Here’s the Northwest 11 weekly power ranking. The qualifying regional Division I schools are Washington, Washington State, Seattle U, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Portland, Portland State, Idaho and Boise State. Idaho State will not be included due to Pocatello’s more eastern location.
NORTHWEST 11 WEEK 7
(Rank/Last Week/ School/Record: Comment)
1. (1) Oregon State (21-9, 13-5 Pac-12): OSU rewrote some history before a season-high 5,208 fans on Sunday. G Sydney Wiese set the Pac-12 freshman record for three-pointers made (94) in a single-season. The Beavers finished their 2013-14 home schedule with a program-best 14-1 mark. And OSU was also a perfect 9-0 at Gill Coliseum in Pac-12 home games for the first time. The team’s only home loss was to No. 2 Notre Dame. A No. 3 seed for the first time in the Pac-12 tournament, OSU received a first-round bye. It awaits the winner of the UW-Utah game for a quarterfinal matchup to be played Friday at 8:30pm.
2. (2) Gonzaga (26-4, 16-2 WCC): The No. 21 Zags are the top seed in the WCC tourney. It will play a quarterfinal game on Friday at 6pm against either No. 8 seed San Fransisco or No. 9 seed Loyola Marymount. GU’s game will air on BYUtv. The WCC announced its All-Academic team and C Sunny Greinacher and G Haiden Palmer were named.
3. (3) Idaho (20-8, 13-1 WAC): There’s nothing like defeating a rival to achieve something important. Idaho, which battled (and ultimately won) Seattle U for claim of the Western Athletic Conference last year, clinched the first piece this season. It swept the Redhawks for the regular-season WAC title, which is a first for the Vandals in 29 years when it was part of the then-Mountain West Conference (now Big Sky). Junior G Stacey Barr was key, again, drawing a three-point play and steal in the final 34 seconds of an eventual 60-57 outcome. Idaho sealed its first 20-win season since 2003-04. As Idaho knows, the biggest win is the conference tournament championship to seal that automatic NCAA tournament bid. That’s not until next week. Idaho closes its regular=season with two home games. Saturday is Senior Day for F Alyssa Charlston (Eastlake HS) and G Addie Schivo.
4. (4) Washington (17-12, 10-8 Pac-12): UW coach Mike Neighbors was second to OSU coach Scott Rueck on my ballot for the conference Coach of the Year. Neighbors said he’s keeping a list of his biggest mistakes this season, quasi joking it’s up to 300. But UW doesn’t beat No. 5 Stanford and then-No. 18 Cal without his staff’s fearless, optimistic leadership. Sixth-seeded Washington plays No. 11 seed Utah on Thursday at 8:30pm at KeyArena.
5. (5) Boise State (16-11, 11-5 Mountain West): Boise State’s 72-59 win against Wyoming and San Diego State’s loss clinched a first-round bye for BSU in the Mountain West Basketball Championship in Las Vegas next week. The top five teams in the final regular-season standings earn byes. The Broncos tied with Nevada for third, playing in Reno on Tuesday to break the tie. The Broncos defeated the Wolfpack 67-64 at home in January. Senior Day is Friday for BSU. It will honor F Kinzi Poteet (Grandview HS) and G Diana Lee.
6. (6) Washington State (15-15, 9-9 Pac-12): It’s the week of the Pac-12 tournament and we all can breathe a sigh of relief — junior G Tia Presley is healthy and able to play in her first conference tourney since becoming a Coug. Presley, who’s sixth in the conference in scoring (18.9 points) and eighth in steals (1.8), missed her past two postseasons due to a foot injury as a freshman and knee injury last year. WSU is the No. 7 seed and will play No. 10 Oregon at 6pm in the opening-round on Thursday.
7. (7) Seattle U (13-14, 8-6 WAC): The Pac-12 tournament was slated this week to give the conference more exposure to evaluate its teams on the bubble for NCAA at-large bids. Personally, it’s a sad conflict this week. SU will host Senior Day on Saturday to honor the SoCal Mafia in F Kacie Sowell, G Sylvia Shephard and F Ashley Ward. It was fun covering the trio through as coach Joan Bonvicini led the program back to Division I eligibility. It’ll be interesting to see how the program responds after they graduate. Here’s a little more from them:
8. (8) Eastern Washington (15-12, 11-7 Big Sky): EWU earned a spot in the Big Sky tournament by defeating Northern Colorado, 67-61, Thursday. The Eagles close their regular-season with two road games this week.
9. (11) Oregon (15-14, 6-12 Pac-12): Sophomore Jillian Alleyne was my pick for Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Media ballots were due Monday. Alleyne had another eye-popping night in upsetting then-No. 20 Arizona State on Friday. She finished with 29 points on 11-for-17 shooting from the field with 16 rebounds in 38 minutes during the 98-90 upset. After another double-double in a win against last-placed Arizona on Sunday, Alleyne broke Bev Smith’s single-season school record for double-doubles with 25. UO is seeded tenth in the conference tournament, facing WSU on Thursday at 6pm at KeyArena.
10. (9) Portland (14-15, 7-11 WCC): Portland is the No. 6 seed in the WCC tournament and earned a first-round bye. UP will open the tournament on Friday with a quarterfinal matchup against No. 3 seed Pacific at noon. The winner advances to Monday’s semifinal.
11. (11) Portland State (7-20, 5-13 Big Sky): The Pilots were so close to ruining EWU’s postseason plans. Highlights (?) below. The Vikings end the 2013-14 season on the road. Senior G Kate Lanz was honored Saturday after recording double figures in scoring (13 points) and rebounds (14) in a 57-51 win against Northern Colorado. Classmates C Cara Olden (Tumwater HS), F Allie Brock, F Angela Misa, and F Keaton McFadden were also honored.