#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.
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.
#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!
What an amazing night of basketball. Tonight hopefully we don’t see another Triple OT thriller, but… Who knows? Hope the Wolves are hydrated, good Lord, 55 minutes of basketball. Wow.
#3 WOU 91 “@” #2 UAA 84 in 3OT
Hoooo boy. We’re ridiculously proud of both the Wolves and Seawolves in their insane Triple OT game, but we have to wonder… Why wasn’t Corey Hammell playing? He only saw 20 minutes and didn’t take a single shot. It was a defensive grind it out and the entire time we were wondering about the numbers, so… Let’s get into them.
Wolf highlights: Evan Garrison had 20 points on good shooting; Tanner Omlid had a double-double with 22 points and 10 boards; Ali had 19 points, six boards, and five fouls; and JJ Chirnside had seven boards. Off the bench Demetrius Trammell continued succeeding in his quest to impress, scoring 16 points; and Bryan Berg added five points and four boards.
Shout out to the Wolves bench, even those that didn’t put up too many numbers -you put in minutes, relieving the key players, and in a game that lasts 55 minutes is huge -MVPs all of y’all, the victory doesn’t happen without you.
Seawolf highlights: Suki played 53/55 minutes (whoa/ouch!) and scored 29 points while grabbing nine boards and being 6/7 from the line; Diante Mitchell had 20 points among a full house; Spencer Svejcar couldn’t make a field shot to save his life but went 7/8 from the line and grabbed seven boards; Corey Hammell had five boards; Connor Devine had five boards, six blocks, and 20 points; and Travis Parrish contributed 30 minutes off the bench.
Live by the bench, die by the bench. When the best contribution off the bench is a senior being a body, you’re going to have problems. When the game goes to 3OT, you’re going to have even bigger problems.
Congrats to the Wolves on pulling out the win and congrats to the Seawolves on a good season of basketball. Short of expectations, yes, but lots of fun, some great numbers, and some good wins.
#4 SMU 79 “@” #1 WWU 91
No leash. Every time WWU would try and break it open, the Saints would come charging right back. It was close until there was about 2:40 left in the game and at that point WWU was up by eight or so and then it was a matter of treading water against the current that was the Saints and the Vikes managed to do it.
Saints highlights: Cole Preston had 17 points and nine assists while playing 40 full minutes; Jordan Kitchen had nine points and five boards; Tyler Copp went out with a bang, scoring 38 points; and off the bench Brandon Kenilvort had 10 points. The Saints finished with just 23 boards to WWU’s 39, so the fact that they remained in this game for so long is essentially a miracle.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford played a full 40 minutes, was 15/16 from the line, and finished with 31 points; Blake Fernandez grabbed five boards; Logan Schilder grabbed five boards; Daulton Hommes shot great from the field and finished with 20 points and 10 boards for the double-double; and Jeffrey Parker was 8-8 from the line and finished with 23 points while grabbing eight boards. Off the bench Deandre Dickson had nine points.
Fun game to watch. Proud of both teams. Congrats to the Saints seniors -we admit, you got us. They announced you as seniors at the end and we burst into tears; it’s been an honor to get to write about your respective careers the past three years, we’re ridiculously proud of you, and wish you the best of success in the future.
Game previews will be up shortly before the game starts.
Another great night of basketball on the horizon!
#3 WOU @ #2 UAA
We keep thinking WOU is going to pick it up and not be so sloppy and yet each time they’ve continued their sloppiness. Last night they got away with it against MSUB; tonight, it’ll be incredibly hard to get away with it against UAA. UAA has underachieved this year pretty substantially, BUT they’re big, they’re deep, and they’ve got a surprising amount of people in attendance. It seems ludicrous that a school 1800 miles away would have the home court edge, but… here we are.
Prediction: UAA continues their quest for the autobid. No inclination on the score; it won’t be a blowout, but it could be close or it could be moderate.
