Tagged: UC San Diego

Previewing WWU’s 1st Round Game!

#3 WWU vs. #6 Chico State @12pm pacific.

We love Chico, full disclaimer. They’re one of our CCAA teams, with the other being UCSD. That being said, we like WWU’s chances. The teams share similar records, with Chico being 25-7 and WWU being 25-5. Their mutual opponents include CSU East Bay, Sonoma State, and UCSD, with the following results:

WWU 107, EB 81
Chico 78, EB 66

WWU 72, Sonoma 64
*Chico 53, Sonoma 50
*Chico 50, Sonoma 66

WWU 104, UCSD 81
Chico 56, UCSD 60
Chico 64, UCSD 59

Not much info to be gleaned because we assume UCSD was missing someone during the WWU game, Chico vs. Sonoma is a rivarly, and East Bay is usually in the bottom third of the conference. On the surface it looks like WWU is a much better team, but… They barely escaped against a WOU team that had only taken UAA to triple OT the night before via UAA (and the conference’s) best rebounder being out through the entire second half. And while that may scream ‘parity’ and that WWU has risen above that parity, there’s no telling exactly how much they’ve risen above it.

Taylor Stafford is the real deal, Jeffrey Parker has moments of being the real deal, Blake Fernandez has been great, Deandre Dickson is streaky but has his moments, Daulton Hommes consistently does good things for the team, Brad Wallace decided that he didn’t care how tall he was in the WOU game and just decided to go for it, which was awesome. We know a lot about the WWU team, we have a great respect and fondness for them, but this is the 2016-2017 season, which if anything has proven one thing: There are no guarantees. Chico always recruits well and is super well coached, we feel like they’re far more tested than WWU (see: four teams in the tournament vs. one), but…

Prediction: WWU wins. This is a homer pick. We know they’re capable, but we also know the Region is crazy, so we’re crossing our fingers just incase.

Go Viks!!

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The GNAC Championship Game

And our bracket. In D2 it’s funny -predicting the bracket is the real game to win; forget the games, the games you’re invested in because you want your team to win. Right now we’ve been procrastinating on posting a bracket all day because the idea of being wrong kills us, even though… It’s D2 basketball. Why does being right in predicting a bracket matter? Yeah, yeah, yeah, pale blue dot, giant universe among some insane multiverse, are we a computer sim? Nothing really matters, blah blah blah, insert existential crisis here.

Instead, let’s talk about the GNAC championship game:

#4 WOU 69 @ #1 WWU 71

First and foremost: We were wrong. Taylor Stafford is the real deal, especially when you watch him in person. Now, how well that’ll translate to anything else, we have no idea. But for D2 basketball, dude is legit. The game itself was frustrating, exactly as WOU intended. WOU as these games have depicted epitomizes the defensive grind it out games that are amazing to watch in person and at the time they’re being played, but that seem useless to re-watch because there are too many variables and “how do they get this stuff to even work?” because some of it is dumb luck and some of it is incredibly calculated. Big props to WOU for almost taking down what is a very good WWU team.

How good is this WWU team? Naturally we’re not sure. This entire year has felt like an episode of the Twilight Zone. The numbers they put up are mediocre, which speaks to WOU, but also doesn’t speak well of WOU, because WOU’s entire game is treading water. There’s a joke about the BYU-Hawaii admissions decision comes from throwing all of the applications in the air and picking the ones that land in particular places -that is the WWU vs. WOU game. Even in hindsight, now that we know who won (congrats Viks) we still don’t know who we’d pick to win because on paper WWU should win about 8/10 times, but paper isn’t reality.

Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid went 8-10 from the line and had six boards; Ali played well and ended up with 16 points; and off the bench Demetrius Trammell lost his mind in the best way possible, scoring 33 points and being 6-6 from the line.

Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had 33 points; Blake Fernandez had five boards; Daulton Hommes had 10 points and seven boards; and off the bench Deandre Dickson had 10 points and seven boards.

Our favorite part of the game was watching WWU’s Brad Wallace -he didn’t put up particularly interesting numbers, but the dude is a mule. He’s short, he’s sturdy, he’s stubborn, and we’re pretty annoyed he’s a senior because we’d rather keep him for another year. He really just did not give one single crap and for the 22 minutes he was in, he was basically like ‘I’M GOING TO RUN YOU OVER!!!!!!!!’ and then did it. One of those players that you can’t exactly figure out what they do, but they make life easier/more difficult, depending if they’re on your team or the opposing team. Super awesome. We had a blast watching, so thanks Brad!


Now, let’s get into D2 bracketology. At this point, the bracket is set; it just hasn’t been announced yet. We’ve been contemplating our bracket all weekend and still don’t feel confident, but whatever. This seeding is an approximation, although we have no expectation that it’ll be reality:

UCSD -not because they’re necessarily the best team in the Region overall, but because they’ve succeeded in jumping through the hoops most recently and do deserve to host. They beat the opponent with the best record in their conference Championship game and did so convincingly, which says that they’re hot right now and that’s important. Slightly worse record than HPU, but have played what we believe to be a harder schedule.

Hawaii Pacific -We have nothing against Point Loma (we loved them last year because they always schedule so well, and now they have our former coach, so what’s not to love?) but Point Loma had a bad record this year and only squeaked into the tournament by virtue of the Pac-West saying that CU-Irvine wasn’t eligible, just incase they won the tournament. That doesn’t scream “we’re so awesome,” about HPU -especially because the Sea Lions remained in the game for a long time. HPU didn’t break it open until there were about eight minutes left.

San Francisco State -We think losing to UCSD is more respectable than barely squeaking by a depleted WOU team that had played a 3OT game the night before, and only got that far because the opposing team’s (and the conference’s) best rebounder wasn’t playing.

Western Washington -This is too low and had they blown out WOU, we might suggest they host. They’re the GNAC regular season and tournament champions. Great team, good players, pleased with them, but until they make it to the Final Four we personally won’t be convinced. There was so much carnage in the GNAC this year and they still left it up to chance until about a week left, losing games in particular to MSUB (apathy) and at Anchorage. We’ll excuse @ Fairbanks because the Viks always lose at Fairbanks; they did last time they won a title too.

