Congrats to Whitman. McDonald and Howell played their best half of basketball at the right time. Makes you wonder how they lose games to much worse opponents. And don't worry blackhawks, when they don't make it to Salem, none of us Pirate fans will say their season was anything but a success. Been through the gauntlet that is the western half of the d3 tourney bracket. Good luck!
^^This. Well said, 509.
A couple other thoughts.
(1) Stop raging on Bob. Dave, you are right that calling Whitman punks (or whatever, I didn't hear that part of the call) shouldn't have been said, but 509 is right too that they were acting like punks. I don't blame them, I probably would have acted that way too in an emotional college game against my rival at their home court with their loud fans. But Dave, those refs were horrid tonight--and it's not just that non intentional call. Just an unreal amount of incompetence for an NCAA game, which is unfortunate. Bob is an official himself, so he is often over-the-top kind to refs. I don't blame him for saying something about the refs in an emotional game between two rivals. Stop with the holier than thou stuff.
(2) Howell is a freak. I'm now 100% convinced he's the best player in the conference even if he didn't win POY this year (I was only 75% convinced before
). Geez. He threw up so many wild shots and they all fell. He's going to be annoyingly good for the next two years, isn't he? It was fun to see 5 of the best 6 players in the NWC all on the floor at the same time. Hey blackhawk, there seems to be some difference on McDonald's eligibility. I've seen him listed as a sophomore and a junior. Do you know which it is? I hope it's a junior. I can't imagine having to face Howell and McD the next two years. I'm guessing this is how most teams felt about Love and Jurlina last year (and this year and next year).
(3) WW will be fine going forward. Other than Valle, they return everyone who played major minutes this season. I would imagine Roach and Bishop will see a lot more playing time going forward as they go into their sophomore year. WM will be fine too. As long as they have Howell and McD they will be as good as anyone. The road to the NWC title will go through Eastern Washington for the foreseeable future.
(4) Good luck to WM going through the west. WW has nothing to hang their heads over. They won yet another NWC regular season and tournament title, and lost to a really good team in the tournament in a game that could have gone either way. Both teams are deserving of the sweet 16, but region and logistics and all that.