Rocky Mountain 73, MSUB 69.
Is anyone truly surprised about the MSUB score? Love the Yellowjackets, but the reality is that it’d happened once already. This time it was surprising because at least the last NAIA loss was on the road. Still maintain that MSUB will get better, still maintain that they’re a team to keep an eye on, still maintain that the Yellowjackets are in a hard spot with how much they didn’t return.
Player highlights: Austin Hudson had a double-double with 22 points and 11 boards while only picking up three fouls and managing two steals; Tyler Nelson had nine rebounds; Momir Gataric had 14 points and five boards; finally: Marc Matthews put in some quality minutes off the bench, doing a little bit of everything since shots weren’t falling.
Alaska-Fairbanks 68, Black Hills State 66.
Obviously Kyle Tomlinson hit a massive shot, but what’s great about Kyle in this case is that he played well throughout the game, not just when it counted; he finished five for eight with 15 points and a FULL HOUSE, collecting three boards, one assist, one steal, and one block. Ashton Edwards was fantastic off the bench with 20 points; Ruben had 10 points and six rebounds; rebounding was remarkably consistent across the team, which is fantastic.
These couple of days are going to be a little weird -there’s a lot of travel going on (not entirely anticipated) and so as with this post, they’re not all going to go up right on schedule, they’re not going to be as detailed, but things should calm down on Monday and we’ll be able to take a better look at things.
Chaminade and Hawaii Pacific both play Regis, from the RMAC.
Regis finished 4-18 in conference, 7-20 overall. Both games are played at home and neither Chaminade nor HPU should have a problem.
Point Loma plays the University of Mary, from the Northern Sun.
University of Mary finished 5-17 in conference and 7-21 overall; Point Loma finished 10-10 in conference and 20-10 overall, so they shouldn’t have too much trouble.
Hawaii-Hilo and BYU-Hawaii both play Washburn, from the MIAA.
Washburn finished 5th in the MIAA with a conference record of 10-9 and overall record of 17-10. The conference itself sent four teams to the regional, and so while Washburn didn’t make the tournament, they were likely a very good team. This game is being played in Hawaii and so the Hawaii schools both should hold what could be a very helpful home court advantage in a couple of games that are both likely to be close.
Dixie State plays Texas A&M-Commerce, from the Lone Star.
TAMU-Commerce finished 7-7 in conference and 19-10 overall. Dixie State is expected to win, although the margin is anyone’s guess.
BYU-Hawaii plays Oakland (IN).
Oakland is an independent team that finished 21-6 last year. The primary competition seems to be that of lesser quality; most of their games fall within their old National Christian Colleges Athletic Association regional teams, where they dominated. It’s understandable why they were taken at the D2 level, but their schedule last year for the most part consisted of them either getting blown out, or them blowing other people out. It is really anyone’s guess how this game will progress.
Not as intensive as the GNAC post; this is mostly just to give a basic idea. This blog is firmly against predictions and really simply tries to extrapolate based on tangible data, of which the pre-season offers none.
It was noticed that Washburn got skipped in the GNAC/D2 post, and now it’s been updated. Apologies to Washburn. Seattle Pacific, as the reigning conference champions (along with certain other factors), seems destined for receiving a more than adequate amount of attention on this blog, and thus no apology is directed toward the Falcons.
Have a good weekend, and we’ll see what’s in store on Monday.
The GNAC faces a grand total of nine different non-west division two schools over the course of 12 games. The schools come from three different regions and four different conferences, with an independent thrown in simply for pleasure.
Most interesting is that no west-region school would face any of the teams until the Final Four, and thus these games could help set the tone for what’s seen as a strong region vs. a weak region.
The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference:
CWU and SPU play Minnesota-Crookston.
Minnesota-Crookston finished an impressive 1-21 in conference and 4-23 overall. The games are being played in the Seattle Pacific gymnasium and so it’s a literal home game for the Falcons and a virtual one for the Wildcats. While CWU will inevitably have some growing pains this year, seeing as they lost everybody on a team that finished a disappointing 8-10 in conference and 12-14 overall, this game should be a good chance to do some happy growing early in the year. SPU regardless as to the fact that they lost most of their scoring, shouldn’t have any issues considering the potential scoring threats they have waiting in the wings, no pun intended.
