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Western Oregon Earns No. 1 Seed In GNAC Championships
Led by senior Tanner Omlid, Western Oregon enters the GNAC Championships with a 27-1 overall record and on a 20-game win streak.
Led by senior Tanner Omlid, Western Oregon enters the GNAC Championships with a 27-1 overall record and on a 20-game win streak.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – For the third time in four years, Western Oregon will be the team to beat as the Wolves are the No. 1 seed in the 2018 GNAC Men’s Basketball Championships, which begin on Thursday at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Alaska Airlines Center.

The Wolves clinched their third GNAC regular-season title in the last four years on Thursday with an 89-73 win over Western Washington and ran their current win streak to 20 games on Saturday with a 77-52 win over Simon Fraser.

Western Oregon finished the regular season with a 27-1 overall record and a 19-1 GNAC mark. Western Washington ended the regular season at 21-7 overall, 16-4 GNAC. The two teams have earned first-round byes.

Western Washington, the only team to have beaten Western Oregon this season, is the tournament’s No. 2 seed. The Vikings have won six of their last seven games and ended the regular season with a 92-81 win at Concordia on Saturday.

The Vikings and Wolves met in the final of last year’s tournament, held in Lacey, Wash., with WWU winning 71-69.

Saint Martin’s, the No. 6 seed in 2017, is the No. 3 seed in this year’s tournament after finishing with a 22-6 overall record and a 15-5 GNAC mark. The Saints enter the tournament having won 12 of their last 13 games and ended the regular season with a 75-68 victory over Central Washington.

Seattle Pacific returns to the GNAC Championships after a one-year absence, claiming the No. 4 seed on tiebreaker over Alaska Anchorage. The Falcons clinched their spot with an 82-69 victory over Central Washington and closed the regular season with a 67-56 loss to Northwest Nazarene on Saturday. Seattle Pacific enters the tournament with a 16-11 overall record and finished 11-9 in the GNAC.

Alaska Anchorage, the tournament host, rallied to make the postseason by winning its last three games and five of its last six. The No. 5 seed, the Seawolves ended the regular season with a 15-13 overall record and an 11-9 GNAC mark and closed with a 59-52 win at Montana State Billings.

Central Washington, the No. 6 seed, enters the tournament with a 15-12 overall record and a 10-10 GNAC mark. The Wildcats enter the tournament having lost three straight, but secured the playoff berth thanks to a six-game win streak through the last week of January and the first week of February. The Wildcats have lost three straight entering their Thursday rematch with Saint Martin’s.

Saint Martin’s and Central Washington will open the quarterfinal round of the GNAC Championships on Thursday at noon (Alaska time) with the winner advancing to meet Western Washington on Friday at noon. Seattle Pacific and Alaska Anchorage will square off on Thursday at 2:15 p.m., with the winner advancing to meet Western Oregon on Friday at 2:15 p.m. The championship will take place on Saturday at 5:15 p.m.

The quarterfinals and semifinals will be streamed live at GNAC.tv. The championship game will be streamed on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app as part of the NCAA Division II Basketball Showcase.

Tickets are available for advance purchase by visiting gnachooptickets.com.

GNAC MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Alaska Airlines Center, Anchorage, Alaska

Thurs., Mar. 1 – Quarterfinals
No. 3 Saint Martin’s vs. No. 6 Central Washington, Noon
No. 4 Seattle Pacific vs. No. 5 Alaska Anchorage, 2:15 p.m.

Fri., Mar. 2 – Semifinals
Saint Martin’s/Central Washington winner vs. No. 2 Western Washington, Noon
Seattle Pacific/Alaska Anchorage winner vs. No. 1 Western Oregon, 2:15 p.m.

Fri., Mar. 3
Championship Game, 5:15 p.m.

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