Cal Baptist -we love their strength of schedule in non-con, they’re a good team, their losses come via Dixie, HPU, and PLNU in the tournament (hi, try not playing apathetically) and they have a win over UCSD in non-con, but we’re not really convinced of that; so does WWU and while both CBU and WWU are good teams, there was clearly something up in December with the Tritons.

Chico State -Good non-con, good in conference, had a string of losses mid-season which we assume saw a player injured, but came back from it strong. Only losses are to tournament-bound teams, with the exception of Cal Poly Pomona, and that was a close loss, plus CPP notoriously has a good program. Probably caught the rebuilding on a good night.

Sonoma State -They have two head scratching losses (Dominguez Hills and Cal Poly Pomona) but otherwise their in-conference losses from from SFSU. They have wins over Chico State and UC San Diego, their non-con wasn’t atrocious, and if you’re looking for a trendy upset pick, you should go with the Seawolves because of that info.

Dixie State -This is actually just “who can we rule out?” Dixie scheduled themselves well in non-con, but didn’t really do anything impressive, including losing to a CWU team that didn’t even make the conference tourney. They lost in conference to the teams above and more, they lack a signature win, but we like what the other teams available bring to the table even less, so we’re going with Dixie.

Burst bubbles: UAA. Had UAA made it to the Championship game of the GNAC tourney, we would take them over Dixie State in a heartbeat. We have no idea why Corey Hammell didn’t see more minutes, but whatever the reason, we don’t trust them to have him going into the NCAA Tourney and that’s the difference in whether or not we think these Seawolves could make a run. If the committee has more info than we do and know that Corey is going to play -by all means, Alaska-Anchorage is a better option than Dixie, they should be in it. But if UAA doesn’t have him, it’s a waste of a spot in our opinion.


There’s a ton of post season blog stuff and catching up on player of the week and updating the chart and all kinds of stuff that’ll go on intermittently this month as we watch WWU, hopefully make a deep run, in the NCAA tourney. More stuff is coming -this is far from the end, there’s tons to talk about in such a weird year.

Selection show starts in five minutes……… Update: it started in 25 minutes; the GNAC website was wrong. Starts at 8pm best coast time.

Previewing the GNAC Championship Game

#4 Western Oregon vs. #1 Western Washington…

Looks like it’ll tip right around 7:35. We’ll also be paying close attention to the CCAA championship game, which features SFSU and UCSD. We have a situation on our hands that means all of a sudden WWU is back in the discussion of hosting the Regional, which means… Rock meet hard place.

If WWU wins and UCSD loses, there’s no reason not to send the Regional to Whatcom. If WWU wins and UCSD wins, then there’s an interesting discussion to be had. Looking at UCSD’s schedule, they’ve lost three conference games: San Marcos, Chico State, and Sonoma. Chico State is in the tourney, as far as we’re concerned. So is SFSU, regardless as to whether or not they beat UCSD tonight. That implies that UCSD has greater strength of schedule than the Vikings, and that would be true.

The GNAC has been a mess this year, with the sloppy games never seemingly ending. And it was all just stupid sloppy and a lack of commitment to fundamentals by all involved -ick. If Western Washington wins this game, the GNAC should be a one bid league. WWU has conference losses to MSUB, UAF, and UAA. They have wins against everyone else. And yet UCSD has wins against Regional bound teams. While WWU absolutely killed the Tritons in non-con, that was a long time ago.

It’s all moot if WWU loses the championship game -in that case, have fun in San Diego y’all. The good news with that is it means two GNAC teams will be going. Yeah, WWU can make their own schedule look weaker by winning. Go figure.

So, to summarize:

WWU wins, UCSD loses, WWU should host.
WWU wins, UCSD wins, it’ll be a discussion that arguably should favor UCSD.
WWU loses, UCSD wins, we’ll feel comfortable sending the regional to San Diego.
WWU loses, UCSD loses, we’re going to veer on the side that UCSD should host because UCSD beat another Regional-bound team to win, whereas WWU didn’t.


Now let’s preview the WWU vs. WOU game:

Western Washington is the conference regular season champion. They’re a great rebounding team -everyone on that team rebounds. They out-rebounded their opponent 39-26 last night. Um, yeah. That being said: their defense lacks at times; that team that they massively out-rebounded was in it until the very end. They have a lot of very good players, and Taylor Stafford tends to get the glory as their best player, and while he is, there are a lot of other people on this team that do a lot of good things that make what Taylor does possible.

Western Oregon played a 3OT game last night against a UAA team that was missing their key senior post presence in Corey Hammell. Western Oregon’s best player is a guy by the name of Tanner Omlid -notable for getting at least one triple double, keeping his turnovers low, and motivating his teammates whether he’s on the court or on the bench. Tanner Omlid is the best player in the game, period. We’re excited we get to keep him for another year.

That being said: having the best player doesn’t mean you win.

WOU had an impressive number of players last night that were able to be counted on to go in, give the starters a breather, and not get behind, with their best bench player being Demetrius Trammell. He is distinctively their 6th man, so we don’t really consider him a part of their bench. If WOU has to use the bench to tread water, that’s going to be difficult against this Vikings team because the Vikings are approximately nine guys deep, even with a starter out due to injury.

WOU has the most talented player. WWU is deeper. If the Vikings allow Tanner Omlid (and to a degree Demetrius Trammell) to put the rest of the team on their back, the Wolves have a very good shot at winning. If they can eliminate most of the production of those guys, they should be fine.

We honestly don’t have a prediction because the conference has been such a mess, we know both of these teams so well, we know what both are capable of at their best, we know what both are like when they’re playing uninspiredly, and there’s just no telling which two teams out of those four options are going to actually show up tonight.

Good luck to all -we believe in y’all, play hard, be strong, be safe, go GNAC!

Discussions: WE KNOW WHERE WE’RE GOING!!

The season is dimming, bubbles are shifting, and it’s time to regularly take a look at what’s going on with the other two conferences.


For our new readers, a Summary:

In NCAA Division II basketball, the Big Dance is literally split up Regionally. That means we know our potential post season opponents 24/7 365.25 days a year. For us in the West Region, it includes schools in the GNAC, Pac-West, and CCAA -see the “Cast of Characters” tab if you want to know who each specific school is.

