Hawaii held up its end of the bargain last night for a shot at the No. 4 seed in the WAC tournament, defeating San Jose State 77-71 on the road. But two close games around the WAC sealed the Rainbow Warriors’ fate to go without a first-round bye.
UH needed help from either Fresno State or Louisiana Tech, but Idaho came from behind to beat Fresno 69-66 and Nevada won at LaTech 73-70.
Even if the Rainbows finish 9-7 by beating Fresno tomorrow (and become one of either three or four teams with that record) the tiebreakers don’t go in UH’s favor. Utah State and Boise State are locked in to the Nos. 1 and 2 spots and Idaho has clinched either No. 3 or 4. Either New Mexico State or Nevada, who are both 8-7 and play each other tomorrow, will get the other 3 or 4 spot.
Tough sledding for the Rainbows, who have played as well as any team in the WAC for the last few weeks. This means UH, as either the No. 5 or 6 seed, will have to win four games in four days to advance to the NCAA tournament.
If UH wins tomorrow, it will play Fresno again in the 5-8 matchup. If UH loses, it could be 5 or 6 and play either Fresno or San Jose State.
Meanwhile, the UH women’s basketball team won for the fifth time in eight games with a rousing 72-71 overtime victory over Utah State last night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
It was the third season in a row the Rainbow Wahine won at the buzzer on senior night, this time courtesy of two Kamilah Jackson free throws with 0.3 seconds left in the extra period.
The Wahine are locked into the WAC tournament as the No. 7 seed and will play No. 6 New Mexico State in the first round on Wednesday.