Predicting NCAA D-II Men’s West Regional; Humboldt crashes party

WEST REGION RANKINGS GOING INTO THE 

GNAC, CCAA, PAC-WEST TOURNEYS

                                           Overall DII Record In-Region Record
1 Western Ore.                          24-2 24-2
2 Chico St.                                     20-5 20-5
3 UC San Diego                         20-6 19-6
4 Seattle Pacific                        20-7 20-7
5 Azusa Pacific                           20-7 19-7
6 California Baptist                 23-6 21-6
7 Cal Poly Pomona                  19-6 17-6
8 Dixie St.                                      18-8 18-8
9 Alas. Fairbanks                       18-7 18-7
10 Alas. Anchorage                 17-9 16-9

The Cal Baptist Lancers trounced their arch-rivals Azusa Pacific in the Pac-West Men’s Conference title game locking up their spot in the in NCAA Tournament.

The Humboldt State Lumberjacks, not ranked in the top-10 in the region when play started this week, won three games and captured the automatic qualifier in the CCAA. The Lumberjacks will advance to the NCAA Tournament as well, crashing a party they didn’t appear invited to. It was great run by the Jacks and they did a great job of taking care of their business. Definitely a dangerous team entering the NCAA Tournament.

And, the Western Oregon Wolves completed the season sweep in the Great Northwest Conference by beating Alaska Fairbanks and capturing not only the regular season but also the post season conference tournament championship. Unless they can’t reserve enough hotel rooms the Western Oregon Wolves should be hosting the Division II West Regional next weekend in Monmouth, Oregon.

So with Western Oregon, Humboldt State and Cal Baptist locked in that leaves 5 spots for a bunch of deserving teams. Let’s take a quick look at those teams and see where they may fall…..

Chico State– I think they are in. But, they are pretty darn fortunate that their CSLA loss on Tuesday did not torpedo their tremendous campaign. Chico will drop in the rankings but I believe their strong regular season that included a great road record and an impressive record against teams over .500 will get them in. I see Chico as a number 6 seed.

Seattle-Pacific- This is another team that I believe is in the tournament. I believe they played the toughest schedule in the region and it will be rewarded. They took Western Oregon to the wire before falling by one on Friday. SPU is in as a number 5 seed.

Azusa Pacific- Pay no attention to their blow-out loss in the Pac-West title game on Saturday. Azusa is in. They faced a team on a roll in the Lancers and it was the proverbial snowball rolling downhill. Azusa was the regular season champion in the Pac-West. They had a tremendous season. They get in and will be a solid 4 seed.

UC San Diego- They needed a miracle to beat Sonoma on Tuesday. They overwhelmed Pomona on Friday but ran into a desperate, talented and hot Humboldt team in the CCAA Final. The Tritons have been decimated by injury all season long but they are tough as nails. I think they are in as a 3 seed. I don’t see them dropping in regional ranking because they beat two plus .500 teams in getting to CCAA title match-up. Great season is rewarded with a 3-seed.

Dixie State- The Red Storm needed a win against Cal Baptist. They didn’t get it. Despite an amazing late season run after a rough start to the year, Dixie put themselves in a position to get into the dance. I think they would have gotten in if Humboldt didn’t snag one of the automatic qualifiers (AQ’s) I think the season has come to an end for Dixie.

Alaska Fairbanks- Alaska went on a mad run at the end of the season including a huge win over Western Oregon on their home floor in the final week of the season. Sadly for the Nanooks they couldn’t duplicate the feat on Saturday. I think they will be strongly considered for the final at-large. In the end, I don’t think there will be enough Division -II wins to get them in. Oddly, it might have helped Alaska’s case if they didn’t have a first round bye in the GNAC Tournament. They could have used another resume building win. The victory over a sub .500 in D-II Western Washington team won’t help them when crunching the Performance Indicator and RPI numbers.

Pomona- They get in on the strength of beating the Pac-West Champion Azusa and beating CCAA Champion Chico State twice. The Broncos got a much-needed boost with a first round CCAA Tournament win over San Francisco State. The Gators were ranked 7th in the last regional poll and they went 1-1 versus two teams with plus .500 records. The Broncos are in as a 7th seed.

HOW I SEE PAIRINGS

This is nothing official. I have no inside info. This prediction is simply my ramblings and take it for what you will……

8-Humboldt versus 1-Western Oregon

5-Seattle Pacific versus 4-Azusa Pacific

6-Chico State versus 3-UC San Diego

7-Pomona versus 2-Cal Baptist

The tournament will be held in my opinion in Monmouth, Oregon on the campus of Western Oregon University next Friday, Saturday and Monday.

The Selection Show will be on Sunday night at 7:30pm on http://NCAA.COM

 

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