NCAA gives PacWest go-ahead to make up basketball games following tsunami warning

NCAA gives PacWest go-ahead to make up basketball games following tsunami warning

HONOLULU, HI - The NCAA has granted the Pacific West Conference an extension to complete its men's and women's basketball seasons following the tsunami warning for Hawai‘i on Feb. 27 that postponed a pair of doubleheaders.

BYU-Hawaii will travel to Honolulu to face Hawai‘i Pacific at the Blaisdell Arena on Monday evening, March 8, beginning at 5:30 p.m. HT when the women's teams take the floor. The HPU women's team is currently in first place in the PacWest and battling for its first conference championship and inaugural berth in the NCAA II Championship tournament.

The men's contest will follow at 7:30 p.m. and could wind up being a de facto PacWest Championship game since both teams are tied in the loss column with two each. The PacWest does not have a post-season tournament and awards the automatic qualifier to the regular season champion.

Also on Monday night Chaminade will fly to Hilo to take on Hawai‘i Hilo beginning at 5:30 p.m. for the women and continuing at 7:30 p.m. for the men. None of the four teams can win their respective conference championship, but the impact on the PacWest title could very well be decided on tiebreakers that involve the Silverswords and the Vulcans. In addition, the PacWest Commissioner's Cup standings could be impacted by the outcome of the games.

The PacWest has a logjam atop its men's and women's basketball standings. BYU-Hawaii, Dixie State and Hawai‘i Pacific each have two losses on the men's side with a week to play, while Dixie State, Grand Canyon and HPU are battling for the top slot on the women's side.

The NCAA Division II men's and women's tournament announcements for Division II are scheduled for Sunday, March 7, with conference and teams mandated to complete their seasons by that date. However, the extraordinary circumstances surrounding Feb. 27 made it necessary for the PacWest to request the extension.

In the early morning hours of Feb. 27, tsunami warnings were issued throughout Hawai‘i following the earthquake in Chile that measured 8.8 on the Richter Scale. On Hilo, the airport was closed due to its proximity to the ocean, preventing Chaminade from flying into that island for its game with Hawai‘i Hilo. BYU-Hawaii's location near the ocean along the north shore of Oahu forced emergency management plans for that area to be enacted, while roads along the ocean were closed limiting travel throughout the island.

All four Hawaii teams are currently on the Mainland completing their regular seasons against PacWest teams, making it impossible to complete the games prior to the selection date. BYU-Hawaii and Chaminade are in the San Francisco Bay are for three games each beginning March 2 and ending on Saturday, March 6, while HPU and UHH are making their swing through Arizona and Utah during the same stretch.