Top-seeded Queens, 3rd-seeded Pioneers to host SAC Tourney opening games

Queens tie for SAC regular-season champsionship

Top-seeded Queens, 3rd-seeded Pioneers to host SAC Tourney opening games

Wayland Baptist’s Flying Queens and Pioneers this week will host first-round games at 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, in the first round of the Sooner Athletic Conference basketball tournaments.

The top-seeded, second-ranked, undefeated Flying Queens (10-0) will host No. 8 seed Oklahoma-Panhandle State (5-7) at 6 Tuesday, while the third-seeded Pioneers (7-4), ranked the equivalent of 35th in the NAIA, will entertain John Brown (7-6) at 6 Wednesday.

After first-round games were hosted by higher-seeded teams, the tournaments’ semifinals and finals had been scheduled to move to Oklahoma City University. But due to COVID-19, that plan was scrapped in favor of the higher-seeded team hosting throughout the tourneys.

That means the Flying Queens, who have won the last two SAC Tournament titles, will play at Hutcherson Center as long as they continue to win. Wayland defeated OPSU on Jan. 19 in the Hutch, 78-34.

The Queens could face No. 14 Oklahoma City (4-0) in the semis on Friday, if Wayland wins and the fourth-seeded Stars get past fifth-seeded Southwestern Christian (10-3) in round one. Despite being unbeaten, OCU was seeded fourth – behind Wayland, second-seeded Mid-America Christian (9-1) which is ranked the equivalent of 26th, and third-seeded USAO (13-3) – by the conference oversight committee in large part because the Stars have only played four games due to COVID-19.

The committee also determined the Flying Queens and MACU would share the SAC regular-season title. Wayland was 8-0 in SAC play, MACU was 6-0, OCU 3-0 and USAO 10-1.

The tournament championship game will be played Monday, March 1.

In the men’s bracket, Wayland (7-4) is seeded third behind ninth-ranked, regular-season conference champion Southwestern Assemblies of God and 12th-ranked USAO (14-2), and ahead of fourth-seeded Mid-America Christian (9-3).

The Pioneers will have a chance to avenge a regular-season loss to John Brown on Wednesday evening. When the teams met Jan. 23 in Plainview, the Golden Eagles – then ranked No. 22 in the NAIA – pulled out a 72-67 victory. WBU led by nine points in the first half before JBU rallied.

The Wayland-John Brown will meet the winner between USAO and Southwestern Christian (5-8) in the semifinals on Saturday. With a win Wednesday, WBU could host the semis if Southwestern Christian knocks off USAO; otherwise, the Pioneers would meet the Drovers in Chickasha, Okla.

The championship will take place Tuesday, March 2.
 
Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament
WOMEN
At campus sites
Tuesday’s Games
Game 1: No. 8 Panhandle State (5-7) at No. 1 Wayland Baptist (10-0), 6 p.m.
Game 2: No. 5 Southwestern Christian (10-3) at No. 4 Oklahoma City (4-0)
Game 3: No. 6 John Brown (5-5) at No. 3 USAO (13-3), 7 p.m.
Game 4: No. 7 Langston (6-6) at No. 2 Mid-America Christian (9-1), 6 p.m.
Friday’s Games
Semifinals
Game 5: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, TBA
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, TBA
Monday, March 1
Championship
Game 7: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, TBA
 
MEN
At campus sites
Wednesday’s Games
Game 1: No. 8 Panhandle State (5-6) at No. 1 SW Assemblies of God (9-1), 6 p.m.
Game 2: No. 5 Texas Wesleyan (10-4) at No. 4 Mid-America Christian (9-3), 6 p.m.
Game 3: No. 6 John Brown (7-6) at No. 3 Wayland Baptist (7-4), 6 p.m.
Game 4: No. 7 Southwestern Christian (5-8) at No. 2 USAO (14-2), 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 27
Semifinals
Game 5: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, TBA
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, TBA
Tuesday, March 2
Championship
Game 7: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, TBA

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