INDIANAPOLIS – Despite sporting the No. 4 ranking in the national polls, the Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team premiered at No. 2 in Wednesday’s first official NCAA Div. II West Region ranking, which goes toward determining NCAA Tournament qualification.
The Seawolves, who are 20-2 against D-II competition, are joined in the regional rankings by fellow Great Northwest Athletic Conference members Northwest Nazarene (18-3) at No. 5, Seattle Pacific (18-5) at No. 6, Montana State Billings (15-9) at No. 7 and Central Washington (12-10) at No. 10.
Azusa Pacific (22-3), ranked 19th in the WBCA Top 25 coaches’ poll, holds down the top spot in the West, while fellow Pacific West Conference program Hawaii Pacific (19-2) is No. 3. California Collegiate Athletic Association leader UC San Diego (21-3) stands No. 4 among the tightly bunched top group, while the CCAA’s Cal Poly Pomona (15-8) and the Pac West’s Point Loma (15-9) are battling for the final playoff position at Nos. 8 and 9.
The rankings take into account only games played through Feb. 13.
The regional rankings will be released again Feb. 21 and Feb. 28, leading to the announcement of the NCAA Tournament field on Mar. 4. The top five ‘at-large’ teams – along with the winners of the GNAC, California Collegiate Athletic Association and Pac West Conference tournaments – will make the NCAAs, with the top seed generally earning the right to host.
UAA has four regular-season games remaining – three against regionally ranked opponents – prior to the GNAC Tournament. The Seawolves host Seattle Pacific on Thursday, before closing the home regular season against Saint Martin’s on Saturday, both at 7 p.m. UAA finishes the regular season at Northwest Nazarene (Feb. 22) and Central Washington (Feb. 24), and will host the GNAC Tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center, Mar. 1-3.
NCAA Div. II West Region
Women’s Basketball Rankings – Feb. 14, 2018
Rk Team vs DII vs West
1. Azusa Pacific 22-3 20-3
2. Alaska Anchorage 20-2 20-2
3. Hawaii Pacific 19-2 17-2
4. UC San Diego 21-3 21-3
5. Northwest Nazarene 18-3 18-3
6. Seattle Pacific 18-5 18-4
7. MSU Billings 15-9 15-7
8. Cal Poly Pomona 15-8 15-8
9. Point Loma 15-9 14-9
10. Central Washington 12-10 12-10
(records through Feb. 13)