The #1 seed in the Regional, generally speaking, hosts. If the #1 seed isn’t in the main 48, then the Regional is split between a school in the main land and then the #1 seeded school.

We’ve joked that we wanted to see a year in which the seeding was:

1. BYU-Hawaii
2. Alaska-Anchorage
3. Hawaii-Hilo
4. Alaska-Fairbanks
5. Hawaii Pacific
6. Chaminade
7. Simon Fraser
8. MSU-Billings

Not because we hate the CCAA by any stretch, but just because those schools are the most remote and spread out locations, with the added bonus of SFU, the only metropolitan location, requiring a passport and Canada having a history of not allowing players from certain countries.


For all of y’all, remember: We’re used to knowing things. Last year we put up a prognostication, Bit-o-Baca put up a prognostication, and then the committee produced the actual Bracket, and not only were all of the teams the same for all three, all of the match-ups were the same, while all of the seedings were different. Usually we have a pretty good grasp as to what’s going on -not this year.

That being said: WE’RE GOING TO HAWAII. Maybe; and not us personally, but the Regional should be split in terms of being hosted by Hawaii Pacific and Cal Baptist.

Chico State imploded this weekend. They’re still great, their bubble didn’t burst in the slightest, but they’re no longer in contention to host after losses to both Sonoma (rivalry!) and San Francisco State. SF State is legit and we get that rivalry is as rivalry does, but there are teams that haven’t faltered. Don’t let certain trends fool you -getting the nod to specifically host the Regional is ridiculously hard. All that being said:


What’s your opinion on the #1 Seed hosting the Regional?

Honestly, we don’t think it’s fair when an LA school hosts it and other LA schools get to play in it. This year if it does get split between CBU and HPU, we’d like to see no other Hawaii school playing in Hawaii and no other SoCal school playing in SoCal, but it won’t happen because on the surface it doesn’t make financial sense. There’s a legitimate argument that even when WWU hosted the tournament, the SPU games were dead -even though SPU is only two hours away.

Our legitimate argument is that if the tournament was consistently hosted in a central location that already has good fans and good infrastructure, it would become a big thing yearly for the locals to be excited about attending. We host our conference tournament at SMU every year and it’s great. The location is central located, the facility is nice, parking is easy, and the locals actually come out and watch non-SMU teams play.

What school could/would do that on a Regional level?

Easy: Chico State.

They have a strong men’s basketball program and athletic department, they make the tournament regularly, it’s a big gymnasium, their locals genuinely care about basketball, they’ve got the best radio play-by-play guy in D2, and location wise it’s perfect:

-It’s at least an hour drive for every other NorCal school.
-It’s six to eight hours for the SoCal schools.
-It’s 10-12 hours for most of the GNAC schools.

Entirely driveable for the vast majority of teams. Alaskas, Hawaiis, and MSUB being the exception. Every other school IN THE ENTIRE REGION can drive there within 13 hours.

In D2, you have to look at your primary target demographics as to who actually is attending the games. In reality, it’s parents of players and locals. Chico State has great locals and is a good location for the vast majority of West Region parents. Literally the only knock on Chico is that there’s not a super convenient major airport, but that’s true with almost every school. The only schools that have convenient major airports are Dominican, Dominguez-Hills-ish, and Concordia-Portland. Every other location is either remote (see: Honolulu and Anchorage) and/or you need a car.

Chico hosting permanently won’t happen, and we’re honestly fine with the #1 seed hosting, but it is an interesting discussion none-the-less.


What’s your current bracket?

Ooooh, good question. We’ll be honest: We haven’t paid any attention to rankings this year, because we figure we know better than the voters. “All you’ve said for months is that you don’t know.” Exactly. Any ranking someone comes up with regarding schools in the D2 West is completely meaningless because the vast, vast, vast majority of games are pick ’ems, even when the game ends up being a blow out. MSUB beat WWU, got killed by SMU, and then blew out a very good and proven CWU at CWU. Oookay. Nothing makes any sense. Literally 10 teams are still in the running for making the conference tournament, that’s how much parity there is.

D2 West Bracketology
28-Jan 9-Feb Current Reasoning
1 CBU HPU Beat CBU recently.
2 HPU CBU Lost to HPU recently.
3 WWU SFSU Beat Chico State, non-con continues to look impressive.
4 UCSD UCSD Best non-con in the CCAA, even with a loss to Chico.
5 Chico Sonoma Legit wins against Chico and UCSD.
6 CWU UAA Currently up on WWU by half a game and they split in their meetings.
7 Dixie Dixie Hasn’t yet played HPU/CBU.
8 SFSU WWU Swept by the Alaska schools, Texas A&M Commerce is 7-5 in conference.

 

At this point we don’t expect that bracket to hold in the slightest because there are too many games left to be played and all three conferences are clouded in parity. It’s great, eh? CWU is currently out but we don’t necessarily expect them to stay out either because one of the schools in another conference loses twice or because they procure wins at the Alaska schools or something as such. There’s still tons of variability, but it is fun to look at a snapshot of what things look like this week, and we had a blast looking at our seeding from two weeks ago simply because it’s never not a well reason argument, the arguments just change as you get more evidence.


If I’m a CWU fan, should I be freaking out right now?

No. You still get to go play the Alaskas and there are plenty of other difficult and interesting match-ups in the other two conferences as well.


If I’m a UAA fan, should I feel safe?

Absolutely not. Your bubble is a redhead’s skin after 10 hours in the sun without sunscreen. Not only do you still have to face Billings, you still have to face NNU and CWU, plus add in the fact that there are a lot of impressive games that can be won in the CCAA and Pac-West still.


Think we’re a genius? Think we’re an idiot? Have a solid argument as to why we’re slightly wrong? Tell us about it on Twitter or in the comments!

Catching up with the Pac-West & CCAA

This was largely written on Wednesday 1/25.

When we last checked in with them, we had the following information:

Potential Hosts
Chico
UCDS
Cal Baptist
Hawaii Pacific
San Fran State

Who’s still in the run to host?

