Thursday afternoon. Busy getting ready for basketball tonight with a multitude of other events happening.
John Slegers is on his way to Morningside in Sioux City to call the Dordt-Morningside women’s GPAC quarterfinals. Rematch of Saturday’s game won by Morningside 72-70. Defenders will probably be without Betsy Van’t Hul because of an injury suffered on Tuesday night in the Briar Cliff win. It will take a monumental effort by the Defenders to knock off the #2 team in the country–we’ll see. Dordt has been playing really well as of late.
Defender men play Briar Cliff tonight…we’ll get to the play by play of that one as soon as the women’s game has reached it’s conclusion. Seems like we’ve seen no one but Briar Cliff as of late. Played them on February 2 and then again eight days ago. 4-5 matchups in the tournament usually produce pretty good matchups.
Track and field team is getting ready for the national meet next week. Jen Kempers will high jump and will pick from the 800, 1000 or mile to compete in as she qualified in all three. She’ll also run in the 4 x 800 that qualified early in the year. The men’s 4 x 800 also qualified at the GPAC championships…..talking to the coaches they feel the men will have to shave a few more precious seconds off their season best to make the finals…..same is probably true for the women.
Softball travels to Olathe, Kansas this weekend for a tournament hosted by MidAmerica Nazarene–it’s near Kansas City. Baseball team is also getting itchy–sounds like they will get a couple of games in on Saturday……somewhere……I don’t think they care at this point, they just want to play a game or two. Both teams go to warm climates over spring break to get several games in.
Volleyball, yes volleyball, is into their spring ball. They’ll play in some Saturday tournaments and then put it away till August.
I’ve fielded a ton of questions about the post-season in basketball–speaking in terms of the national tournament here. 22 bids are allotted based on automatic qualifying procedures out of conferences. Conferences are awarded bids based on size. The GPAC, for instance, with 12 NAIA schools, gets two bids and they get to decide how they are awarded. Still using the GPAC as the example, their bids go to the regular season champ (Morningside) and the post-season tournament champion (unknown at this point). If Morningside wins the tournament the second bid goes to the tournament runner-up. The Dakota Athletic Conference, with 8 teams, gets one bid and their’s will go to the post-season tournament champion.
That’s 22 bids. The College of the Ozarks gets a host berth because, well, they host the tournament. They do have to finish .500 to get the bid–something that hasn’t been a problem as of late, in fact they won the tournament in 2006. Still with me? Here’s where it gets tricky. There are nine at-large bids. These go to the top-nine ranked teams that haven’t qualified through their tournament or the host bid.
So, as teams win their conference tournaments and earn automatic berths through their conference, I scratch them off the rankings to see where the break falls. Right now, as of this very moment, there are 14 automatic berths to be determined–several of which will be taken by ranked teams. The break for at-large bids then right now is at #15–all this means is that at this point there are six teams above #15 who have earned automatic berths. Dordt’s on the bubble at this point and we’ll watch with great interest as, hopefully, ranked teams hold up during conference tournaments and that line keeps going further and further down the top-25 rankings. Dordt is #23 by the way and if you’re wondering, they were #24 when they qualified in 2006. Scoreboard watching becomes a serious part of my job right now.
Till after the games……………..