Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Looking ahead: Forecast is promising

I'm going to break a cardinal rule of sports here and not take it one game at a time. Here are some thoughts and questions related to the home stretch for the Knights this season:

  • Two questions about Mercyhurst: What happened and what's happening? The Lakers started the season 11-0, but are just 5-9 since. As far as what's going on right now, where have regular starters Elliot Engelmann (12.0 ppg) and Stu Anglum (4.2) plus reserve Ryann Bradford (2.6) been? They each have played in 22 games this year, but Engelmann and Bradford have missed the last two and Anglum the last three 'Hurst games.
  • On the bright side, this is allowing more playing time for backup guard Niv Zinder. I don't know much about him except I love saying "Niv Zinder."
  • What do you call it when Niv Zinder passes to a teammate then cuts to the basket and receives a pass back for a layup? A "Niv and Go."
  • It's (nearly) a forgone conclusion that the Knights will make the NCAA tournament this year. If you want to check out some future foes in that event, ESPNU will air the CIAA semifinals (Feb. 27, 7 and 9 PM) and the finals (Feb. 28, 8PM). Seems like we should be rooting against Virginia Union. That would give GU a better chance of hosting regionals.
  • According to the WVIAC web site, their tournament is scheduled for March 3-7. I'm not sure exactly how they run this event. The site only says "Charleston, WV (Civic Center)---final eight." I don't know if they play the 3rd, 5th, and 7th or if all 16 teams make the tournament and the final 8 is played the 5th-7th. I guess I'll find out in a couple weeks.
  • I think Gannon is 5 wins away from earning the #1 seed in the Atlantic Region and the right to host the NCAA tournament. That's the optimist in me.
  • The pessimist is asking, "Do you realize that if Gannon loses its next 4 games, the season will be over?"


  1. Here's the main question though... do postseason league playoffs (PSAC playoffs) count towards regional play? Reason I bring that up is because on the Regional Rankings site it says "the final Regional Rankings will be posted March 4th". So does this mean FINAL, final standings as in.. no matter what happens regional rankings won't change? Or does it mean final regular season rankings? It doesn't state this, but sometimes people "assume" you know what they mean and write the bare minimum. Anyone know anything about this? Or anyone know how the PSAC playoffs work? Does the #1 record overall host the final four (which would be Kutztown if they win first round) or does it alternate West host/East host each year?

  2. Jim: All the teams make it in the WVIAC and the first rounds are at the eight highest seeded teams then they go to Charlestown

  3. Jim: All the teams in the WVIAC make the playoffs. The first round is at the top eight's home courts then they go to Charleston.

  4. Joe, the top WEST seed hosts the PSAC playoffs this year which is Gannon (if they win out).

  5. Bob: Thanks for the info. Some of those first round games -- such as #16 Bluefield State (2-17) at #1 West Va. State (18-1) -- must be real stinkers.

    Joe: The league playoffs count towards regional play -- how a team is playing at the end of the season is a MAJOR factor in their selection to the NCAA tournament and their seeding. They don't announce another ranking because Division II Selection Sunday is March 8. That is essentially the final ranking. And Faithful is correct that the West host the PSAC this year.

    Correction: The CIAA tournament will be aired on ESPN Classic, not ESPNU as I stated in the above post. Also, earlier round games will also be broadcast. Check your local listings for an ESPN Classic station near you.

  6. Do other leagues run playoffs like that? (i.e.- one division hosts finals every other year?). It seems like every other post-season tournament I've watched/heard of the #1 team remaining hosts the final four...?! Is the point of that just to eliminate one team hosting it every year?! (i.e.- Findlay or GVSU in the Great Lakes.. oh wait Midwest Region?!)

    However, I am very glad that the West hosts it this year, looks like Gannon moved at the right time. Let's go Knights!!! "What's A Laker?!"

  7. Where do I get tickets for the Bluefueld State / WV State game?

  8. correction.. every other postseason I've seen either #1 team hosts finals OR they play at a neutral site.

  9. AJJ -- I like how the PSAC does it for two reasons:

    1. Women / men can rotate.
    2. Often in the GLIAC, the team with the best record was the team that won the weaker division. Michigan Tech seemed to win the weak north in a runaway and the south teams would beat up on each other so badly that MTU wound up with the best record.

    I think that the PSAC method is the fairest way for a league where teams play an unequal amount of times.

    By the way, Gannon is the only Division II local school that isn't known by its last syllable(s): the 'Boro, the 'Hurst. We never hear about the 'Non.

  10. AJJ -- Don't get me started about the GLIAC neutral site years.

    If they want a neutral site, the Delta Plex in Grand Rapids is available this weekend. Gannon could play Edinboro at 1:00 on a Thursday afternoon in front of a few dozen fans.

  11. I agree with you Golden, I do like the format of the PSAC now that I understand it, I was just wondering if anyone had heard of this format before (as I never have). What do you mean the men/women rotate? So if the West men host it this year, the East women host it this year? So Gannon women would have no chance of hosting? Just curious...

    Also, I am totally against neutral sites. Main reason being that there is usually nothing "neutral" about them. GLIAC always held them in Grand Rapids, which was neutral to anyone not from Michigan. I don't care if it's still a 2-4 hour a drive for a MI team, when it's 14 hours or whatever it was for Gannon, it's a home advantage for the other team. It's the same way in High School Sports it seems. They play at "neutral" sites, yet Prep/McDowell plays at Vets Stadium (soccer, football) or Hammermill (basketball) and McLane somehow finds their way to the "neutral site" of Edinboro University. Don't get me wrong, I love to see local teams do well, but don't call it a "neutral site".

  12. nevermind about the question about women/men rotating... I just got the e-mail from Gannonsports.com that explained the PSAC playoff situation. Man, if that e-mail could've been sent about 30 mins ago it could've kept me from looking like a complete dumb*** haha