the Lancers look in prime condition to make some glue. CPP is the Broncos, if anyone’s forgetting.
Seattle Pacific/Azusa Pacific: This is just hilarious because the first time the two teams met up this year, it was in a tournament and both tried to rest their starters and almost lost to an NAIA team and MSUB, respectively. Now they’ve both been playing kinda wonky, but obviously APU is going to want to get some revenge for the first match-up and SPU is going to have to prove they’ve snapped out of it after a massive downturn of play to end the season. We’ll see. We like APU, think they’re a really good team, and you know… Last year SPU matched up with BYU-Hawaii after losing to BYU-Hawaii in the regular season; this year maybe it’s their turn to lose the second match-up?
More thoughts as the week goes on? Sure. Also shout-out to South Central #1 seed Midwestern State -they adopted us last year, so we’re happy to see them kicking some serious booty and getting to host this year.
First and foremost: According to the official NCAA schedule, the Selection Show occurs TONIGHT at 10:30pm EASTERN, 7:30pm PACIFIC, and thus 6:30 ALASKAN. And yeah, we think it’s surprising that it would be that late too, but it is what it is.
Now, here’s what we officially know:
Western Oregon is #1 and the regional host. They have a record of 24-2, won the regular season, won their conference tournament, and the next closest west region school (Chico) has a record of 20-5 and got killed in the first round of their conference tournament by a team that would go on to get killed by the tournament winner -which actually helps their case slightly, but still.
Humboldt State received the auto bid from the CCAA but wasn’t even in contention for an at-large bid, largely because their strength of schedule was so atrocious and they lost eight conference games -way more than anyone else currently vying for an at-large spot.
Cal Baptist received the auto bid from the Pac-West in thorough dominance over Azusa Pacific, but would have likely made it regardless.
Aside from that… We get into bubble territory.
The official regional poll says this:
1. Western Oregon (24-2)
2. Chico State (20-6)
3. UC San Diego (20-7)
4. Seattle Pacific (20-8)
5. Azusa Pacific (20-8)
6. Cal Baptist (24-6)
7. Cal Poly Pomona (19-7)
8. Dixie State (18-9)
9. Alaska-Fairbanks (18-8)
10. Alaska-Anchorage (17-10)
[11. Humboldt State]
All records are updated to include the respective conference tournaments.
Now let’s go down that list again, although this time the bold simply serves to make it easier to read.
1. Western Oregon (24-2) -Won the conference tournament with a scare from Seattle Pacific and a hard fought win over UAF.
2. Chico State (20-6) -Got blown out in the first round of the conference tournament by Cal State LA, won the CCAA regular season.
3. UC San Diego (20-7) -Got blown out by Humboldt in the conference tournament.
4. Seattle Pacific (20-8) -Lost to WOU by one in the conference tournament, has by far the best strength of schedule in the region, with wins over Chico State, APU, and Dixie State, as well as a quality loss to CU-Irvine.
5. Azusa Pacific (20-8) -Got killed by Cal Baptist in the conference tournament game and has struggled more and more as the season has gone on. Not sure what the thread is there, but something The Committee definitely knows.
6. Cal Baptist (24-6) -Quality non-con, had some losses down the stretch but they were to really good teams like Dixie and CU-Irvine.
7. Cal Poly Pomona (19-7) -Questionable non-conference but better than the Alaskas, and in regard to the regular season they mimic SPU in having some weird losses, some acceptable losses (UCSD), and some great wins (Chico).
8. Dixie State (18-9) -Inverse of APU; they started rough, but they played a good non-con and definitely got better as the season went on. Yeah, they got killed by Cal Baptist, but we feel like it says more about the Lancers than it does about the Rebels.
9. Alaska-Fairbanks (18-8) -Played a great game against the elite Western Oregon, but came far closer to losing to the mess that is Western Washington than beating the Wolves.
10. Alaska-Anchorage (17-10) -Got bounced in the first round of the conference tournament by Western Washington, but has more strength of schedule than Alaska-Fairbanks. Really they have no chance of getting an at-large bid at this point but they’re on the list, so we’ll list them.
Elaborating on UAF: Last year, all year we said “BYU-Hawaii struggles off the island.” Then they went and won the Pac-West tournament and we said “Okay, maybe they can win off the island.” And then they got into the West Region and promptly lost to Seattle Pacific (something we have no problem with) and while we’re aware that UAF and BYUH are two very different teams, it’s leading us to lean on the side that BYUH did have SOS, BYUH did win their conference tournament, thus getting the auto-bid, and yet they still flopped. The Nooks could very well go in and win the regional -they’ve been incredibly hot as of late- but we feel like THIS YEAR (this does not necessarily hold in the future) Cal Poly Pomona and Dixie State are both far more deserving of at-large berths.
The seeding? Thank-you Cal Baptist -you were the team that made us go “Okay, wait, maybe we have some idea, maybe.” Even though we technically have no idea who the schools are.
