WAC Men’s and Women’s Seeding Scenarios Heading Into Saturday

WAC Seeding
Will Cameron Tyson and Seattle U be celebrating on Saturday afternoon? Courtesy Seattle U Athletics.

The final day of the 2021-22 regular season is upon us and WAC Vegas is just a few days away. So, it is time to look at seeding scenarios for both the men’s and women’s side of WAC Hoops. We will start with the men.

Co-Champions or No…

Right now, there is a 3-way tie for first place on the men’s side. With SFA’s big road win on Wednesday, the WAC standings were shook up a bit. Now, all Seattle, SFA and NMSU have to do is win on Saturday and they will share the regular season crown. If all three tie, NMSU would be the 1-seed because it has the best record against the other two. Seattle would be the 2-seed because of its win over SFA in January. And SFA would be the 3-seed.

Now, here are some crazy scenarios to think about.

Let’s start with NMSU first….

– If NMSU wins and both Seattle and SFA lose, Aggies are the outright champs.

– If NMSU loses, and both Seattle and SFA win, Seattle is the 1-seed, SFA the 2-seed. As part of this, let’s assume for a moment that GCU loses to Dixie State on Saturday. This would mean that Sam Houston would be the 3-seed and NMSU the 4-seed. Sam Houston holds the head-to-head tiebreaker against New Mexico State. Now, if NMSU loses, Seattle and SFA win, and GCU wins, that creates a 3-way tie between the Aggies, Lopes and Bearkats. We can eliminate GCU from this because they have the worst record against the other two. So in this scenario, GCU would be the 5-seed. Then, you go back to the head-to-head tiebreaker between Sam Houston and New Mexico State. So, Sam Houston would be the 3-seed and New Mexico State the 4-seed.

Got all that? At worse, New Mexico State can go no lower than the 4-seed.

Let’s look at Seattle and SFA….

Seattle win plus SFA and NMSU losing equals outright title for the Redhawks and the top seed at WAC Vegas. If Seattle and SFA win and NMSU loses, Seattle and SFA are co-champs with Seattle being the 1-seed. If Seattle loses and SFA and NMSU win, Seattle drops back into a tie with Sam Houston and most likely GCU. In the event of a 3-way tie happens between the Redhawks, Bearkats and Lopes, GCU would be the 3-seed because it has the better record against the other two at 2-1.

So, it goes back to the head-to-head tiebreaker between Sam Houston and Seattle. The Redhawks beat the Bearkats in January so they would be the 4-seed and Sam Houston the 5-seed. Obviously, if Seattle loses, NMSU and SFA win and GCU loses, Seattle would be the 3-seed because it owns the tiebreaker over Sam Houston. So, that is what the Redhawks are facing when they host Chicago State to end the regular season. Tip is an afternoon tip so Seattle will know what they are looking at before NMSU and Utah Valley tip Saturday night.

For SFA – a win over UTRGV clinches a share of the regular season title, assuming NMSU and/or Seattle win. If both NMSU and Seattle lose and SFA wins, Jacks are the outright champs. If it ends in a tie with NMSU and Seattle, SFA is the 3-seed. Now, if SFA and NMSU win, and Seattle loses, things get a bit complicated. See, SFA and New Mexico State didn’t play GCU, Sam Houston, Seattle, Abilene Christian or even Utah Valley the same amount of times. So, it would come down to Tarleton to decide the tiebreaker. In that case, NMSU would be the 1-seed and SFA the 2-seed because NMSU beat the Texans and SFA lost at Tarleton on Jan. 8.

The best thing to do for all three teams at the top…win. It makes things a lot easier for the people in the WAC offices. New Mexico State hosts Utah Valley at 7 p.m. MT Saturday. Seattle hosts Chicago State at 2 p.m. MT. And Stephen F. Austin finishes up at UTRGV at 6 p.m. MT.

Now, let’s look at Sam Houston and GCU

The Bearkats finished their regular season with a 69-50 win over Tarleton. At 13-5, the Bearkats are tied with GCU right now. If Seattle, SFA and NMSU win and GCU wins Saturday, Sam Houston would be the 5-seed because GCU beat Seattle while the Bearkats fell in the Pacific Northwest. So, the Bearkats will be huge fans of Dixie State and even Utah Valley. If UVU knocks off New Mexico State in Las Cruces to create a 3-way tie between Sam Houston, GCU and NMSU, the Bearkats would be the 3-seed. GCU would be out of this tiebreaker because it has the worst record against the other two at 1-3. Then the head-to-head tiebreaker between Sam Houston and NMSU comes into play. The Bearkats beat the Aggies in the lone game they played so Sam Houston would be the 3-seed.

So, there will be a lot of scoreboard watching in Huntsville on Saturday.

For GCU, a win on Saturday locks up no worse than the 5-seed. But there are other scenarios to look at here. If NMSU, Seattle, SFA all lose and GCU wins, chaos ensues. It creates a 5-way tie. This is broken down by best records against the other teams in the tie. So, NMSU would get the 1-seed because of its 5-2 record against Seattle, GCU, SFA and Sam Houston combined. So now you go back Seattle, GCU, SFA and Sam Houston. Seattle would be the 2-seed because it has the best record against the other three at 2-1. Then we go back to GCU, Sam Houston and SFA. SFA would be the 3-seed because it is 2-1 against the other two.