#4 SMU “@” #1 WWU
Another matter of sloppiness. It’s another one of those situations where unfortunately we trust the underclassmen of WWU over the seniors of SMU. Fred had a crazy amazing game last night, but we’ve never seen him have two back-to-back. SMU was able to cover the glass against CU-PDX, but WWU has a lot of guys that are convincing rebounders. WWU is one of the best teams in the region right now, they’ve answered questions, they’ve gotten lazy at times, but hopefully that final gut check against SPU was all they needed. They just beat SMU last week, so SMU “will be out for blood” and they will definitely boast a homecourt advantage, but we’re thinking not enough of one to make up for the talent advantage WWU has.
Prediction: WWU wins comfortably, if not another blow-out.
Have fun, be safe, play hard, go GNAC!
Last conference game day of the regular season! And spots in the tournament still aren’t decided. Very exciting stuff.
All times pacific.
CWU @ UAA @ 4pm
CWU needs the win, UAA would like the win. Honestly, we really want to see Connor Devine and Corey Hammell bounce back. Their numbers have been meh as of late, plus it’ll be really cool to watch them take on Fuquan. Not super worried about Spencer -should be good. Suki is always with a watch. Diante is 50/50. With CWU hopefully Naim Ladd is back in the starting line-up, Dom Hunter will be fun to watch play against his old school in his old gym (were they playing in that gym when he was there? It was brand new if he was), Fuquan, of course, hopefully Sage Woodruff sees some good minutes. Jawan should do work. Understated player.
Prediction: Pick ’em. #1 game of the night.
SMU @ WWU @ 7pm
Should be a really good game. We’re excited. Fred vs. Logan. We tend to trust Logan more than Fred, although they’re at opposite ends of the spectrum. Logan doesn’t look like a college basketball player, Fred looks like a former college basketball player on the opposite end of the spectrum. Regardless it’ll be fun to watch some of the match-ups. Brandon Kenilvort, Rhett Baerlocher, Daulton Hommes, and Jeffrey Parker most notably. Trey Ingram vs. Brett Kingma could be good, but it most likely won’t happen because Brett has been pretty silent this year, sadly. Cole Preston and Taylor Stafford play different positions, so while you’re “they’re both great guard!” Cole is all 1 and Taylor is all 2.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
SPU @ SFU @ 7pm
We’re 50/50 on what we want the Falcons to do. On the one hand, they’re not in control of their own destiny and so we say “forget it, just play the seniors as many minutes as they want to play and let them go out proud” and then on the other hand, you want to genuinely try to get this win, just in case. The seniors could get this win -the seniors on the Falcons would likely be the best players on the SFU team, but… It’s a toss-up. SFU has had really good moments. We don’t know that all of the young guys the Falcons have really need to learn from this game. It would be cool to watch everyone go in and clamp down on defense and make a point, but… It’s the last game of the season. Does it really matter? No. But it would be nice for the Clan to pick up one more in-conference win, and we know they’re wholly capable.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
MSUB @ WOU @ 7pm
WOU’s officially in the conference tournament, MSUB it’s chaos. MSUB is a good team, we’re really happy to see Kendall Denham back in the starting line-up and playing really well. Marc Matthews is great, Preston Beverly how much more can we possible say? We adore that kid SO much. That being said: WOU has Tanner Omlid, Ali, and JJ who’s been coming on strong. Oddly enough we feel like MSUB has more talent that’s proven their worth overall, but Tanner Omlid is far and away the best player in the game, which means that WOU has a very good shot at winning it. “But WOU has a way better record.” Yeah, this is basketball. One player can affect everything, for good and for bad. MSUB has several very good players, WOU has one crazy amazing player, a few very good players, and a smattering of good players. MSUB probably has a higher “average” level of talent, but WOU is able to use their talent more in the trenches because of that crazy amazing player.
Prediction: Pick ’em. Game of the night #2.