1. Western Oregon -because duh.
2. Cal Baptist -Huge win in the conference tournament, only losses are from quality opponents, have good non-conference SOS.
We feel like 3-7 is a complete wash, and our only request is that Seattle Pacific and Chico State don’t play each other in the first round, because we want a chance to root on Chico.
3. Seattle Pacific -this is a weird one, and it’s all based on the SOS metric because we feel like the only reason they ended up with a record as bad as they have is because for a stretch at the end of the season they weren’t trying to win; they were trying to figure out next year’s point guard.
4. UC San Diego -This comes down to the fact that we feel like even with accounting for the two teams style of play, UC San Diego still got blown out by Humboldt slightly less than Azusa Pacific did by Cal Baptist. Keyword slightly.
5. Chico State -It’s unfortunate to pit two teams from the same conference against each other, but when four teams make it that’s what happens sometimes; at least this is only round three, rather than round four?
6. Azusa Pacific -Yeah they got blown out by Cal Baptist and yeah it’s a rematch, but better a non-con rematch then yet another conference match-up that just happened.
7. Cal Poly Pomona -This was rough. It came down to Dixie State and Cal Poly Pomona and after reviewing the Rebs schedule at the request of one of our commenters -we really, really like it, and we really believe in the Rebels- but the resumes are similar and ultimately we’re giving CPP the nod because of just how badly Dixie got blown out in the Pac-West tournament.
8. Humboldt State -this would be fun because WOU and HSU have a bit of a football rivalry as far as we know (maybe that’s wrong?) and so that would be memorable to meet up in basketball again.
We’ve come to accept that there is a HUGE amount of parity on the west coast this year, and thus the seeding is likely wrong and we’re completely fine with how wrong we are as long as Seattle Pacific is in the tournament and Western Oregon is the #1 seed and physically hosting it on their campus. Other than that, we don’t care what the seedings are and who’s playing who. We’ll feel rather miffed if one of the Alaska schools makes it over CPP/Dixie, but that’s purely because we’re SOS martyrs and SOS is supposed to finally count this year, but if one of those schools makes it, it clearly doesn’t and this is not the year to be screwing around with whether or not that metric matters. Once again: This is not the SEC; this is Pac-12 country.
Edit: We didn’t look at BitOBaca’s seeding prior to doing ours, but it’s hilarious that the match-ups are all the same but the seeds are different. That would be the D2West this year.
Alright. That was stressful and took way too long to figure out. We’ll see you guys in a couple of hours.
We’ll give you the deets on the Pac-West and CCAA and then do our usual run down of who did what in the GNAC game.
Cal Baptist 101, Azusa Pacific 64
From the GNAC/CBU, Kalidou had seven points and Alex Birketoft had 14, and Joey Schreiber (APU via WWU) had five points. Aside from all of that it was a slaughterfest. We never wanted to say that APU was fully out of it, but… CBU walked it up early and then the Cougars were never coming back. Although we still didn’t believe it going into the second half because anything can happen. Pretty nice rivalry developing between the two programs, so that’s fun.
Humboldt State 80, UC San Diego 68
This is a weird one because UCSD has been part of some really low scoring games and yet the Jacks scored eighty, and so it was kind of this weird suspension of the game was never more than four or so possessions away, but with the way UCSD tends to play it might as well have been ten, and yet reality and so you don’t want to say that. Very, very odd feeling, but super proud of the Jacks -although we still love UCSD and are really excited to watch them in person at the West Regional.
Western Oregon 78, Alaska-Fairbanks 71
Back and forth game until the very end. Really fun to watch. Proud of both teams. We’ll go over our final bracketology stuff in a bit, but… Good game played by both teams.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had a great game on 8/9 shooting and finished with 19 points and six boards; Joe Slocum finished with 13 points; Travante Williams had a monster game with 23 points; and Brandon Davis had 10 points.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had 16 points and 10 boards; Julian Nichols had four boards and five assists; Jordan Wiley had 16 points and was 5/5 from the line; Andy Avgi had 12 points and six boards; and off the bench Alex Roth went 5/5 from the field, 4/4 from three, and finished with 14 points. Wow.
Really proud of the Wolves for holding Almir to just TWO points and the Nanooks to a collective 20 rebounds -absolutely nuts. Can’t wait to go to Monmouth, very excited for the GNAC to host the tournament again after the dry spell of two full years. Congrats to both teams on a game well played and good luck to the Nooks as they sit on the bubble.
Once again, our biggest of thanks to Saint Martin’s for hosting a fantastic tournament. We look forward to going back next year.
To the blog readers that don’t have a team that ends up continuing in the West Regional -thank-you so much for a brilliant season of loyal readership. Post-season awards will be incoming shortly after the final GNAC-involved men’s basketball game is played for the year.
Sort of more than one game. We’re going to talk about the Pac-West and CCAA, but… As much as we know quite a bit, we feel like if anyone tells you that they know a lot this year: they’re lying. We follow the region as closely as anybody, and we can’t figure it out.