Chico State -close losses to UCSD and CPP, but that’s it.
UCSD -dropped their last two games to San Marcos and Sonoma.
Hawaii Pacific -shockingly only has one loss. The region getting split is actually starting to look like a possibility.
San Fran State -out; losses to UCSD and Chico, without the SOS from non-con that those schools have.
Cal Baptist -one loss, that being to Dixie State; Dixie State is a really good team; not in the running to host due to losing to CWU, but a good team all the same.
WWU -added, because while they had a questionable non-con, they only have one in conference loss thus far, and are looking super deep.

Do we know who’s hosting?

At this point no.

Prediction: Split regional. Hawaii Pacific and either WWU or Cal Baptist.

WWU is currently playing at Whatcom Community College, and they’re eligible to bid to host the tournament, but unless the Regional gets split, we don’t support it. The gym is just too tiny. We would make the same argument with CU-Portland -the Whatcom and CU-PDX gyms only hold maybe 1200 people, which yeah the non-local rounds tend to be fairly empty, but we worry about opposing fans being able to get Sweet 16 tickets, especially if say we ended up with a WWU/CWU match-up.

100% Guaranteed making the regional as of last check:

Cal Baptist
Western Washington
UCSD
San Fran State
Chico

Western Washington is definitely still in, but what about the other schools?

Cal Baptist = yes
WWU = yes, 100%.
Chico = yes
San Fran State -downgraded to the bubble, see below.
Hawaii Pacific = Yes; their spot is now officially safe. The only question mark they have is that they beat the Alaska schools in Hawaii; UAF has looked questionable, Anchorage has been good but not the elite team we projected them as before the season, thus non-road wins and not as quality as anticipated.


Bubble Teams

Here are the bubble teams from before, minus the guaranteeds:

CCAA
UCSD -100% in provided their skid stops now.
Chico -100% in provided they stay on the trajectory they are now.
San Fran State -bubble team, but a solid bubble; losses to Chico and UCSD, as well as an okay-ish loss to WOU in 3OT in non-con on the road.
East Bay -Now 5-6 in conference.

Pac-West
Cal Baptist -100% in.
Hawaii Pacific -100% in.
Dixie State -true bubble team; they’re really good, their SOS is good, but bubble.
Azusa Pacific -Now 5-6 in conference; relatively good non-con schedule, thus we still see them as a threat for the autobid, but they’re not on the bubble for a bid without it.

GNAC
Western Washington -100% in; only have a GNAC loss to MSUB.
Central Washington -true bubble team, they’re tied for 2nd in the GNAC right now, but their lack of non-con puts them on the bubble.
Alaska-Anchorage -true bubble team, they’re tied for 2nd in the GNAC and that loss to Hawaii Pacific is looking really good.
Seattle Pacific -we said last time it was their coaching staff; a 40 point loss and they switched it up. We don’t quite consider them turned around, but they’re theoretically no longer in free fall, which they were through the first half of conference play.
Saint Martin’s -they’re in position to make the conference tournament and they need to win it in order to get a bid. They’re good, but they’re very up and down.
MSU-Billings -We have no idea what’s going on with this team. They beat WWU in Bellingham, beat UAA and WOU in Billings, and then lost by 50 to SMU in Lacey. Zoinks. They have good and experienced players with a good and experienced coaching staff, plus super soph Preston Beverly, but………….. What’s going on??

Not sure where WOU was on that list last time, but we will note now that they’re definitely a threat to get the conference autobid. They’re finding themselves again after being rather up and down.


At half way through conference play, who are you eight teams in the tournament?

UCSD
Chico State
San Fran State
Cal Baptist
Hawaii Pacific
Dixie State
Western Washington
Central Washington

Seeding……………………..

1. Cal Baptist co-host
2. Hawaii Pacific co-host
3. Western Washington
4. UC San Diego
5. Chico State -this feels low, but UCSD non-con + head to head.
6. Central Washington
7. Dixie State
8. San Fran State -good schedule

We went with the co-hosting, because while HPU has lost to Cal Baptist, Cal Baptist lost to Dixie, which is in the 2nd half of the seeds and has a loss to CWU, thus we feel that it could be merited to split the Regional. We’re fine with Cal Baptist hosting, we’re certainly not trekking out to Hawaii, but for now we’re going with the split -maybe just because it would be a bit exciting. West Coast Pride, split regional, unique to us because as far as we know there’s no Puerto Rico teams in a conference -they’re all independent.


What’s your crazy prediction?

That three unexpected teams get the autobids. We couldn’t tell you who in the other two conferences, but in the GNAC every single team that makes the conference tournament will be seen as a threat. Lucky for WWU, they should be safe regardless. There’s a ton of implications within the bubble teams, basically:

UCSD lost to WWU (quality)
Dixie lost to CWU (quality)
UAA lost to HPU (quality)
UCSD lost to Chico (quality)
SFSU lost to WOU (quality-ish)

And then CBU lost to Dixie, but quality loss and quality win, respectively.

The thing with that mess is we couldn’t tell you which bubbles would burst if three unexpected teams got the autobids. SFSU, Dixie, and maybe CWU? CWU has a pretty strong bubble (that’s a good thing) because they’ll have a lot of head-to-heads with a potential GNAC bubble burster that gets the autobid, and then the victory over Dixie State. If Azusa gets the autobid in the Pac-West that would speak even more to CWU not having their bubble burst. But Chico is amazing, WWU is amazing, and that doesn’t even get into CBU and HPU.

The one knock on Chico is lack of SOS, which is the same knock on HPU, which calls our prediction of CBU into hosting into question, because if Chico gets the nod it’ll only be Chico. Chico’s only black mark on their schedule is the lack of SOS. Otherwise they’re golden. Same with WWU. WWU even has a coveted in-region road victory against a most-likely tournament bound team in UCSD -and that wasn’t close; they blew the Tritons out big.


Overall, we still feel like we really don’t know anything, which is odd, but when we feel like we do know something, y’all’ll be the first to find out.

West Region, Post Non-Conference.

