REACTION and ANALYSIS: OFFICIAL Division II West Region Men’s Basketball Rankings…..

OFFICIAL WEST REGION DIVISION II MEN’S BASKETBALL RANKINGS 
Overall DII Record               In-Region 
1 Western Ore.                                   22-2                                         22-2
2 Chico St.                                             19-4                                          19-4
3 UC San Diego                                  19-5                                         18-5
4 California Baptist                         20-6                                         18-6
5 Seattle Pacific                                 18-7                                         18-7
6 Azusa Pacific                                   18-6                                         17-6
7 Cal Poly Pomona                           18-6                                        16-6
8 Dixie St.                                               15-8                                        15-8
9 Alas. Anchorage                             16-8                                        15-8
10 Alas. Fairbanks                            16-7                                        16-7

Let me start by saying I was WAY OFF on my rankings. WAAAAAY OFFFF. And, I am totally OK with that. I thought my rankings were well-reasoned and qualified, but since I haven’t broken down the Performance Indicator and RPI’s for the teams, it came down to body of work, finite analysis and comparison. With the release of today’s Division II Men’s West Regional Basketball rankings we learned one hard and fast thing about life in the West Region……BEAT THE TEAMS YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BEAT !!!

My initial surprise is now steadied in the fact that the committee is really utilizing the PI (Performance Indicator) which measures each win and each loss with a point value. What we saw in today’s rankings highlights how vital it is to beat SUB .500 teams. If you slip you will be punished. This week we saw Seattle Pacific lose their first game to a team under .500 and they dropped an incredible THREE SPOTS (2nd to 5th.) We saw Pomona beat Chico in Chico but follow that up with a dreadful loss to Stanislaus State and drop from 6th to 7th.

Losses to good teams, even at home do not crush you. But, based on the criteria being utilized you get crushed if you lose to sub-standard teams whether at home or on the road. While top-seeded Western Oregon and Chico State both lost, their losses were to teams ranked in the top-10 in the region (definition of a good/acceptable loss.) They also both beat teams ranked in the region after those losses (definition of a good win.) Western Oregon stayed at number one, while Chico State climbed to number two despite losing a game.

I was a little surprised Seattle Pacific dropped to fifth after looking at the quality of their schedule. 15 of their 25 games against teams over .500 and compiling a 9-6 record in those 15 contests. Knowing that Chico State, Seattle Pacific and UC San Diego all had to be pretty close in the rankings, I guess the committee was looking at something to differentiate the teams. A bad loss qualifies especially when it comes to the performance indicator.

With Seattle Pacific falling so far, that shows me that the teams ranked from 2-to-7 must all be pretty close and any mis-step or incongruity will be addressed by the committee. That means this last week of the regular season and the conference tournaments are going to be VITAL in terms of seeding and possibly berths into the NCAA Tournament.

Azusa Pacific sits at number six and that is before the committee takes their loss at BYU-Hawaii on Tuesday night into account. Needless to say Azusa needs to finish the week strong at Chaminade and Hilo. Pomona just has to be sick. They were sitting at six last week, they beat Chico State on ESPN3 in front of a standing room only sell-out crowd coming back from 18 points down with 10 minutes to go…..then they lose in OT to a 7-16 Stanislaus team. That had to feel like they won the SuperLotto but lost the ticket.

I knew Dixie was coming on strong and their two wins against Holy Names saw them jump from 10-to-8. The Red Storm have really put things to together but they have some work to do with a tough schedule in the final week of the season. They are ranked 8th despite not having their win on the road against Dominican factored into the equation, so they have to be feeling pretty good.

Anchorage slipped to number 9 with their loss to Western Oregon and a win against a sub .500 squad. And, it was a great week for Alaska Fairbanks as they beat Western Oregon and put themselves in the conversation.

Remember, power ratings and wins against quality teams is always changing since some teams either are sitting ABOVE .500 or AT .500 or fall BELOW the .500 mark. This will have a significant impact on the quality of wins for teams. So, keep an eye on not only a specific team and how they are performing but also the teams they have beaten OR lost to and whether those wins or losses qualify as good or bad. The Performance Indicator and RPI along with Division II and in-region records are constantly fluctuating and changing. As we saw this week, if you slip on the banana peel not only will your pride and tail bone hurt, but also……your ranking.

*photo courtesy of Chico State Athletics at ChicoWildcats.com

 

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