Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament Preview
GPAC Tournament Game Schedule
GPAC Men’s Basketball Quarterfinals – Tuesday and Wednesday, February 21 and 22
#8 Hastings (15-13, 8-12 GPAC) at #1 Jamestown (23-5, 15-5 GPAC), 6pm on Wednesday, Feb. 22
#5 Concordia (17-11, 11-9 GPAC) at #4 Northwestern (20-8, 13-7 GPAC), 6pm on Wednesday, Feb. 22
#6 Dakota Wesleyan (13-15, 9-11 GPAC) at #3 Dordt (22-6, 14-6 GPAC), 7:45pm on Tuesday, Feb. 21
#7 Briar Cliff (14-13, 8-12 GPAC) at #2 Morningside (21-6, 15-5 GPAC), 7pm on Tuesday, Feb. 21
GPAC Men’s Basketball Semifinals – Saturday, February 25
#8/#1 winner vs. #5/#4 winner, TBA
#6/#3 winner vs. #7/#2 winner, Time TBA
GPAC Men’s Basketball Championship Tuesday, February 28
Semifinal winners at highest remaining seed, Time TBA
Opening Round Breakdown
Jamestown vs Hastings
The Jimmies, as GPAC Co-Champs, won the 1-seed with the tiebreaker over Morningside. Mason Walters remains the front runner for NAIA Player of the Year and has given Hastings fits in both meeting this season. Both matchups were won by Jamestown pretty handedly. Hastings actually was having a pretty good season going until the final month of the season where they lost 10 of 11 games at one point. They have had some road woes this season and have an uphill battle in this one. Reggie Thomas, who has been great all season, has struggled against Jamestown. That will have to change if Hastings wants to pull off the upset here!
Northwestern vs CUNE
What Northwestern has done this season without All-American, Alex Van Kalsbeek, is astounding. Dillon Carlson has been phenomenal this season as he finished the regular season in 3rd place in scoring in the GPAC. Craig Sterk has also been big for the Red Raiders. CUNE, has had a bit of an up and down season. This is a group, led by the dynamic duo of Noah Schutte and Gage Smith. We currently have the Bulldogs as a “last four in” team. A win here would certainly help their cause as there are several teams on the bubble who all have similar resumes.
Dordt vs Dakota Wesleyan
Dordt, behind the play of Jacob Vis (5th in GPAC in scoring) and Bryce Coppock (10th in GPAC in Scoring) finished the regular season winning 8 of their final 10 games. This is a veteran group, who made it to the NAIA National Tourney last season and if they don’t win the GPAC Tourney auto-bid, they will get an at-large spot in the NAIA Tourney this year. Dakota Wesleyan is led by Koln Oppold and while they have lost 5 of their past 7 games, this is a fairly young group who has some nice wins including knocking off Dordt on the road back in December. These two also played to a four-point game at the end of January, so we could see another fun one tonight!
Morningside vs Briar Cliff
Nothing like a crosstown rivalry game as your GPAC opener! Morningside was the GPAC Regular Season Co-Champs after putting together another really good year. They are led by big man, Ely Doble, who is Top 10 in the GPAC in both PPG and RPG. The Mustangs top the NAIA in fewest turnovers per game at 9.9 and have been really good defensively as well. Briar Cliff is really balanced offensively with veterans Jaden Kleinhesselink and Quinn Vesey leading the way most nights. They are 0-2 against their rivals this season, both by 7pts or less.