Headed To The ‘Burg: GNAC WBB Championships Field Set

Saturday, March 2, 2024
by Thomas Lal

PORTLAND, Ore. – With the final games of the regular season officially in the books, the field is set for the 2024 GNAC Women’s Basketball Championships Presented by Under Armour as all six teams to make the 2023 edition of the tournament are back and dancing once again.

Tickets for the 2024 GNAC Women’s Basketball Championships, hosted by Central Washington University, are available online at www.gnactickets.com. Tournament passes, good for all men’s and women’s games, are $60 for adults and $40 for students, children and seniors. Individual session prices, which include two games per session, are $15 for adults and $11 for students, children and seniors.

All games of the 2024 GNAC Basketball Championships will be streamed live free of charge at GNAC.tv, and will be broadcast by Shawn Walli and Dustin Daniel. Live stats for all games of the women’s tournament will be available online here.

2024 GNAC Women’s Basketball Championships Schedule
Nicholson Pavilion – Ellensburg, Wash. | All times listed are Pacific.
Thursday, March 7
Quarterfinal 1: Noon – No. 3 Seed Alaska Anchorage vs. No. 6 Seed Seattle Pacific
Quarterfinal 2: 2:15 p.m. – No. 4 Seed Central Washington vs. No. 5 Seed Simon Fraser

Friday, March 8
Semifinal 1: Noon – No. 2 Seed Western Washington vs. Winner of Quarterfinal 1
Semifinal 2: 2:15 p.m. – No. 1 Seed Montana State Billings vs. Winner of Quarterfinal 2

Saturday, March 9
5 p.m. – Winner of Semifinal 1 vs. Winner of Semifinal 2

Montana State Billings enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed after winning the GNAC regular season title for the second time in program history with a conference record of 16-2 (25-5 overall). The Yellowjackets’ outstanding regular season was highlighted by an eight-game winning streak down the stretch in the final half of the conference slate. With a first-round bye in hand, MSUB will have to wait until the end of Thursday’s second quarterfinal to see who its first opponent will be as it aims to capture its second-ever tournament title.

Western Washington also earned a first-round bye after finishing as runner-up in the GNAC regular season standings with a record of 14-4 (21-6 overall). The Vikings’ only losses against GNAC competition came against Alaska Anchorage, Montana State Billings and Simon Fraser, all of whom WWU could meet next week as it pursues a second consecutive tournament title and fourth overall. The Vikings’ strong campaign featured plenty of excellent play in Bellingham where they went 12-1 in the regular season.

No. 3 seed Alaska Anchorage and No. 6 seed Seattle Pacific are set to meet in Thursday’s first quarterfinal in a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal meeting. The Seawolves come into the tournament with a 13-5 GNAC record (18-8 overall) after overcoming a tricky start to the regular season with eight wins in their last 10 games, including an 84-72 overtime victory over regular season champion MSUB on the final day of the conference slate. The Seawolves are looking to claim their seventh GNAC Championships title and their first since the 2019-20 season.

The Falcons compiled an 8-10 conference record (11-17 overall) to claim the final spot in the tournament on the final day of the regular season. Seattle Pacific comes into Ellensburg looking to win the tournament for the first time in program history. The Seawolves and Falcons split their regular season series 1-1 with both teams taking home wins.

The first meeting of the season was a 62-59 win for SPU on December 12, 2023, while UAA took the second contest, 51-39, on February 29. Whoever comes out on top in Thursday’s quarterfinal meeting will go on to face No. 2 seed Western Washington in the semifinals on Friday.

Thursday’s second quarterfinal will feature host Central Washington as the No. 4 seed and No. 5 seed Simon Fraser in another rematch of last year’s quarterfinals. The Wildcats tied for fourth place in the conference standings with a record of 10-8 (18-11 overall) while compiling an 8-5 record at home in Nicholson Pavilion. The Red Leafs went 10-8 in GNAC play (16-13 overall) to tie for fourth place in the conference standings on the final day of the regular season with a win over No. 2 seed Western Washington in Burnaby.

Central Washington swept the regular season series between the two teams, taking a 77-64 win over Simon Fraser on January 13 in Burnaby before taking a 70-65 victory over SFU on February 8 in Ellensburg to earn the tiebreaker for the No. 4 seed. The winner of the quarterfinal will go on to face No. 1 seed Montana State Billings in the semifinals on Friday.

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