WAC Vegas is upon us. The new Texas teams must be thrilled to travel to the Sin City to compete for a conference title. Perhaps New Mexico State fans will show up in droves once again. There will be a lot of purple that invades the Orleans Arena, as well. I mean, three teams who don the purple and white will most likely be competing at WAC Vegas.
With a month to go before things tip off in Las Vegas, it is time to start keeping tabs on the seeding. Remember, the top two seeds get a bye into the semifinals on Friday night. The three and four seeds get a bye to the quarterfinals on Thursday. So, finishing in the top-4 of the regular season standings is crucial. And right now, where teams land is anyone’s guess and could come down to the final weekend of conference play.
Here is where the standings currently are.
1 – New Mexico State, 9-1 WAC
The Aggies are 9-1 in conference play and all alone at the top of the WAC.
2 – Seattle U, 8-2 WAC
Fortunately for Seattle U, Utah Valley gave the Redhawks a gift on Saturday by beating Sam Houston. Now, Seattle U is all alone in second place in the WAC standings, a full game ahead of the Bearkats and Grand Canyon.
3 – Sam Houston, 9-3 WAC
The Bearkats are at three simply because they have played two more games than GCU. That should even out, though. And both teams play each other again in Phoenix on Feb. 26.
4 – Grand Canyon, 7-3 WAC
The Lopes got back in the win column this week with a pair of home wins. The bigger question for GCU is can they win on the road? Thursday night presents a huge challenge at Utah Valley.
5 – Stephen F. Austin, 7-4 WAC
The Jacks have won three straight and in dominating fashion. And with back-to-back games against Chicago State, they should move that to five games.
6 – Utah Valley, 6-4 WAC
The Wolverines have a chance to move up in the standings this week when they host Grand Canyon and New Mexico State.
7 – Abilene Christian, 7-5 WAC
Winners of 5 straight, the Wildcats look to make it six straight and stay away from potentially having to win five games in five days to go back to the NCAA Tournament.
8 – California Baptist, 2-8 WAC
The Lancers got Taran Armstrong back this week and should win a few more games down the stretch.
9 – Chicago State, 2-8 WAC
The Cougars need one more win to solidify their spot in Las Vegas. Head coach Gerald Gillion is already planning for the Cougars to make the trip.
10 – UTRGV, 2-8 WAC
The Vaqueros got a much-needed win over Lamar this week to sit firmly in the field for Las Vegas.
Outside Looking In
Lamar, 0-11 in WAC play, is on the outside looking in. Only 10 teams make it to WAC Vegas. Dixie State and Tarleton are both ineligible due to transition rules. So, Lamar needs to pick up two or three wins to get in the discussion. Remember, 7-10 will play on Tuesday March 8 at Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay. And those teams would have to win five games in five days to go to represent the WAC at the NCAA Tournament.
As of right now, the Tuesday matchups would be:
Abilene Christian vs. UTRGV
California Baptist vs. Chicago State