For the third time this season, the UAA women's basketball team is getting ready for a game against Northwest Nazarene. Only this time, the season will be on the line for both teams.
UAA and NNU will meet Friday at 4 p.m. Alaska time in a first-round game at the NCAA West Regional Championships in Azusa, California.
The winner will advance to the tournament semifinals against the winner of a first-round game between tournament host Azusa Pacific (27-4) and Humboldt State (18-12). The loser will be done for the season.
The Seawolves (25-4) and the Nighthawks (22-4) split their regular-season series in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. UAA won the first meeting, 78-68 in Anchorage, and Northwest Nazarene got even several weeks later with a 104-78 win in Nampa, Idaho.
The teams finished as the GNAC's regular-season co-champions. Both suffered semifinal-round upsets in last week's GNAC tournament in Anchorage.
The GNAC landed four teams in the eight-team West Region tournament. Joining UAA and Northwest Nazarene are Seattle Pacific (23-7) and Montana State-Billings (22-11), which secured a spot by winning the GNAC tournament.
Seattle Pacific will play UC San Diego (27-4) and Billings will face Hawaii Pacific (26-3).
The West Region tourney is one of eight regional championships happening this week in Division II basketball. The eight champions will advance to the Elite Eight March 19-23 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The Seawolves have won the West Region championship four times, most recently in 2016. Other titles came in 2012, 2009 and 2008.
Friday's first-round games (all times Alaska)
11 a.m. — Seattle Pacific (23-7) vs. UC San Diego (27-4)
1:30 p.m. — MSU Billings (22-11) vs. Hawaii Pacific (26-3)
4 p.m. — UAA (25-4) vs. Northwest Nazarene (22-4)
6:30 p.m. — Azusa Pacific (27-4) vs. Humboldt State (18-12)