As we start the 2022-23 college basketball season, Grand Canyon will look to get back and make a deep run in the WAC conference. They lost to the one of the top mismatch nightmares, local AZ product, in Teddy Allen. Allen poured in 25 points en route to New Mexico State advancing to the finals and the eventual automatic bid to the NCAA dance.
Here is the 30 game schedule (Coaches preseason poll)
3 Conference Home only games are:
Utah Valley 1/21 (7th)
UT Arlington 1/12 (11th)
UTRGV 2/15 (13th)
3 Conference Away only games are:
At Sam Houston State 1/5 (8th)
At Southern Utah 3/1 (9th)
At Tarleton 1/28 (10th)
12 Conference Home/Away Games:
New Mexico State 2/9, at 2/22 (2nd)
Stephen F. Austin 1/7, at 2/4 (3rd)
Abilene Christian 1/26, 2/17 (4th)
Cal Baptist 12/29, at 1/14 (5th)
Seattle U. at 2/11, 2/24 (6th)
Utah Tech 1/18, at 3/3 (12th)
12 Non-Conference schedule:
11/7 vs Montana State (W)
11/9 vs SD Christian (W)
11/12 at Nevada (L)
11/18 vs Grambling
11/21 vs Wichita State
11/26 vs Pepperdine
11/29 vs Alcorn State
12/3 at Wyoming
12/7 vs LMU
12/10 vs North Texas
12/17 vs Embry-Riddle/AZ
12/20 vs Idaho State
As we start looking at their schedule, the first thing that stands out is there home and away ONLY games. All six games are definitely possible games they can win. Let’s say they go 6-0 for arguments sake.
Then the home/away slate of 12 games. If they can go 2-0 versus Utah Tech and just split versus 4 of the 5 teams and win both games versus one of them, GCU would have a 8-4 record and 14-4 record overall in the conference games.
Last year they finished 13-5, which put them 4th in conference. It was actually a three way tie at 14-4 last year.
So at 14-4 this year, it will put them in the mix for the top seed heading into the conference tournament.
As far as their non-conference schedule, I can see them at least splitting their 12 games, which would make them 20-10 on the season but I think they realistically can win 7+ games. If we just put it at 7 wins, GCU finishes at 21-9 heading to the conference tournament.
The reality is, it is a one bid league. You want to, of course win all your games, but if they go 12-0 or 0-12 in non-conference, it probably won’t affect much to get into the dance.
Hypothetically, if they went 11-1 in non-conference and had a 25-5 overall record but LOST in the WAC Chip to let’s say Abilene Christian, would they still get an at-large bid? Most likely no unfortunately, unless 6 or so of their 12 opponents were quadrant 1 wins.
All likelihood, they need to WIN the WAC conference tourney to go dancing.