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Joward NWAC Basketball Power Rankings - Final

Joward NWAC Women's Power Rankings

Umpqua, Walla Walla women lead tournament preview

Here's a shocker: Clackamas won't be in the tournament this year, in favor of Portland. The resumes couldn't be any different, as Portland makes their first-ever trip to the NWAC championships and Clackamas breaks the league's longest streak of consecutive visits at either 15 or 16 seasons. At the moment, No. 1 Umpqua and No. 2 Walla Walla look primed to meet in the finals, with Umpqua making a return to the championship game after last season's loss to Columba Basin. Walla Walla would be back for the first time since their title run in 2010.

Centralia and Columbia Basin are the only two ranked teams to meet in the first round, pitting a sixth-ranked team against and eight-ranked and somewhat untested Centralia squad. After the first round, things get a little nasty. We could see No. 5 Lane and No. 4 Lower Columbia go at it in the quarterfinals, or a possible finals rematch between Umpqua and Columbia Basin.

I, Joward, will be in attendance covering things for the NWAC for the fourth consecutive season. I won't bog down my personal twitter account with game updates, but you can follow @NWACSports for news and notes throughout the tournament.

Updated coaches rankings, released on March 3, have been posted under each team's previous ratings. You can see the full coaches poll here.

Joward Power Ranking Women's Top Four
1. Umpqua
2. Walla Walla
3. Lower Columbia
4. Wenatchee Valley
View complete rankings and team by team analysis


Joward NWAC Men's Power Rankings

Edmonds, Big Bend on top for tourney

I cover high school athletics for a living, and to my eye, the Southern Region is kind of like that football team from some small town across the state nobody has heard of. They're rough-and-tumble and typically finish the season with a solid record but no respect. Then they come into the playoffs and beat the daylights out of everyone.

The South seems to fit that bill rather well, given that they've won five of the last eight NWAC titles, including last season's Cinderella run from Portland in their first-ever visit to the Tri-Cities. Oh, and let's just leave this out here to dry: region-leading Chemeketa had to forfeit their entire season for using an ineligible player, according to NWAC sources. That hurts, but it opens up a door for a little more madness in the first round.

The most intriguing match out of the gate is also the earliest, an 8 a.m. bout between No. 6 Highline and No. 7 Wenatchee Valley. If you can't be there, don't worry. I will be, and I'll have the league Twitter handle at my disposal for updates. You can also watch games online (link is above) and check the league website for post game recaps.

Updated coaches rankings, released on March 3, have been posted under each team's previous ratings. You can see the full coaches poll here.

Joward Power Ranking Men's Top Four
1. Edmonds
2. Big Bend
3. Bellevue
4. Clark
View complete rankings and team by team analysis


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