After one weekend of play, we told you teams that were still officially in the running to host the Regional:

Chico
UCSD
Chaminade
Azusa Pacific
Cal Baptist
WWU
SPU
CWU
WOU

Nine teams could’ve potentially hosted, when there are only eight bids. Here are the teams from that list still in the running, along with the reasons as to why:

Chico -still in, still definitely; they’ve only dropped one game and that was to a very good UCSD team. We think at this point, provided they don’t self implode, they’re making the Regional 100%. Hosting is the question.
UCSD? – definitely maybe; they only have losses to WWU and Cal Baptist, but now they’re in the awkward position of needing to hope that CBU does incredibly well, but still loses three or four games to knock them out of hosting.
Chaminade -No; not the convincing strength of schedule and winning numbers to split the regional. Their best win is against SPU and that win doesn’t look very good this year. They also have a lot of losses already, even with leaving out the D1 losses.
Azusa Pacific -No. Lost to SPU, beat WOU, their record is 7-7, nope.
Cal Baptist -Absolutely. Even with the mess of parity, their only loss is to Dixie State and they played both Cal Poly Pomona and UCSD in non-con. Great strength of schedule.
WWU -We’re still not sure if they’re even eligible to host because of playing at Whatcom and the logistical/infrastructure nightmare that would be, but we don’t think they’re going to host unless other teams majorly implode. The Vikings simply don’t have the West Region SOS nor the out of region wins. They have a massively good win at UCSD, but that’s literally the only amazing highlight of their non-conference.
SPU -LOL. No. But last time we didn’t want to include them; we had to.
CWU -They have a great record, with only losses to Mankato and Anchorage on their sheet, but again: they lack strength of schedule. Although we’d kill for the Regional to be hosted in Ellensburg -definitely our favorite GNAC trip.
WOU -No. Too many losses and too many other teams without losses to their big tests in non-conference.

We had Hawaii Pacific on our “ish” list and while they’ve now won out, they still don’t have the strength of schedule and we don’t see them getting through the conference season with a max of two losses, which is what they’d need, in order to split the regional. It’s true that Cal Baptist/Chico/UCSD could implode and that could shove it Hawaii Pacific’s way, but… We’d assume the selection committee would rather keep the region together and with SOS being such a new criterium, weight it heavily.

Is there anyone we want to add to the list? Yes and in a big way:

San Francisco State. They’ve won out in non-conference and are currently undefeated, although their strength of schedule is somewhat lacking; their best win is @ WOU and that went to triple OT in the first game of the season. Right now they’re our pick to host the Regional as of now, because just win baby, win!

The Regional could end up being split between SFSU and Hawaii Pacific, which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but… We still feel like hosting is Cal Baptist’s to lose. Being undefeated is one thing, but being truly tested before conference play is another and Cal Baptist definitely has the latter.


What teams do we have making the Regional 100%?

Cal Baptist
Western Washington
UCSD
San Fran State
Chico

Here’s a list of all of the teams that are currently in control of their own destiny regarding making the Regional:

CCAA
UCSD
Chico
San Fran State
East Bay -only two losses come via SF State and Western Washington, but they got killed by both. We’ve liked East Bay for a while -they give teams fits at Mac Martin every year.

Pac-West
Cal Baptist
Hawaii Pacific -they’re only a maybe, because they didn’t play any true road games in non-con.
Dixie State
Azusa Pacific -they’re currently 7-7, but they have wins over Dixie State and Western Oregon, as well as a couple of potentially quality losses to West Texas A&M & Seattle Pacific-ish.

The following looks excessive, but seriously: We can justify it.

GNAC
Western Washington -because duh. The two teams they just lost to by a collective five points or so will likely be 1-2 in the Lonestar Conference and both are 100% in the South Central Regional.
Central Washington -why they lost to Anchorage, we don’t know, they have the most minimal of non-con, but if they win 14 games in conference, there’s no reason they wouldn’t be in the tournament.
Alaska-Anchorage -lose one more game and we say they no longer control their own destiny, but they have a good team and for right now: they are in control.
Seattle Pacific -We constantly talk crap about the Falcons, but the fact is that they have SOS, have a history of doing well, and we firmly believe that it’s the coaching staff holding this team back -not the players. When the coaching staff decides they want to win, they’ll be able to.
Saint Martin’s -they did what they needed to in non-con. Every conference team is going to lose multiple games. Non-con saves them. They’re in control right now.
MSU-Billings -they are as close to not being in control as you can possibly get, but while they lost in non-con, it was to East Bay and Cal Baptist on the road, which looks legit.

We originally had WOU on that list, but we honestly hadn’t looked at just how bad their non-conference went. They have no SOS, what-so-ever. They don’t control their own destiny -they need other teams to lose in order to make it in. When we think about it, would we take a 17-1 WOU team over a 17-1 Hawaii Pacific/Dixie/Azusa/UCSD/Chico/San Fran/East Bay? No. East Bay is the only ‘maybe’ in there, and all of that requires those teams to lose.


14 teams. Eight spots. Five at-large. We think the five at-large bids are already spoken for. This is a year when the auto-bid is going to be dire. We have no idea what’s going to happen at all. Literally, the prediction posts are going to be 100% pointless. We just don’t know.

In the GNAC, here’s what’s happened so far:

Upsets:
MSUB beat WOU
Concordia beat MSUB
NNU beat Anchorage

Pick ’em Games:
UAA @ CWU = UAA
UAF @ CWU = CWU
WWU @ SPU = WWU

There’ve only been 10 conference games played and three of them were upsets while three of them there was no way to pick a winner prior. It’s just going to get worse. If this blog has taught us one thing in regard to predicting basketball games: the more knowledge we have, the less we know. Darn all of these really good players that we know can completely change a game on any given night!


If you have something you want us to discuss tomorrow, tweet at us or leave in the comments -otherwise, we’ll catch you guys on Thursday for the game previews.

 

WWU @ UCSD

We didn’t end up doing a preview for WWU vs. UCSD because we’re lazy. We didn’t watch the game because we were busy being poked and prodded because our tonsils decided to grow back.

Here’s our prediction prior to looking at the results or knowing ANYTHING. Kid on Christmas, right here:

UCSD is a good team. They went legendary in our mind last year when the coach won a game with four guys, due to foul-outs and injuries. We consider them and Chico State to be our “CCAA” teams. They also wear shorts of a good length -none of this man-pris junk.

Western is of course our second favorite team; we love them, we’re obsessed with them this year because they’re actually playing functional basketball and they have a ton of guys that play in the style we love. We haven’t been to as much as we have in the past because we’re not missing Husky and Seahawks games to watch teams like Quest and Fresno State.

