Saints March In As No. 1 Seed In GNAC Men's Championships
Saint Martin's secured its second straight regular-season title with a 58-55 win over Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.
Saint Martin's secured its second straight regular-season title with a 58-55 win over Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

PORTLAND, Ore. – Although it took until the last day of the regular season to make it official, Saint Martin’s is the back-to-back regular season champion.

Thanks to their 58-55 win over Northwest Nazarene on Saturday and Montana State Billings’ 70-61 loss to Alaska Anchorage, the Saints claimed the No. 1 seed in the GNAC Men’s Basketball Championships, presented by Under Armour, which begins Thursday at Western Washington University’s Carver Gym.

Battling with the Yellowjackets for the regular-season trophy until the final minutes of the season, the Saints finished with a 15-3 conference record and 23-5 overall mark. Ranked No. 20 in the D2SIDA Media Poll and No. 21 in the NABC Division II Coaches Poll, Saint Martin’s enters the tournament having won 10 of its last 11 games. This will be Saint Martin’s sixth GNAC Championships appearance.

With its second-place regular-season finish, Montana State Billings earned its highest postseason seed since the GNAC Championships began in 2011 and will be looking for its first win in the tournament since 2012. The Yellowjackets finished with a 14-4 conference record (20-8 overall) after dropping three of the final four games of the season. Before that stretch, MSUB had won five straight and 11 of 12 games between Dec. 29 and Feb. 9.

Thanks to their first and second-place finishes in the regular-season standings, Saint Martin’s and Montana State Billings earned first-round byes and will play in the semifinals on Friday.

Seattle Pacific closed the regular season with a three-game win streak to earn the No. 3 seed. Finishing with a 12-6 conference mark (17-10 overall), the Falcons set the foundation for its 11th GNAC Championships berth by winning eight of their first nine conference games.

Central Washington emerged from a three-way tie for fourth place at 9-9 as the No. 4 seed. The Wildcats made a hard charge into the postseason over the final two weeks, winning four straight games. The streak included a 77-75 upset victory over Saint Martin’s on Thursday. The Wildcats advanced to the GNAC Championships final in 2022, losing to eventual NCAA West Region finalist Alaska. The Wildcats enter the tournament with a 13-14 overall record.

Western Oregon is the No. 5 seed after it stunted a February losing streak by winning two of its three final regular-season games. The key win in the final weeks came on Thursday in a 65-53 victory over Northwest Nazarene. The Wolves bring a 12-13 overall record into the GNAC Championships.

Northwest Nazarene claimed the No. 6 seed after putting together a solid February. The Nighthawks went 5-3 in the final eight games of the regular season, starting the run with a 78-62 win over Seattle Pacific on Jan. 28. Northwest Nazarene takes a 12-14 overall record into the postseason.

No. 3 Seattle Pacific and No. 6 Northwest Nazarene will open the GNAC Championships quarterfinals on Thursday at noon with No. 4 Central Washington and No. 5 Western Oregon squaring off at 2:15 p.m. The winner of the Seattle Pacific/Northwest Nazarene game will face No. 2 Montana State Billings on Friday at noon. The winner of the Central Washington/Western Oregon game will face No. 1 Saint Martin’s at 2:15 p.m. The championship game will be played on Saturday at 5 p.m.

The winner of the GNAC Championships will receive the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championships.

The GNAC Men’s Basketball Championships are being held in conjunction with the GNAC Women’s Basketball Championships. The women’s side of the bracket commences on Thursday with quarterfinal games at 5:15 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now by logging on to

All games of the GNAC Basketball Championships will be live-streamed through the conference’s YouTube channel,

Presented By Under Armour
Mar. 2-4 at Carver Gym, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Wash.
Quarterfinals (Mar. 2)
No. 3 Seattle Pacific vs. No. 6 Northwest Nazarene, Noon
No. 4 Central Washington vs. No. 5 Western Oregon, 2:15 p.m.

Semifinals (Mar. 3)
Seattle Pacific/Northwest Nazarene winner vs. No. 2 Montana State Billings, Noon
Central Washington/Western Oregon winner vs. No. 1 Saint Martin’s, 2:15 p.m.

Championship (Mar. 4)
Championship Game, 5 p.m.