March 4, 2009
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
The Western Washington University men's and women's basketball teams both remained fifth in the latest NCAA Division II West Region polls released Wednesday.
In the men's poll, Brigham Young Hawaii remained on top as it has been all season, followed by Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Central Washington, WWU, Seattle Pacific, Cal State San Bernardino and Saint Martin's.
In the women's poll, Seattle Pacific stayed No.1 after taking over the top spot last week. The Falcons are followed by UC San Diego, Alaska Anchorage, Humboldt State, WWU, Northwest Nazarene, Cal State Dominguez Hills and Montana State Billings.
The regional rankings - compiled by the NCAA for all eight DII regions - are the lone determining factor for NCAA Tournament qualification, including the opportunity to host all or part of a regional tournament. This the last poll prior to the announcement of the playoff field on Sunday, March 8, at 6 p.m. PT. The rankings consider only games against Division II competition and put an added emphasis on games versus in-region opponents.
In the West Region, the poll determines which five teams receive at-large berths and join the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, California Collegiate Athletic Association and Pacific West Conference champions in the NCAA playoffs.
The GNAC and PacWest determine their automatic berths by the regular season standings. The CCAA automatic berth is determined by a post-season tournament.
Under new NCAA guidelines announced a few weeks ago, if the playoffs were to begin tomorrow, the men's regional would have two four-team sub-regionals at No.1 BYU Hawaii and No.2 Cal Poly Pomona and the women's regional would have all eight teams at Seattle Pacific.
The Western men, 19-5, travel to Seattle Pacific on Thursday (7 p.m.) and host arch-rival Central Washington on Saturday (7 p.m.).
The Viking women, 17-8, are at Western Oregon on Thursday (7 p.m.) and at Saint Martin's on Saturday (7 p.m.).