Joward NWAC Basketball Power Rankings - Feb 12 (updated link)
Joward NWAC Women's Power Rankings
Umpqua women lead Southern Region, rankings
Every year, there's always one region which ends up as a complete mess around this time of the year. This time, surprisingly, it's the South. Umpqua has asserted itself as a clear leader, but behind the Riverhawks loom four teams within a game of one another as the season winds down. Portland, seeing one of their best stretches in history, is within striking distance of a tournament berth but will need to unseat one of three powerhouse programs: Clackamas, SW Oregon or Lane. The NWAC tournament will once again be held at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, Wash., beginning on Saturday, March 7 with the finals being played on March 10. The Northern and Southern regions will match up in the first round, as will the Eastern and Western. Basically, the top seed from the North will take on the fourth seed from the South, the second northern seed will play the third southern seed and so on. You can check out the full, blank bracket on the NWAC's championship page, along with plenty of other information.
We've decided to skip the efficiency ratings this week and focus purely on match ups and what teams need to do in order to muscle their way for a better seed in the upcoming tournament. Ratings will be published along with the final set of rankings, after the last game of the regular season has been played and before the tournament begins on March 7.
Updated coaches rankings, released on Feb. 5, have been posted under each team's previous ratings. You can see the full coaches poll here.
The upcoming NWAC tournament is as much about match ups and team basketball as anything, as we've seen well-oiled machines best star-power over the last several years. That said, it's star-power which tends to drive the most excitement, both here at one of the NWAC's few community forums and in the arena itself. This season has been somewhat starless, with Brendan Westendorf having moved on to Seattle University, Kyle Impero playing for Western Washington and Shaq McKissic making waves at Arizona, but there seems to be a new face in play: James Lopez. He was in the middle of the pack in scoring for Columbia Basin last season, but has emerged this year to lead the league in scoring and is now 12-2 as a starter. He's averaging the second-most points of any player dating back to the 2006-07 season, including former Tacoma star Mark McLaughlin and Peninsula's USC transfer J.T. Terrell.
Efficiency stats are running a little behind this week, but we'll have an updated spreadsheet of efficiency stats posted in the next few days, and the stats under each team will be updated.
Updated coaches rankings, released on Feb 5, have been posted under each team's previous ratings. You can see the full coaches poll here.