So now it is down to GCU and Sam Houston. They split the season series. So, the tiebreaker comes to head-to-head against common opponents they played the same amount of times. GCU played NMSU twice, Sam Houston played the Aggies once. So it comes down to Seattle. GCU beat the Redhawks while Seattle beat Sam Houston. GCU gets the 4-seed and Sam Houston the 5-seed.

As you can see, there it a lot to pay attention to for the top-5 seeds.

For ACU and UVU…

First, for ACU. The Wildcats got a dominating win on Thursday. And then got a gift from GCU who beat Utah Valley. This means that all ACU has to do is win on Saturday to secure no worse than the 6-seed. The problem for ACU is that is about as high as they can go. ACU can’t catch Sam Houston because the Bearkats regular season is over. And if GCU loses to Dixie State, GCU still holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Wildcats. ACU hosts Tarleton at 6 p.m. MT. to finish out the regular season.

Now, Utah Valley fell behind the 8-ball on Thursday. Despite a 19-point, 19-rebound performance from Fardaws Aimaq, the Wolverines lost at GCU to slip back into the 7-seed. UVU needs a win over New Mexico State and a Tarleton win over ACU to get to the 6-seed. Simple as that. ACU and UVU will be the 6-7 seeds. It’s just a matter of where they finish. ACU holds the tiebreaker because they beat the Wolverines in Orem on opening night of WAC play.

California Baptist Knows…

The Lancers are locked in as the 8-seed. It is the only seed that is locked in heading into Saturday. CBU is just trying to avoid a potential for embarrassment as the Lancers play at Lamar to finish out the regular season on Saturday.

For Chicago State and UTRGV…

This one is pretty simple. If UTRGV loses against SFA and Chicago State shocks Seattle, Chicago State will be the 9-seed. If both teams tie, like they are now, UTRGV would be the 9-seed because of its head-to-head win over Chicago State. UTRGV hosts SFA at 6 p.m. MT and Chicago State is at Seattle at 2 p.m. MT.

The mess at the top of the men’s side is not fun to dissect.

Now let’s take a look at the women’s side.

We already know who the top 3 seeds are.

The Stephen F. Austin women rolled through the WAC to earn the outright regular season crown and top-seed. Molly  Miller and GCU will be the 2-seed because even if they lose on Saturday, they hold the tiebreaker over CBU. GCU swept the defending champions this season. And CBU will be the 3-seed.

Now, the rest…

Similar to the top of the men’s standings, the middle of the women’s standings is chaos. If Utah Valley beats New Mexico State on Saturday afternoon, the Wolverines will be the 4-seed. If Utah Valley loses, they could drop as far as the 7-seed. This is all dependent on what ACU and Lamar do on Saturday. So let’s look at some scenarios.

If UVU loses on Saturday and Lamar and ACU lose, then the tiebreaker comes down to Sam Houston who finished out its regular season on Wednesday. Sam Houston beat UVU on Feb. 5 so they would be the 4-seed and UVU the 5-seed. Now, if UVU loses and ACU and Lamar both win, UVU would be the 7-seed. UVU played Sam Houston, Lamar and ACU once and lost all three. So, UVU simply needs a win over New Mexico State. If UVU loses, the Wolverines would need help from CBU and Tarleton.

For ACU and Lamar, they need a win and a UVU loss to move into the conversation for the 4-seed. If UVU loses and ACU and Lamar win, ACU would be the 4-seed because it has the best record against UVU, Lamar and Sam Houston. Lamar would be the 5-seed, Sam Houston the 6-seed and UVU the 7-seed.

Lamar plays at CBU at 2 p.m. MT. ACU plays at Tarleton at 1 p.m. MT.

And now for the rest…

So, UTRGV is hoping that ACU and Lamar get beat on Saturday. Along with that, UTRGV is hoping for a miracle at SFA to end its regular season. With that being said, even if Lamar and ACU lose and UTRGV wins, the Vaqueros won’t move up. ACU and Lamar hold the tiebreaker over the Vaqueros.

Now, for New Mexico State, the Aggies are hoping SFA beat UTRGV. And the Aggies need to win in Orem. If both of those happen, NMSU is the 8-seed and will wear white jerseys on Tuesday.

And with its win over Dixie State on Saturday, the Seattle U women’s basketball team clinched its spot at WAC Vegas. Now, there will be some potential drama for the 9-10 seed. If NMSU loses at Utah Valley and Seattle beats Chicago State, it creates a bit of a mess. Both teams were swept by the top-4 teams. And it could possibly come down to ACU or Lamar depending on where they finish. However, it would most likely come down to Sam Houston. And the Aggies hold the tiebreaker because of their Jan. 20 win over the Bearkats.

So, with that being said, Seattle U will most likely be the 10-seed on the women’s side.

WAC Hoops is coming down to the final day of the regular season. And what better way to end a Wild WAC regular season, then to have it come down to the final day? It is all worth it. it’s be fun, wild and crazy. And that is how the regular season is going to finish.

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