UAF plays Minnesota-Moorhead.
Minnesota-Moorhead finished in a three-way tie for first place in their division and a three way tie for 3rd place in their conference with a 15-7 conference record, and a 21-8 record overall. Ultimately, the school did not make the tournament nor did anyone else in their division; the Northern Sun received one auto-bid and one at large bid, both to schools in the other division. UAF is another GNAC team that suffered catastrophic losses, but they’re playing a virtual home game at UAA. The Alaska advantage is huge and Moorhead seems likely to overlook that little fact, thus while it seems likely that the Dragons will win -the Nooks should at least put up a fight.
The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association:
SPU plays Washburn.
Washburn finished 5th in the MIAA with a conference record of 10-9 and overall record of 17-10. The conference itself sent four teams to the regional, and so while Washburn didn’t make the tournament, they were likely a very good team. This game is being played in Hawaii and so neither school is expected to hold an advantage nor disadvantage, and it should serve as a relatively good test for SPU with victory eventually being secured by the Falcons.
The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference:
WOU and SMU play Colorado Christian.
Colorado Christian finished 13-9 in conference and 18-15 overall, good for a 7th place standing in a difficult conference. WOU finished 4th and SMU finished 8th last year. Both teams return good cores of players. WOU finished 10-8 and 18-12; SMU finished 8-10 and 9-17. No team of the three made the tournament. The games are being played in Monmouth, thus it’s a home game for WOU. Generally speaking you never know what WOU is going to do, and so the match-up should be interesting; SMU, it’ll be a matter of whether or not they can solidify their identity this early in the season. If the Saints can, the odds seem good for a close game; if they can’t, it’ll likely be a blowout.
MSUB plays Black Hills State.
Both teams are the Yellowjackets. Black Hills State finished 8-14 in conference and 10-16 overall; MSUB finished 8-10 in conference and 12-15 overall. Black Hills State was by and far in the stronger conference, and the Montana Yellowjackets lost a fair bit of their core, but… This is actually a rivalry game. Anything can happen in a rivalry game. Black Hills killed MSUB last year, so it seems like the revenge factor might be there. MSUB is playing at home and they generally have a great home court advantage, but the wildcard of this year: the game lands the day before Elk and Deer season end. No prediction.
The Lone Star Conference:
NNU plays at Texas A&M Kingsville. NNU finished second to last with a 5-13 record in conference and a 7-19 record overall. TAMU-Kingsville finished 7-7 in conference and 19-9 overall. NNU has some interesting transfers coming in that could lead to big things, but it seems likely that Kingsville wins the game easily.
NNU and WWU both play Tarleton State.
NNU, as noted, was second to last in our conference, whereas WWU was second from the top although didn’t make the tournament. Tarleton won their conference with a 12-2 record and a 28-3 record overall. They made the tournament as the 2 seed and progressed to the round of 32, losing by a mere six points. Tarleton, like WWU, is a good team year in and year out; the match-up against NNU shouldn’t be a problem, and the match-up in Vegas with Western Washington should be one of the better games on the GNAC’s non-conference slate.
The Sunshine State Conference:
SPU & SMU play Rollins.
Rollins finished 14-13 overall last year and 8-8 in a conference that sent half their teams to the NCAA tourney, although they themselves didn’t go. Teams are different year to year and even day to day, but judging where each team finished and knowing how both SPU and SMU prepare… St. Martin’s and Rollins should be a fairly compelling match-up, but Rollins definitely holds the advantage. This is the first game either team plays in Vegas, and so the legs should be nice and fresh, which will hopefully lead to a competitive game.
Seattle Pacific is a different story; they’ll have played what’s likely to be a very exhausting game against Dixie State the day prior, and thus… they could be in kill mode, they could be in let-down mode, or they could be in “let’s get this over with mode;” we’ll have to see. It might be a good mis-match in SPU’s favor, or it might be a hard fought battle. It is doubtful, however, that the Falcons’ll get blown out.
Regardless of what actually happens, we’ll hope both GNAC teams show up in “WE LIVE IN CONSTANT DRIZZLE, TAKE YOUR SUNSHINE AND SHOVE IT,” mode. Not because the Sunshine State Conference isn’t fantastic, but simply because you know, stereotypes.
