Mar 5, 2014 11:00 PM by Jordan Mason
INDIANAPOLIS (GoThunderWolves.com - Mar. 5, 2014)- Despite a weekend split to close out the regular season, the Colorado State University-Pueblo ThunderWolves remained fourth in the final regular season edition of the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Rankings, announced Wednesday by the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Committee.
The rankings will be updated one more time to include conference tournament results as the selections and seedings for the NCAA Division II Tournament will be announced Sunday evening at 8 p.m. (MDT) on the NCAA Division II selection show, which can be seen on www.ncaa.com.
The top team in the regional rankings will host the 8-team regional portion of the tournament on Mar. 14, 15 and 17.
Champions of the Rocky Mountain Athletic, Heartland and Lone Star Conference post-season tournaments earn automatic qualifying spots even if they are not amongst the top 8 teams in the final rankings.
CSU-Pueblo, in search of a fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last seven years, went 21-7 during the regular season and then won a Tuesday night playoff game in the quarterfinal round of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference shootout, a result that is not yet figured into the regional rankings. That 51-46 win over Metro State allowed the ThunderWolves to match their 2008-09 school-record for wins in a season and was the Pack's first post-season win since 2010.
The ThunderWolves are also receiving a vote in the USA Today Sports/Division II Top 25 Coaches' Poll, which is not related to the official regional rankings, for the second straight week.
West Texas A&M re-gained the top spot in the regional rankings and is in pole position for those regional hosting rights. The Lady Buffs, ranked fifth in the unrelated USA Today Sports poll are 22-2 in Division II play heading into a Wednesday evening Lone Star Conference quarterfinal match-up with Cameron (Okla.)
Colorado Mesa, which saw its perfect regular season blemished with a Saturday night loss to Fort Lewis, now ranked seventh regionally, is in the No. 2 spot of the regional rankings. The Mavericks, 24-1 in Division II play through the weekend, are ranked fourth nationally and will host the RMAC Shootout semifinals and championship game this weekend in Grand Junction by virtue of their regular season championship.
Tarleton State (Texas) remained in the No. 3 spot of the regional rankings and defeated Texas A&M-Commerce in the quarterfinals of the Lone Star Championship earlier Wednesday.
Texas A&M-International remained ranked fifth in the regional rankings and will host the 4-team Heartland Conference tournament starting on Friday.
St. Mary's, the second seed in that tournament, is ranked sixth in the regional rankings while Fort Lewis, which dropped a RMAC Shootout quarterfinal against Black Hills State sits ahead of Texas Woman's and Midwestern State of the Lone Star Conference. Texas Woman's and Midwestern State begin their play in the LSC tournament on Thursday.
Colorado Christian, which bowed out of the RMAC Shootout on Tuesday at Regis, is ranked 10th in this week's regional rankings. Regis had been ranked 10th in last week's regional rankings and will play at Colorado Mesa in Friday's second RMAC Shootout semifinal, slated for 7:30 p.m. in Grand Junction.
The Pack play Black Hills State in the first semifinal at 5 p.m.
The RMAC Shootout Championship game will be played at 7:30 p.m., Saturday between the two semifinal winners.