The road to March Madness is off and running for the California University of Pennsylvania Women’s Basketball team. Fresh off of two wins this past week with one coming on the road over previously #1 ranked IUP, California is looking to continue rolling. Until the buzzer sounds for the final time this season on the Vulcans, I’ll be keeping a close eye on the Atlantic Regional Rankings which will determine who will play for the National Title and where the games will be played. Before I dive in, it’s important to note the way this poll works. The top eight teams in the poll earn a berth into the tournament, with the number one seed earning the right to host the tournament. The Atlantic Region is made up of teams that come from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC), Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and the Mountain East Conference (MEC). Now let’s take a look at the top eight teams as of 1/28/19:
1. California 17-1 (PSAC)
2. IUP 16-1 (PSAC)
3. Virginia Union 17-1 (CIAA)
4. Glenville State 16-2 (MEC)
5. Concord 14-3 (MEC)
6. Bowie State 16-3 (CIAA)
7. Charleston 15-3 (MEC)
8. Bloomsburg 13-6 (PSAC)
California is seeking to host the regional tournament for the first time since 2017, where they advanced to the regional final and fell to the eventual national runner up, Virginia Union. Now let’s take a look at the quality wins that each program brings to the table at this point. Starting from the top with California, they enter the poll with wins over three of the top eight teams (@IUP, vs. CHS and vs. BU). IUP enters the poll with one top eight victory which came on November 14th at home vs Bloomsburg. IUP has laid the groundwork for being ranked this high, as the dashed to the final four a season ago, where they fell to perennial powerhouse Ashland. The Panthers of VUU are riding high after picking up a win over Bowie State on the road a few days ago on the 23rd of January. Glenville State has scooped up two quality wins against conference playmates Concord and Charleston at home, but the real tests will come with those same teams on the road in succession, which could spell trouble for the Pioneers.
Concord enters the day with a non-ideal record, losing to Charleston at home and Glenville State on the road. Later on in the season, the Mountain Lions would edge Charleston on their home court ending the scheduled meetings between the two sides. Chances are high they could meet down the road in conference playoffs. Bowie State was narrowly defeated at home by Virginia Union by one point, 51-52, which has been their only action against a ranked squad to date. They will have a rematch against the Panthers on February 13th, which puts them into a slide towards the CIAA tournament. Charleston had early action in the MEC/PSAC against California where they fell. In addition, they had a tough stretch losing back-to-back games against Glenville State and Concord. They would split the season series with Concord however, winning a road contest earlier in the season.
Bloomsburg rounds out the top eight this week, with two roads losses to IUP and California. The Huskies have their schedule ease up for the final stretch leading into the PSAC Tournament, with just a road matchup against their competition in the PSAC East Kutztown on the road. Two familiar PSAC schools are right on the heels of the Huskies, Edinboro in the ninth position who is having a relatively off the path season after stumbling early against a few ranked teams, and Seton Hill in tenth, who are just a few wins away from shaking up the polls and claiming a postseason berth. For more info about Cal U, visit www.calvulcans.com and follow the Cal Times for regional updates all season long.