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Nighthawks Remain In Contention For Playoff Berth
The Nighthawks enter the final week of the regular season with a 10-3 record. They play at Central Washington on Friday and Saturday.
The Nighthawks enter the final week of the regular season with a 10-3 record. They play at Central Washington on Friday and Saturday.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS – Despite a pair of losses last week, Northwest Nazarene is very much alive in the postseason picture.

The Nighthawks are ranked No. 4 in the third and final NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball West Region Rankings, which were released on Wednesday.

This week’s rankings were the first to link a numerical ranking to the teams under consideration to make the Division II National Championship. The first two weeks of the poll listed the eight ranked teams in alphabetical order. The field of 48 teams selected for the tournament will be announced on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) in a selection show that will be webcast on NCAA.com.

Northwest Nazarene, 10-3 overall, held on to its spot in the regional rankings despite taking a pair of road losses to Seattle Pacific last week, falling 89-79 on Friday and 83-68 on Saturday. The Nighthawks will wrap up the regular season with two games at Central Washington on Friday and Saturday.

The Nighthawks enter the final week of the regular season averaging 78.5 points per game and leads the GNAC’s four competing teams with 38.4 rebounds per game. Senior guard Ezekiel Alley is the Nighthawks’ leading scorer and tops the list GNAC scorers at 18.8 points per game. Sophomore guard George Reidy is averaging 13.5 points per game while sophomore James Nelson leads the team in rebounding with 5.5 per game.

Colorado Mesa (18-1) leads the final West Region rankings, followed by Colorado Mines (15-1), Point Loma (8-1), Northwest Nazarene, Biola (8-3), Black Hills State (10-6), Hawaii Hilo (9-1) and Fresno Pacific (8-1).

Beginning this year, the first two regional rankings provided by the regional advisory committee do not list teams by their rank but rather as an alphabetical list of teams “under consideration” for postseason selection. The third week featured an actual ranking of eight teams. The NCAA will announce the six teams selected for the postseason from each region on Sunday.

The NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship will begin with regional rounds commencing on Friday, March 12. The West Regional will be held at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado.

Due to the reduced number of teams competing in the West Region due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the region is comprised for the 2020-21 season of teams from the GNAC, PacWest Conference and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

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