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Alaska Anchorage will host the women's basketball NCAA West Regional this weekend at the Alaska Airlines Center.
Alaska Anchorage will host the women's basketball NCAA West Regional this weekend at the Alaska Airlines Center.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – Guests for Episode 56, of GNAC Insider included four GNAC athletic directors including Alaska Anchorage’s Keith Hackett, Western Oregon’s Barb Dearing, Seattle Pacific’s Erin O’Connell and Alaska's Dr. Gary Gray.

Hackett is in his second full year as the Alaska Anchorage athletic director. The UAA women’s basketball team recently won the GNAC tournament and earned a No. 1 seed in Sunday’s NCAA selection show, meaning the Seawolves will host the West Regional. The Seawolves will face eight-seed Point Loma Nazarene Friday at 7:30 Alaska Time at the Alaska Airlines Center, the $110 million on-campus arena which opened last fall. Hackett discussed his excitment about hosting the regional and what teams could expect playing in the Alaska Airlines Center.

Dearing is also in her second year leading Western Oregon athletics. The WOU men’s basketball team claimed its first regular-season GNAC crown after a 23-6 season that saw the Wolves reach the GNAC tournament semifinals. The Wolves were selected as an eight-seed in the NCAA West Region. WOU will travel to Southern California to play host Azusa Pacific Friday at 7:30 p.m. Pacific. Dearing talked about her team's run to its first NCAA tournament.

O’Connell is in her sixth year as the Seattle Pacific athletic director. Both Falcons men’s and women’s basketball teams were able to secure bids in the NCAA tournament starting this week. The men were crowned GNAC tournament champions for the third-straight year last week, earning a seven-seed in the postseason. The Falcon men play BYU-Hawaii Friday at 2:30 p.m. Pacific in Azusa. The women were selected as a six-seed after a 21-6 campaign. They will play Humboldt State Friday at noon in Anchorage. O’Connell discussed her teams chances playing familiar teams and her plans for viewing both games.

Dr. Gray is in his third year leading the athletics program at Alaska. The Nanooks will play host to the NCAA Rifle Championships this weekend. Starting Friday, Alaska will host the first-ever NCAA Rifle Fanfest which will include information about the sport and feature guests such as 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jamie Corkish. The Nanooks' rifle team is currently ranked second in the nation. Dr. Gray talked about hosting an event like this and the features fans can enjoy at the championship.

GNAC Insider airs live at 7 p.m. Pacific time every Tuesday and is produced by the conference office. All episodes become available as free podcasts via iTunes, and for archived listening via GNAC.TV.

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