(MSUB Athletics release)
INDIANAPOLIS – Finding itself ranked No. 7 in the initial NCAA Division II west region poll released Wednesday, the Montana State University Billings women’s basketball team is in the thick of the race towards postseason play as the 2017-18 season peaks.
The Yellowjackets are 17-9 overall and enter the week tied for fourth place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference at 10-6 in league play. MSUB finishes the 2017-18 regular season with two home contests this week and two road contests next week, and the team is inches away from clinching a berth in the GNAC Women’s Basketball Championships March 1-3 in Anchorage, Alaska.
The NCAA west region rankings will eventually determine the eight-team field that will form the opening round of the national tournament running March 8-10. The No. 1 overall seed in the final regional rankings will earn hosting rights for the tournament.
The Yellowjackets have several paths to the national tournament, including maintaining a spot in the top-eight through the conclusion of regular-season play and the conference tournament. Additionally, the champion of the GNAC tournament earns an automatic berth into the NCAA west-region playoffs.
Regional rankings will continue to be released on Wednesdays leading up to the national tournament, with the final rankings and tournament field being unveiled on Sunday, March 4 in a live video broadcast.
MSUB last advanced to the NCAA regional championships during the 2015-16 season, earning the eighth and final seed into the event. The Yellowjackets lost to No. 1 seed Azusa Pacific University 83-75 in the opening round to end their season.
2017-18 NCAA D2 West Region Rankings (Feb. 14, 2018)
Rank School Record Conference
1 Azusa Pacific 24-3 PacWest
2 Alaska Anchorage 22-2 GNAC
3 Hawaii Pacific 21-2 PacWest
4 UC San Diego 21-3 CCAA
5 Northwest Nazarene 18-3 GNAC
6 Seattle Pacific 18-5 GNAC
7 MSU Billings 17-9 GNAC
8 Cal Poly Pomona 16-8 CCAA
9 Point Loma Nazarene 15-9 PacWest
10 Central Washington 14-10 GNAC