Final Joward Basketball Power Rankings - CBC & Clark top list
The biggest shame of this years' tournament is that big-time scorers Brendan Westendorf and Kyle Impero, who have traded off the scoring title all season long and both average just under 30 points per game, are on opposite sides of the bracket. It's unlikely that both will make the finals, so we won't get the marquee match up between the two young stars. We will, however, get a handful of good contests in the first round, headlined by the early game when No. 3 Pierce and No. 7 SW Oregon will face off in a battle between defense and offense.
Also, it's always fun to look at the preseason rankings, which are generally off the wall. This year, though, seven of the eight initial teams made the post season, including Clackamas, Treasure Valley and Portland, who qualified for the tournament this season for the first time in program history.
View Men's Power Rankings
The first round is often full of a few lop-sided drubbings, given the general unbalance between the powerful Eastern and Southern regions against the rest of the field, but a stronger Western contingent this season brings several intriguing match ups on Friday. Lane and Highline, starting at 4 p.m., will be an interesting clash of styles; the Titans with a high-scoring offense, and the Thunderbirds slow, sure and defensive. The biggest gem of the first day is easily the game between No. 2 Clark and No. 6 Clackamas. The teams have already squared off with Clackamas taking the game at home by 15 points. They've had their struggles and Clark has been on fire, but if there's any upset alert in the first round, it's this one.
Joward (AKA John William Howard) will be in attendance writing game recaps for the league, as well as handing social media throughout the event, beginning on Sunday. Most tweets will be via the league twitter account, @NWAACC, but you can also follow him @JowardHoward for additional news and notes.