All times pacific standard.
Cal Baptist vs. Azusa Pacific @ 2pm.
We’ll be watching for a bit and then following the rest on our phone. We have no idea what’s going to happen. It should be crazy. The teams played each other really closely during the regular season. APU seems like slightly more of a bubble team than Cal Baptist. There are a few former beloved GNAC players involved in the game: Alex Birketoft, Kalidou Diouf, and Joey Schreiber. Good luck to all three, plus all of their respective teammates.
UC San Diego vs. Humboldt State @ 5:05pm
Another game that we don’t know what’s going to happen. They split during the regular season. Humboldt State is fighting for the auto-bid, UCSD should be safe, but obviously would still love to win. No clue on this one. Part of us says “UCSD” and part of us says “No, Humboldt is going to want it way more.” So we shall see.
Alaska-Fairbanks vs. Western Oregon @ 5:30pm
Who knows. We love how strong UAF has come on and we feel like WOU has been waning just slightly. WOU had a heart attack of a game vs. SPU and yet we feel like it prepared them pretty well for today because it was such a defensive grind-it-out and Andy Avgi was actually rather shut down, so look for him to bounce back. On the other hand: UAF had a game vs. WWU where they got to be all-offense, all the time, so playing defense shouldn’t be too bad because they’ve got their offensive urges out of their system. Travante had a good game, Joe Slocum had a fantastic game, Bangaly was okay but look for him to bounce back. Almir had his best game in a while. Great preparation to take on the mighty Wolves of Western Oregon, so… Should be good. Can’t wait to watch it.
1. Western Oregon
The rest? Who knows. We suspect that even tomorrow when we know who the three autobids are, we’re still going to have no idea how to seed them. So much parity.
Teams that are on the bubble:
Azusa Pacific, Cal Baptist, UC San Diego, Chico State, Cal Poly Pomona, Humboldt State, Seattle Pacific, Alaska-Anchorage, Alaska-Fairbanks.
We think that Humboldt and UAF will only get the nod if they get the respective autobids, which should add substantially more fervency to their play, which is why we suspect they’ll win. If they do win and the following happens (seeds arbitrary except WOU):
1. Western Oregon
3. UC San Diego
4. Humboldt State
5. Azusa Pacific
6. Cal Baptist
We figure that Cal Baptist, Azusa Pacific, and UCSD are all in, regardless of today’s result. So who gets the final three spots?
7. Chico State
8. Seattle Pacific
If UAF and/or Humboldt State lose, it’ll be Cal Poly Pomona vs. Alaska-Anchorage.
Let’s compare those two teams in regard to conference losses and non-conference wins.
Cal Poly Pomona (22-7)
Non-conference: Won at Azusa Pacific and beat Point Loma at home.
Conference losses: UCSD x3, Cal State LA, Dominguez Hills, Monterey Bay, and Stanislaus.
Non-conference: Lost to Cal Baptist, Colorado Springs, and Dominguez Hills; beat Upper Iowa.
Conference losses: Western Oregon (x2), Saint Martin’s, Seattle Pacific, MSU-Billings, Central Washington, and Western Washington.
It’s weird to look at Cal Poly Pomona and go “well, they had a good non-conference schedule” but compared to Anchorage they did. Looking at it this way, Anchorage’s best hope is that UAF and Humboldt both lose because the Nooks and Jacks have by far the worst SOS of anyone in contention.
Seattle Pacific should be in because their record is 22-8, their SOS is the best in the region, and they lost to #1 seed WOU by less than Cal Poly Pomona lost to UCSD. Chico State should be in because they won the CCAA, have a record of 22-6, and their non-conference was middle-of-the-pack.
That’s where we’re at. We’ll see where we’re at either later tonight or tomorrow morning. Our bracketology obsession would suggest you’ll see a post later tonight.
Good luck to all six teams; be safe, have fun, west coast is best coast.
All in one convenient location with listed seedings. Going up an hour (or two) before the Discussions post, just ’cause.
The CCAA played their first round last night because they have eight teams in play. The bold teams won. Right now these are just the seeds, but we’ll put up what the brackets ended up as on Saturday night.
1. Chico State
2. UC San Diego
3. Cal Poly Pomona
4. Humboldt State
5. Monterey Bay
6. San Fran State
7. Sonoma State
8. Cal State LA
So yup, Chico State is out of contention for the auto-bid. We’re not worried; our CCAA counterpart is. When SPU gets bounced in the first round of the GNAC tourney he can watch us freakout while he sits there and goes “You guys are fine.”
1. Azusa Pacific
2. Dixie State
3. Cal Baptist
4. Hawaii Pacific
APU and Dixie both have a first round BYE.
1. Western Oregon
4. Seattle Pacific
5. Central Washington
6. Western Washington
WOU and UAF both have a first round BYE.
Games start on Thursday. The CCAA games continue on Friday. By Sunday night we’ll know who’s going to Monmouth.