All of that said: We expect when we reveal the results to be a battle that either team could have won. We’re hoping it was fairly close and neither team blew the other out, because SOS matters. We’re hoping the numbers are okay. Not good, because that would mean no defense. So we’ll see. It’s a toss-up. Our gut says that Western could have won big and might’ve won big, but… We’ll see.

Western Washington 104 @ UC San Diego 81

Western won big. Our gut was right. And we’re 50/50 on it. We’re the anti-bandwagon and we feel like we’re bandwagoning Western, which is uncomfortable, even though we’re well aware that we’re truer than 98% of “fans” that went there and/or live in the area.

Vikings highlights: Holy guacamole, Taylor Stafford had 44 points on 15/21 shooting, as well as picked up five assists; Trey Drechsel had 15 points, eight boards, and five assists; Logan Schilder had nine points and eight boards; Daulton Hommes had six boards; Jeffrey Parker went off, scoring 15 points; and off the bench Trevor Jasinsky had seven points and four boards.

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Not a ton of bench play, but oh my goodness. We trust Western completely, the style they’re playing is amazing, but at the same time we also trust UCSD and wonder if it was a situation like the Seahawks this weekend where they basically rolled over and died.

We looked over the UCSD numbers… Nothing horrible, nothing great. Really average game. Which is great for WWU because it means it wasn’t a bad night that can be written off; WWU was using teamwork, moving the ball, their shots were falling, and we saw them at the best of their ability against a good team.


We’ll see if we preview the Chaminade game tomorrow…

There’s so much parity and the SPU team is such a mess while still being SPU, so… Who knows? And maybe what’s even funnier is that while we know SPU is a mess, our conference overall has looked really strong, while the Pac-West in particular has looked full of parity straight up, so… It would be nice to get a win, we think the Falcons could get a win, but will they make the choice to go in and take a win? It’s hard playing Hawaii, so it’s going to have to be an active decision rather than the passiveness they’ve shown as of late.

Congrats Vikings + Good Luck Falcons!

Non-Conference Weekend #2, Day 2.

Alright, here we go. It’s late but it’s still here and that’s what counts, eh? The good news is that all of the math is already done for POW so that’ll go up tomorrow morning on schedule.

Central Washington 93 vs. MN-Mankato 104

The Wildcats got outside themselves =( It was totally within their range and they could have had it and they panicked and it didn’t happen, but we’re still so proud of them. As noted yesterday: It wouldn’t surprise us if Mankato is a very, very good team.

Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had 18 points; Dom Hunter had 27 points; Terry Dawn had six boards; Jawan Stepney had 15 points and five boards; and off the bench Sage Woodruff had five boards.


Simon Fraser 73, Lindenwood 72

SFU vs. Lindenwood round two and SFU squeaked out another one. Nicely done Clan. Plenty of good numbers to go around, so we’ll jump right in.

Clan highlights: Iziah Sherman-Newsome had eight boards and 10 points; Graham Miller had 9 points and five boards; Michael Provenzano had another good game with 14 points and five boards, along with five fouls; JJ Pankratz had 9 points and five boards; and Tyrell Lewin had 14 points and six boards. Off the bench Andrew Williamson had 9 points; and Hidde Vos had eight points.


Western Washington 94, Holy Names 68

Can’t spell ‘slaughter’ without ‘laughter’? The numbers aren’t as good as they could be, but there are a lot of good ones and we’re very satisfied with WWU.

Vikings highlights: Taylor Stafford had 17 points and 11 boards; Trey Drechsel had 14 points and five boards; Logan Schilder had 10 points, seven boards, and five blocks -good to see the 7’0er getting aclimated; Daulton Hommes had 13 points and six boards; and Jeffrey Parker had a full house with 24 points and seven rebounds, among other stats. Off the bench Trevor Jasinsky had seven points.


Seattle Pacific 72 vs. Dixie State 74 in OT

Dixie State won. We’re not very happy. But it does create a lot parity because it wasn’t a good loss. Dixie State is yet to get a good win. They have good losses, but not any good wins, and a brand new SPU team that doesn’t return anything does not count as a quality win. But looking at the numbers SPU decided they didn’t give a crap about rebounding, so… They get what they get.

Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten played 40 minutes and had eight rebounds; Sam Simpson had six boards; and Joe Rasmussen had five fouls. Off the bench Sharif Khan had 10 points; and Tony Miller had 21 points and seven boards.

We consider this game to be a complete mess and with a slightly more experienced team the Falcons would have had it, but the fact is they don’t have that experience this year and they can’t get away half-trying like they have in the past. Hopefully they learned something -if they didn’t, their SoCal games this coming week are going to be felt widely and painfully on a conference level.


Alaska-Fairbanks 71 vs. BYU-Hawaii 68

Praise Nooks. They got it done. It was desperate considering BYU-H only used six players (essentially five) but it’s still a ‘W.’

Nanook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had 13 points and five assists; Bangaly Kaba had 14 points and seven boards; LaDonavan Wilder had seven boards; Zach Pederson had 15 points and six boards; Brandon Davis had 12 points, five boards, six assists, five steals, a block, four fouls, and zero turnovers in a perfect full house. Off the bench Michael Kluting had eight points and six boards.


Alaska-Anchorage 73, Cal State LA 68

Thank God, the Seawolves got out of this. Suki was more off on free throws than we’re used to seeing, so that was interesting. Corey Hammell finally had a Corey Hammell game, so that was good. Mixed bag, but what can we say? The Seawolves got it done and we are incredibly relieved.

Seawolves highlights: Suki Wiggs had 27 points and six boards; Corey Hammell had 12 points and 11 boards; and Connor Devine had 12 points and six boards. No real bench play, which is mildly concerning but Sjur Berg saw almost no minutes, so… Maybe means nothing.


CU-Portland 62, San Francisco State 86

The Gators were in ‘steamroll’ mode. That’s okay. We’re still proud of the Cavs for the progress they’re clearly making. We think they’re going to make some noise in conference -Christopher Edward, among others, is for real.

Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 14 points; Christopher Edward had a double-double with 10 boards and 10 points; off the bench Davis Nuaimi had five assists; and Taylor Harris had 11 points.