NNU @ UAF @ 8pm
Should be another really good game. Bangaly’s final game. We’ve loved having him the past two years and are so ridiculously proud of him. You’re amazing Bangaly!! That being said, we also suspect it’s NNU’s Maurice Jones final regular season game in the GNAC. We’d love for him to stick around, but there’s not a big history of that at NNU, so until we see him play a game in a Crusader uniform next year, we won’t trust it. The game should be ridiculously competitive because NNU is a good team and UAF is an okay team, but they’re playing at home and the Patty Center is hella good. Be interesting to see what happens.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Can’t wait to watch all of the games, we’re proud of all of y’all, it’s been an amazing, crazy, insane, chaotic, unforgettable regular season, and so let’s finish it out strong and healthy!
All times pacific.
CWU @ SPU @ 4:30
Rivalry game. Anything can happen. SPU could get blown out. CWU could win a close one. SPU could win a close one. It’s at home, they almost upset the Wildcats in their house so there’s going to be a lot of tension, both with CWU wanting to prove that they’re still one of the best in the conference (which they are, there are just a lot of teams in that conversation right now) and wanting to prove that SPU isn’t anything this year. SPU still mathematically has a chance at making the conference tournament, so they need this win big time.
Prediction: CWU wins big or else it’s close. Don’t think the Falcons are able to blow out the Wildcats.
WOU @ SFU @ 7pm
SFU came so close to beating Concordia and it seems like of any year for it to happen, this could be a year for them to upset the Wolves, but… No. Not happening. The Wolves lost a very uninspired game in Bellingham; time for them to remind the Clan of their place in the conference.
Prediction: WOU is victorious.
CU-PDX @ WWU @ 7pm
Concordia has looked really good as of late until they looked really bad against SFU. Bounce back game? Can they beat the Viks on their home court? Talent wise, absolutely, ability to see it through and win? Doubtful. WWU played really terribly until pulling away in the last couple of minutes against WOU -time to get back on track.
Prediction: WWU wins.
NNU @ SMU @ 7:30pm
Not sure what we’re thinking on this one. They should be really evenly matched and it should be an exciting game. NNU looked like a mess against SPU on Thursday, but we don’t expect that to hold. SMU played a tough game against CWU, even with CWU missing one of their top scorers, but ultimately pulled it out. Should be interesting.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
MSUB @ UAA @ 8pm
Game of the night, in our personal opinion, no offense to CWU/SPU. UAA is a really good team with a really good home court advantage. MSUB is a really good team that on any given night has the ability to beat anyone or lose to anyone. When they click, they’re amazing. When they don’t, they’re pedestrian. On Thursday against UAF, it appeared Preston Beverly was feeling the weight and tried to do too much. It’s a difficult thing because on the one hand we would encourage him to rely on his teammates, but on the other hand the statistics rarely support that idea -it’s very 50/50 as to whether or not he needs to play hero ball on any given night (because make no mistake: He has willed them to multiple wins this year) but figuring out what type of night it is, is challenging for anyone against any opponent, much less a sophomore against a ridiculously deep and experienced UAA team.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Should be a really good night of basketball, although ultimately we could see some blowouts. That’s what’s weird this year -CWU could blow out SPU, WWU could blow out Concordia, UAA could blow out MSUB, WOU should blow out SFU, but there’s no telling if any team will actually do that. The only “true” pick ’em game for a normal year would be NNU/SMU, but… It’s not a normal year, so we’ll see.
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:
5. Hawaii Pacific
7. Simon Fraser
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|
|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!
So many awesome games tonight, we can’t wait!
All of the games are good, so no ‘game of the night.’ Just watch one. Or three. Or four simultaneously. You won’t regret it!
All times pacific.
NNU @ SPU @ 5:15pm
This is an interesting game. NNU has been coming on super strong, but SPU much as they got swept this last weekend -their numbers are looking a lot better, and they’re playing at home. They lost to NNU in a super intense game last time, and it’s hard to play at NNU, we say it all the time. If it was there, we’d say NNU would easily win again because they are looking amazing, but the game is in Seattle, and thus…
Prediction: Pick ’em.
CU-PDX @ SFU @ 7pm
We’re sooo thrilled with Concordia right now; they’ve got an amazing group of guys, they’re gelling, they’re working together, they’re hitting shots down the stretch, this SFU game is a test: Can they initiate themselves into the GNAC with a blow out of the Clan?
