UNC eliminated; DU plays for #3 seed Sunday
After Northern Colorado lost to Weber State on Thursday — here’s my full 800GP recap of that game — the Bears were left hanging by a thread in the battle for the Big Sky’s sixth and final postseason spot. Well, on Saturday night, the thread snapped. Portland State beat Eastern Washington, 69-64, clinching third place and thus eliminating UNC from postseason contention (because PSU finishing ahead of EWU in the standings means Montana State would beat Northern Colorado in any potential tiebreaker for sixth place at 6-10).
So, for Northern Colorado, it ended in a loss. By Eastern Washington.
Meanwhile, in the Sun Belt, Denver will host North Texas on Sunday afternoon, Senior Day, in a battle for for seeding position — and we now know exactly what that means, with the rest of the league having completed its regular season. Here’s my unofficial mockup of the bracket, with only the #3, 4 and 5 spots to be decided, all based on tomorrow’s game:
If Denver wins, the Pioneers will be the #3 seed, slotted into the “late” pod on the bracket (good news for my viewing of the quarterfinal and potential semifinal), and destined to face either #6 South Alabama or #11 Troy in the quarters, followed by a possible semifinal against West champ UALR, who beat DU twice by 7 points during the regular season. The Pios would not face a rematch with #1 seed Middle Tennessee State until a potential title game. Meanwhile, Louisiana-Lafayette would get the #4 seed, and North Texas would fall to the #5.
By contrast, if Denver loses, the Pios will fall to the #5 seed, and will face a quarterfinal rematch against the same North Texas it just lost to, then a potential semifinal against MTSU. Meanwhile, Louisiana-Lafayette, despite its shocking lopsided home loss to putrid Louisiana-Monroe today, would “back into” a #3 seed.