March 10, 2014
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Two upset winners at conference tournaments kept the Western Washington University men's basketball team from being in the eight-team field of the NCAA Division II West Regional that was announced Sunday night.
The Vikings, who finished 20-8, missed out on an automatic berth with a 65-62 loss to Seattle Pacific in the championship game of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament.
Despite the loss, it still looked as though WWU, which had won the last two regional titles, would make a third straight appearance. The Vikings were ranked seventh in last week's regional ranking and had rolled to a 73-52 victory over Alaska Fairbanks in a GNAC tourney semifinal.
But two teams not ranked among the top eight regionally, Cal State Stanislaus in the California Collegiate Athletic Association and Chaminade in the Pacific West Conference, were upset winners of their respective tournaments. That earned them automatic berths and effectively knocked WWU out.
Cal State San Bernardino will host the regional on March 14-15 and 17. Also participating, besides Seattle Pacific, Cal State Stanislaus and Chaminade, are Cal Poly Pomona, Chico State, Cal Baptist and Dixie State.
WWU split its final four games, but the losses were by one point in overtime and by three points in each of the other three setbacks.
Four of the Vikings' eight losses were to teams ranked among the top 25 nationally. And, while opening the season with eight wins, WWU knocked of nationally No.1-ranked Metro State, 72-69.
Unlike the past two seasons when WWU won the NCAA II national championship in 2012 and reached the national semifinals in 2013, the Vikings had to deal with injuries to three starters.
WWU will lose three starters to graduation. They include two first-team GNAC all-stars - guard Richard Woodworth (Sr., Bellevue/Newport) and center Austin Bragg (Sr., Longview/Mark Morris) - and guard Robert Harris, Jr. (Sr., Kent/Rainier Beach).
White Tops Blue 95-75 in Annual Scrimmage
Deandre Dickson scores game-high 31 points, WWU returns to Carver Gym on WECU Court
Viking Jam Set for Wednesday at 7 pm
The WWU basketball teams will be showcased at WECU Court in Carver Gym
Blue-White Game Saturday Opens Men's Hoops Preseason
The annual Blue-White scrimmage is set for Saturday at 5 pm on WECU Court at Carver Gym
Vikings Men's Hoops Selected for National ESPN3 Game
WWU’s Feb. 1 game at Central Washington will stream live on ESPN3
Men's Basketball Announces 2017-18 Schedule
WWU will play 28 regular-season games in return to Carver Gym
Men's Hoops Helps Move in New Students to WWU Dorms
Vikings role up sleeves for campus and community service
Three Vikings Named to NABC Honors Court
WWU Men's Basketball earns the NABC Team Academic Excellence Award for team GPA over 3.0
Stafford Dominating Seattle's Crawsover Pro-Am
2016-17 GNAC Player of the Year is averaging 34.0 points per game
Vikings Add Pair of Transfers from Cerritos College
Tyler Payne and Micah Winn set to join WWU for 2017-18 season after standout careers at Cerritos College
Stafford to Play Professionally in Iceland
Feature story on Taylor Stafford in the Western Front
Parker and Stafford to Play for Bellingham Slam
WWU basketball standouts to play in 2017 Seattle Pro-Am League
2016-17 Men's Basketball Season in Review
The Vikings won the GNAC Regular-Season and Conference Tournament Title
Taylor Stafford To Play Professionally in Iceland
Stafford was the 2016-17 GNAC Player of the Year and a First Team All-American
Alumni Edge Slam in Back 2 Bellingham Battle
David Gage and Anye Turner combine for 60 points for the WWU Alumni squad
Alumni Men's Basketball Game Set for Saturday
Former WWU basketball players will take the court in an exhibition game vs. the Bellingham Slam