Prediction: CU-PDX wins. Not sure by what margin.
WOU @ WWU @ 7pm
The Viks have to be pretty angry right now after the sweep in Alaska. Whatcom has the ability to rock, it was rocking for the Anchorage game, we expect it to rock tonight. Tanner Omlid is coming off of a ridiculous game against SPU, a game in which we saw the Wolves make a major transition at half time to remember “this is who we are, we’re winners, let’s make shots, let’s play together, let’s do this,” and they did it and won by 15 and it was great. It’s going to take a full team effort to beat the Vikings because the Vikings are angry, they are a really good team, they’re really deep, they have the best bench play in the conference by far… Should be an amazing game.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
CWU @ SMU @ 7:30
Another game we’re excited for. We’re not excited about everything, just most things. Life is fun, what can we really say? Happiness FTW because we get to write an awesome blog about an awesome conference and have awesome readers like YOU!
Anyway: This game……….. SMU is an interesting place to play at. You wouldn’t think it’s difficult and it would never stand out as being a hard environment to play in, and yet that’s what makes it hard? It’s usually neither dead nor alive, so if you focus on the game because it’s quiet something is going to interrupt you, but if you use the crowd to get energized it’s going to falter part way through. Interesting dynamic, especially when SMU is as good as they are this year. This year they’ve been really 50/50, we’ve thought they were REALLY good and then we’ve thought they looked mediocre. Not bad, mediocre. CWU we’re still convinced they’re amazing. Their bubble has likely burst, but they are still fantastic, they’ve got a number of amazing players in Dom Hunter, Fuquan Niles, and Naim Ladd. Jawan Stepney has his moments and Marc Rodgers knows what he’s doing. We’ve also liked Sage Woodruff off the bench. Curious to see what this game ends up as.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
MSUB @ UAF @ 8pm
MSUB is a really good team, UAF is a really hard place to play, the Nooks just lost to rival Anchorage but not by a lot. Rivalry games have results that mean nothing as far as we’re concerned, and so it would be tempting to go “UAA is better than MSUB, thus UAF should beat MSUB because we think the skills gap is larger between MSUB and UAA than the win by UAA was” it was a rivalry game, so who knows. MSUB is also really good. A lot will depend on the play of people not named Preston Beverly. If his teammates play well, we feel confident that the Yellowjackets will get the win. If they don’t, then it gets very dicey very quickly because UAF is good and the Patty Center is challenging.
Prediction: MSUB wins big, or pick ’em.
Fun night of basketball. We can’t wait. Discussions post up this afternoon.
Hoooooooooo boy. This was an amazing week. So many ridiculously productive games by so many awesome players.
UAF: Brandon Davis, starting to take on the role of “glass monster.” Never a bad thing. Ever.
UAA: Suki………… Will go down under blog lore. Shot surprisingly well from the field this week, way to go Suk!
SFU: N/A —> Donated to Daulton Hommes of WWU, who continues to use his body well in space.
WWU: Taylor Stafford -usually PG/SG hybrids give you the worst of both worlds, but Taylor does a great job with it week in and week out.
SPU: Tony -like Daulton, another fantastic frosh that uses his body well in space; had some turnover issues, but more than made up for it with his tenacity.
SMU: N/A —> Maurice Jones of NNU, he’s sooo good, the question now is will he actually be willing to stay in Nampa for another year.
MSUB: Preston Beverly -have you paid proper respect today, to the sophomore that has no idea what the word ‘slump’ means?
CWU: N/A —> Gavin Long of SPU; smart player, does what’s needed and does so without needed fanfare.
NNU: Bouna!! He’s developed so well. Ridiculously proud of his strategic play and non-stop hustle.
CU-PDX: Drew Martin -continues to board well and support his teammates well and otherwise be the consummate basketball player.
WOU: Tanner Omlid. Triple Double. ‘Nuff said.
Winner’ll be up soon.