Saint Martin’s 75, San Bernardino State 80

The Saints ALMOST got the win but couldn’t pull it off likely due to a slow 7’0er. He goes in for the tip and nothing else. We like Fred a lot, but… Winning the tip doesn’t matter if he can’t even be counted on to grab one measly board. Naim Ladd is 5’7 and had seven the other night, so… Get with it Fred. You’ve got five fouls. Use them.

Saints highlights: Cole Preston had five boards and 17 points; Rhett Baerlocher had seven boards; Tyler Copp bounced back and had 16 points; Brandon Kenilvort had five boards; and off the bench Trey Ingram had 15 points.


MSU-Billings 50 vs. Cal State East Bay 54

Close and hard fought game but ultimately MSUB couldn’t pull it out. Quite honestly it bugs us because MSUB returns so much, so… Yellowjackets: What are you doing? We know East Bay’s place in conference tends to make them look worse than they are (truly an any given night team) but you were at home and have so many returners. Hmmm. We expect more of you Yellowjackets. Next week, perhaps.

Yellowjacket highlights: PRESTON BEVERLY had a huge game wiht 14 points and 25 points on good shooting; and Christian Evans had five boards.

To be fair, some of the lacking in highlights is because it was a low-scoring game, but… Shooting numbers were also bad.


Western Oregon 63 vs. UC San Diego 75

The Tritons read Western Oregon like a book. They came in apparently very prepared and essentially just shut the Wolves down completely. WOU still had few turnovers, so UCSD could have maybe forced them better, but… This was revenge for the Sweet 16 game and they got it.

Wolves highlights: Ali Faruq-Bey had six boards; and off the bench Demtrius Trammell had 11 points; while Yanick Kulich had 19 points and seven boards; and Malik Leaks had seven points.

Yup. That minimal. Looking forward to the Wolves bouncing back after a painful weekend.


Northwest Nazarene 84 vs. Colorado Christian 103

Weeee. Eeeee. Okay, honestly not surprising because Colorado Christian is often good, as the RMAC is usually really good. This is a quality loss if we’ve ever seen it.

Crusader highlights: Bouna N’Diaye had six boards; Jalen Shepard had nine assists and 16 points, whoa; Kaileb Rodriguez had 25 points and 12 boards for the double-double; Maurice Jones had 13 points and five fouls. Off the bench Pol Olivier had six points.


Overall a mis-mash of a weekend. We’re not as concerned as we expected ourselves to be, mostly because it does look like so much parity across the region that we feel like if a few teams clamp down and others buck up, things’ll be just fine.

POW noms up tomorrow at 10am, with the announcement at 11.

Non-Conference Weekend #2, Day 1.

Yup, it’s going to be a back-to-back post because as much as we love the GNAC -Husky and Seahawks football took priority. And sleep. Sleep took priority. What’s interesting is we were so busy throwing-up the preview (our fingers were barfing) that we didn’t look at ANY of Friday’s numbers yesterday. Nuts. And now not any of Saturday’s numbers. It’s all a surprise o.O

Simon Fraser 81, Lindenwood 73

We weren’t even aware Lindenwood was a D2 school; we assumed it was a school on the prairies of Canada. As it turns out it is D2, so good on the Clan for scheduling them. Yayyy D2 opponents.

Clan highlights: Graham Miller was 7-7 from the line and finished with 18 points and four fouls; Michael Provenzano had seven boards, five assists, and finished with 18 points and four fouls; JJ Pankratz was back in a big way, grabbing nine boards, four blocks, and dropping 24 points while staying out of foul trouble. Off the bench Kedar Wright went 7-9 from the line and finished with 11 points in the Clan’s victory.

Dear President Donald Trump,

Thank-you for making it okay for us to say ‘Go Clan!’ and talk positively about them without being concerned about ending up on a list. Heck, if we’re not careful with all this talk of “Go Clan!” we could ended up nominated for a cabinet position.

Love,
The GNAC Men’s Basketblog


Central Washington 99, Dixie State 95 in OT

Yeaaah Wildcats! We is so proud of you. Winning in OT. Yes, it’s for all intents and purposes a home game, but any win against the region is a win we will take. And there were TONS of good numbers, so let’s get started…

Wildcat highlights: NAIM LADD had SEVEN rebounds, two assists, ZERO turnovers, and 25 points; DOM HUNTER had a whopping 33 points while going 10/11 from the line and being good from the field; Jerome Bryant did the rare thing of confusing us with his lack of shooting; he went 1-3 and then made 9-11 from the line and grabbed five boards and had five fouls. Rarely do we think ‘wow, he could have kept shooting’ but this guy did and at the same time we’re excited for him because it shows the valuable trait of knowing his role and doing a darn good job at it. Fouling and drawing fouls? Um, yeah.

Full disclaimer: Power forward is our favorite position by and far, so that position does tend to get a good bit of bias around here.


Seattle Pacific 69, MN-Makato 78

While it’s a good win for MN-Mankato, we’re not convinced it’s a bad loss for SPU because we’d so much rather lose an out-of-region game than an in-region, and Mankato could turn out to be very good; it’s too early in the season to know at this point. We’ll consider it a good learning experience, hopefully.

Falcon highlights: COLEMAN WOOTEN had 16 boards and 24 points on solid shooting; Sam Simpson had eight boards and four assists; Will Parker had five fouls; and Joe Rasmussen had five boards and nine points. Off the bench Sharif Khan had 14 points; and Tony Miller had seven boards.


Alaska-Fairbanks 68, Cal State LA 74

Huge win for the CCAA as a whole. We talk about it all the time, but: Any win in Alaska is a good win because it’s so hard to play up there. We knew CSULA was going to be improved this year, it was just a matter of time.

Nanook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had five boards and five assists; Bangaly had 10 boards and nine points; LaDonavan Wilder had five boards; and Brandon Davis had 16 points and five assists. Off the bench Reece Robinson had six points and four boards; and Michael Kluting had 10 points.


CU-Portland 57, UC San Diego 66

Way closer than anticipated. Yes, it was essentially a home game, but it’s still what we should all consider a very quality loss for the Cavalier program because we love the Cavs and anticipated a blowout so what was everyone else thinking? Yeah. It’s good.

Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 15 points, Latrell Wilson had five boards; Christopher Edward had a huge game with 10 points and eight boards; and off the bench Davis Nuami had four boards and three assists.

The Tritons play mad D so the numbers are less than they usually would have been for how close it was.


Alaska-Anchorage 75, BYU-Hawaii 50

Confirmed: BYU-H good at home and bad on the road. At least so far. Admittedly it’s hard to play at UAA, but in that we also need to say that: UAA has a huge homecourt advantage. Good for them. Did what needed to be done and there are lots of good numbers.

Seawolf highlights: Suki had 21 points, seven boards, and three assists; Corey Hammell had a double-double with 12 boards and 10 points; and Connor Devine had 17 points and eight boards on good shooting. Off the bench Augustus Simmers had 10 points; Damien Fulp had 10 points while perfect from the line; nad Sjur Berg had five boards.


Western Oregon 93 vs. San Fran State 99 in 3OT

Oh dear. We’d say this game was a mess on both sides but it wasn’t. San Fran State played within themselves and used it to win the game in a hard place to play. They had surprisingly few bad numbers for the fact that the game went to 3OT. Not the case with the Wolves. Still, as bad as the numbers were they stayed in it.

Wolves highlights: Bryan Berg had 15 points and five boards; Tanner Omlid had eight boards, seven assists, four steals, two blocks, and assorted other stuff while securing a full house; Ali Faruq-Bey had eight boards; Buster Souza had a “break-out” game with seven boards and fourteen points with the only passable shooting on the Wolves. Off the bench Yanick Kulich had seven boards; and Malik Leaks had six boards and nine points -guess if you can survive that surname in elementary school, you can do anything.


Saint Martin’s 60 @ Sonoma State 77

Oh dear. Growing pains. It’s okay Saints, this is going to happen. Quality loss? Perhaps. At least Tyler Copp played moderately well, because outside of him there really are very few highlights.

Saints highlights: Tyler Copp had four boards, four assists, zero turnovers, and 20 points; Brandon Kenilvort had 17 points; and off the bench Rohjhae Colbert had five boards.


Overall an interesting day for the GNAC and West Region as a whole. Not bad nor good; this day was neutral all the way around, which is interesting of itself. We honestly haven’t looked at Saturday’s results except for CWU (they keep playing early so we keep seeing those results) and so… We’ll see in a little bit.

Congrats and good effort to all involved, GNAC or otherwise.

Previewing Today’s Games

We’re going to post these in reverse order and then swap the times because we want what times the games are being played at to be at the top, but we’re writing this one first because last night was whoa. On a lot of levels. We don’t know whether to climb into our conspiracy bunker of “ZOMG the GNAC is so bad, we’re going to be a one bid league” or “Our region looks okay and has parity all up and down, so we’ll be fine.”

November. Beautiful November.

All times pacific.

Central Washington vs. MN-Mankato @ 12:30

Want CWU to win sooo badly, it should be a battle, we’re ready for it to be a battle, and we’re ready to see the Wildcats come out on top.

Simon Fraser vs. Lindenwood @ 2pm

We somehow missed that Lindenwood is actually a D2 school; we assumed they were a Canadian school. They’re D2. And SFU beat them yesterday, but it was close, so we’ll see what happens today.

Western Washington vs. Holy Names @ 2pm

WWU gets it done, no problem, no doubt. They’re at home, HNU is never good, it’ll be fine. WWU’s got actual teamwork this year and no drag-their-feet post players, which makes everything better.

Seattle Pacific vs. Dixie State @ 3pm

No idea. The Falcons just lost to Mankato, but we don’t know what that means -we actually haven’t even looked at the numbers. CWU beat Dixie in overtime yesterday, Dixie has some mad strength of schedule and so they’ve played good teams are already well-seasoned. Dixie State has often beat the Falcons at home in non-conference and were responsible for dislodging SPU’s number one ranking a few years ago, so… What can we say? Those proud bearers of the confederate flag are probably going to win.

Alaska-Fairbanks vs. BYU-Hawaii @ 3pm

Seasiders just got killed by UAA. Time for the Nooks to get it done too. UAF wins big.

Alaska-Anchorage vs. Cal State LA @ 5pm

CSULA is starting to come into its own with a win over UAF yesterday, but so is UAA and… “The Seawolves up there in their hella nice lair” will take care of the Eagles just fine. Yes, we just plagiarized ourselves, we’re okay with that.

CU-Portland vs. San Francisco State @ 5pm

SFSU just won a triple over time game against WOU. We’re not sure whether that means this is a prime chance for CU-Portland to upset SFSU because they’re exhausted and likely to over look the Cavs, or if they’re going to get killed because SFSU is going to be like “WE JUST BEAT THE WOLVES, WE CAN DO ANYTHING!” and be in steamroll mode. We shall see.

Saint Martin’s vs. San Bernardino @ Sonoma State @ 5:30

The Saints got straight-up murdered by Sonoma last night, which actually doesn’t hurt our conference that badly because WWU had a convincing win over them last week without blowing them out, so Sonoma is looking good. Also tells you that there may be some separation between WWU and SMU, which wouldn’t be surprising, but still leaves plenty of room for the idea that both are good teams. Bernardino took CWU to OT but CWU got the win, it seems likely that Bernardino will win this one, but who knows. We love the Saints -they could absolutely bounce back.

MSU-Billings vs. Cal State East Bay @ 6pm

MSUB has a great homecourt advantage and yet East Bay is one of those teams that always gives GNAC teams problems, even when they’re lower-middle of the CCAA. Not sure what’s going to happen with this one. Nothing would surprise us in any direction unless both teams ended up scoring under 50. That would surprise us.

Western Oregon vs. UC San Diego @ 7pm

We cannot wait for this game. UCSD is boasting mad SOS, WOU just lost a triple OT game to SFSU, it’s in the New PE Building, what is going to happen? UCSD just had a heck of a time against CU-Portland, so we have no idea what to expect out of this game.

Northwest Nazarene vs. Colorado Christian @ 7pm

Who knows? We want NNU to win, we somewhat expect them to lose, but that’s just because “oh NNU,” and prior conceptions from previous years, but that’s not fair now is it? NNU hasn’t even played any D2 games this year. Who knows what might happen?