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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

Editorial: Ashland University should be hosting the Midwest Regional Tournament

The Eagles were snubbed on the opportunity to stay at home for three straight regional tournaments
Ben Nichols
The Eagles sit on the bench prior to the starting lineup announcements inside of Kates Gymnasium.

Some things just make you shake your head.

On Sunday, March 10, I opened up my laptop to check the NCAA Division II women’s basketball selection show. After watching for a few minutes, I started to shake my head.

The No. 1 team in the nation, who sit at an overall record of 30-1, were chosen as the No. 2 seed behind the 29-2 Grand Valley State Lakers.

Yes, one of the Lakers’ losses did come to Division I Ohio State back in December, but a loss is still a loss.

The other loss for the Lakers came against the Ferris State Bulldogs back on Jan. 20. The final score of the contest finished with a 71-65 scoreline as the Lakers shot 35% from the field, 22% from three-point range and committed 14 turnovers.

In comparison, the Eagles, who fell to the Bulldogs as well, lost in a 66-62 finish. As a team, the Eagles shot 41% from the field and 32% from beyond the arc while committing 19 turnovers.

While both teams lost, on paper, the contest was much closer and consistent for the Eagles both in scoreline and statistical facets.

And here’s the thing, I have no malice towards GVSU, they did nothing wrong. If anything, I hope to see them succeed and am excited to see the top women’s basketball region compete internally in the coming week.

It is those who ultimately made the mind-boggling decision to not slot AU as the No. 1 seed that leaves me shell-shocked.

The Eagles finished the 2023-24 campaign on a 22-game win streak, a conference regular season title, a conference tournament title and multiple individual conference accolades. They were also able to win that conference tournament title convincingly, 99-58, over the Trevecca Nazarene Trojans.

Not only has the 2023-24 season been kind to them, but they recorded an impressive 37-0 overall record alongside a national championship in the previous season.

So, for those counting, through the last 68 games, the Eagles are 67-1. That’s a win rate of 98.5%.

How does a team, that recorded just one loss over the last 68 games, not host the regional tournament?

Well, unfortunately, I do not have the answer.

It is always a cool sight to see a new team, a new campus and a new athletic department have an opportunity to host a tournament, but the decision comes at an odd time.

While I will undeniably be making the trek to Allendale, Mich., the sour taste left behind from Sunday’s selection show will surely leave me shaking my head.

Ashland University D-II Top 5 Statistical Rankings:

Winning Percentage- 1st
Field Goal Percentage- 1st
Assists Per Game- 1st
Rebounding Margin- 1st
Assist-to-Turnover Ratio- 2nd
Scoring Margin- 2nd
Scoring Offense- 3rd
Three Point Percentage- 3rd
Bench Points Per Game- 5th

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