WWU plays Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. The team finished 2-10, and in the games they won had a combined margin of victory of four points. WWU is expected to have a great time on their vacation to Puerto Rico.
That is the D2 non conference for the GNAC; is the analysis in-depth? No. Because it doesn’t matter a ton anyway: the odds of a repeat game between one of the schools this calendar year is small, and the teams would be vastly different anyway. The implication overall will be basic: if we win, it won’t really say a lot; if we lose, it’ll say that we’re not as strong as we could be.
Thoughts on the DII Bulletin Pre-Season Top 25 is up next.
This page just went up simultaneously. Check it out; it contains a list of every non-West D2 school, sorted by conference and region. It also links to the men’s basketball section of every conference website.
Since the CCAA is yet to post their schedule, there will be three separate posts regarding the D2 non-region scheduling of the GNAC, Pac-West, and CCAA respectively; look forward to the GNAC one tomorrow.
In the mean time -there’s rarely a reason to really look at the numbers because D2 is so regional, but numbers are fun!
Here are some base numbers in terms of likeliness of making the tournament, strictly by the numbers.
24 conferences/auto bids
Overall, you have a 21% chance of making the tournament. Those don’t seem like bad odds, especially because every single conference receives at least one bid.
Regionally… there’s some significant variation, even just with numbers involved.
Your chance of making the tourney in each of the following regions:
South Central: 25%
Again, not bad odds when it’s only numbers.
Making it by procuring your conference auto-bid?
Great Northwest Athletic Conference: 10%
Pacific West Conference: 7%
California Collegiate Athletic Association: 8%
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference: 6%
Lone Star Conference: 11%
Heartland Conference: 12.5%
Peach Belt Conference: 7%
South Atlantic Conference: 8%
Conference Carolinas: 10%
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: 7%
Sunshine State Conference: 10%
Gulf South Conference: 10%
Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association: 7%
Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference: 6%
Great American Conference: 10%
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association: 8%
Mountain East Conference: 9%
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference: 5%
Northeast-10 Conference: 6%
Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference: 7%
East Coast Conference: 10%
Great Lakes Valley Conference: 6%
Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: 6%
Great Midwest Athletic Conference: 11%
Some of those odds are really variable; it looks appealing to be in the GNAC where you have a 10% chance, except… 10% of that 10% is being willing to live in Fairbanks, Alaska for most of the year, which most people don’t want to do.
In the RMAC while you only have a 6% chance of making the tournament with an auto bid, the odds of living in a very desirable locale are quite good and thus the odds of getting good enough guys that you don’t need the auto bid to make the tourney are much higher.
Remember: The numbers consist of only the numbers.
Everything’s fair when it comes math; I tend to think that there’s less bias in D2 about strong and weak regions because no one is selecting the region you’ll play in; they’re merely selecting your seed. And when it comes to your seeding… you have to beat everybody.
Period. This is can be really, really annoying at times and is basically the only thing I dislike about the D2 system.
Two years ago, on a national level, WWU, Cal Poly Pomona, and SPU were all ranked in the Top 4 overall. However, they’re all in the same region. SPU and Cal Poly Pomona played each other in the round of 32, SPU and WWU played each other in the round of 16, WWU went to the Elite Eight.
While the best eight teams aren’t necessarily playing in the Elite Eight, there’s a good argument that the best team from each region goes to the Elite Eight. If you can’t win when it counts, you are clearly not the best.
The fact that it is so regional, also makes regions that much more fun. While there’s not a particular reason to know about schools outside, the implications of what’s going on within can be huge.
Last year on January 4th, I extrapolated that San Bernardino would host and the GNAC would be a one bid league unless the regular season champion and tournament winner were different. Roughly 275 games later, I was proven correct.
Meanwhile, back in numbers land…
You have roughly a 2.7% chance overall of making the Elite Eight, therefore a 2.7% chance of seeing a team outside of your own region in March.
The numbers by region:
South Central: 3.1
This is why your region matters, but the others don’t. It also explains why this blog is so obsessed with the Pac-West and CCAA: it’s a GNAC blog; we’re in the West Region; what happens nationally matters little, and we have little control over it. What we do have control over is how our conference is viewed within the region, proving that those in-conference wins are a big deal, and therefore securing our seeding.
All the same, every D2 game is important and next we’ll take a look at the GNAC vs. the non-west D2.