The WAC Tournament’s first round begins today with only three games. Due to the eligibility rules during a transition from Division II to Division I, the second place Grand Canyon Antelopes can’t participate in the NCAA tournament, therefore are left out of the WAC tournament. It’s unfortunate, but the rules are the rules and it favors the top seeded New Mexico St. Aggies who have a bye in result. The three games on tab feature the 2nd seeded UMKC Kangaroos against the UT-Pan American Broncs. The Kangaroos actually started their season off with a bang, defeating the Missouri Tigers on the road. They went from opening day fodder to the predator, of course the Tigers went on to be a terrible team, but it still was an impressive upset at the time. The Broncs actually just defeated the Kangaroo’s at home, so it will be an instant rematch out of the gate. Another game has the 3rd seeded Seattle Redhawks pitted against the 6th seeded Chicago St. Cougars. The Redhawks won both their two meetings and pretty handily as well, I expect more of the same in this game. The last game on tab today is the 4th seeded CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners against the 5th seeded Utah Valley Wolverines. The Roadrunners claim to fame this season came against the California Golden Bears, who they managed to beat on the road no less. This is yet another instant rematch, as the Wolverines were able to protect their home court and beat the Roadrunners by five.
As for a prediction, it’s got to be the top seeded New Mexico St. Aggies. If not for the Redhawks, the Aggies would of been the fourth team to go undefeated in conference play. Oddly enough too, they have handled every team pretty dominantly except the 8-23 Chicago St. Cougars. It took overtime in their first meeting to beat them and in the season finale, barely beat them by four points. Anyways, they have a bye like I mentioned due to the transition rules from Division II to Division I and will face the winner of the CSU Bakersfield vs. Utah Valley Wolverines. The Aggies destroyed both teams on the road and at home, so I don’t expect anything different. They shouldn’t even have a struggle in this tournament and with that, the Aggies will make their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.