March 10th, 2015
Well, its time for the real season to begin. 20 wins is nice, but the Rainbow Warriors are not likely going to any postseason without a Conference Championship. Now, the Wahine, that's a different story.
Ok, first the men. I have been picking Santa Barbara to win the Tournament and I am not changing now. They are playing great, although Irvine or Davis could win it all. But I like the Rainbows bracket. it couldn't have shaped up any better. UH open up with Long Beach, a team they beat easily just a few weeks ago. Its a Long Beach team that is really struggling. They cant score, and their best player is an awful shooting slump. But they have the pedigree and could get it together for a run. I pick UH.
If there are no upsets in the first round, and I don't think there will be ( yes, I remember Cal Poly's miracle run last year), Uh will face Davis in the semi-finals/ The Bows are one of the two league teams to beat UC Davis during the regular season, and they match up well the Aggies. It would be an upset, but I believe UH has the defensive ability to overcome some offensive liabilities, and if they can shoot 50% or so, they can win this game
However, I believe the run will stop there. I don't think UH can beat either Santa Barbara or Irvine. Yes I know its hard to beat a team three times, but frankly, I think both of those teams can control the basketball and have the better of UH on the offensive end. If UH is unable to turn teams over, the transition game suffers and UH has had some trouble in the half court.
UH's RPI and strength of schedule makes it unlikely that the team will play in one of the lesser tournaments, particularly any tournament where you have to pay to play. But I guess its possible it could agree to go on the road if someone else pays for it. Its been a few years since the men have won a first round game, so any win would be nice. Whatever happens, it been a good year for the Men. Exciting play, good crowds, and a bright future if everyone comes back.
Now what can I say about the Women. What a year. Coach Beeman and her team have captured the attention of Hawaii fans, witness the almost 3500 who attended Saturday's Senior night. Coming in first in the Conference means the Wahine need to win only two games, and frankly, a loss in either would be considered a disappointment. I think the Women will be going dancing, and I mean in the Big Dance. However, if they lose, as regular season Conference Champs, they will play in the WNIT, hopefully at home, and I think they a chance of getting an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Congratulations to all the UH players, both men and women, who made one of the league's all-conference teams. You can quibble as to whether the teams deserved better, but the honors were well deserved.
Don't miss tomorrow's Hoopstalk. We hope to have both Benjy and Laura, as well as a surprise former player all the way from Spain. All I can tell you is he is one of mine, and I believe your, most favorite former Bows