Served on a North Dakota bun, we have an IPFW hate sandwich

I do not really want to get in too deep about the South Dakota State game from Wednesday night, because it is pretty similar to everything that was said about the home loss to the Jackrabbits a few weeks ago.  SDSU is the best team in the league, and a goal for UNO basketball is to be on the same playing ground as them someday.  We are far from it right now.  The Mavs only graduate two players and so do the Jackrabbits, all four players that graduate from the two teams are key players, but maybe we should expect the same next season.  Patterson was able to defend George Marshall better this game and hold him to two points, but a combined 14-15 with 8-8 threes from junior guards Jake Bittle and Deondre Parks is clearly not good.  The Mavs need to figure out this perimeter defense thing.

The bench was no where to be found, but I must say that the Mavs bench put up some good numbers against Denver.  We need more of that every game.  I was out of the country for the Denver game, maybe I need to go the Caribbean for every game…


 

Hey North Dakota Hockey, screw you, I mean, let me take that back

I wish I knew more about hockey to say more than six words about it.  I love going to UNO hockey games.  I barely knew what hockey was before becoming a UNO student.  I saw it was free to go to the games and I did not want to be that guy that never took advantage of something like that.  That reminds me, I did not realize that Creighton only had 30 fans that cared about the basketball team until the other night against St. Johns.  Must be pretty hard to pretend you go to Duke when your basketball team is on an 8 game losing streak…

I have learned the rules of hockey, but I still have no idea what makes a good pass a good pass, and anything about any form of strategy.  If I had a kid that was in hockey and I was coaching the team, I would just say, “piss off the other kids until they fight you or do something else stupid so we can have more players than them for a few minutes.

I do know this, I can hate North Dakota, but I have to respect North Dakota.  Have you ever been to North Dakota while a Sioux game was on?  You can not do anything else.  My father-in-law has a farm in Minot and my wife and I go see him from time to time.  Usually when we stop somewhere, the place is decked out in North Dakota and North Dakota State flags, if there is a hockey game on then ALL televisions are on that North Dakota game, any other time of the year then it seems there is always one television that is devoted to playing reruns of hockey.  The NoDakians know their hockey, and I love going to UND-UNO hockey, there are more people in green, more people in red/black show up to show their support, it is a great experience.

I hate University of Missouri sports fans more than I hate any other fan base.  Their fans make literally no sense, and most are addicted to something incredibly bad for them.  When their football team became good, their fans did not know what was going on.  All they knew was, BALL GO PAST LINE, WE GOOD, then they cheered to the look of the Missouri players looking happy.  Last year when UNO played UND in hockey at CenturyLink, that is when I realized that I actually know very little about hockey.  I do not remember the exact situation, but UNO looked like they scored a goal and they started to cheer, but the people in green started to cheer as well.  The Mav population looked instantly confused when the Sioux faithful started to cheer.  The goal was called off due to a penalty, and all of the people in green knew it before it was even announced.  The Mav population just reacted to what they did not even understand what was fully going on, the NoDakians knew what was happening before the arena staff knew what was going on.

I am not saying we have to like them, but we need to respect them, but when basketball comes around they can screw off.  I just bring it up because I have seen some hate filled tweets on the Twitter machine, which I realize are in good fun, but college hockey is as important to these people as college football is to Nebraskans.  I would not want to piss off their fans to fuel the fire of their players, even though that is kind of the thrill of a rivalry.  Plus North Dakotans drink A LOT, so if they made the trip, lets just butter them up a tiny bit so they can pump a bunch of money into Omaha bars and hotels.


IPFW

The Mastadons were picked as the preseason favorite of the league. but now they are sitting at 6th in the League with a 3-5 record in the conference.

The ‘Dons beat the Mavericks in both meetings last season, but by a total of 5 points.  Do you remember the last game they played?  It was senior day for the Mavericks.  IPFW was one of the top teams in the league and really the only one fans thought could contend with North Dakota State for the championship. The game was forced to overtime, it was close in the entire overtime period.  There were some miscues from each side that had you sitting at the edge of the seat screaming What The Hell?!

IPFW gets the ball and in a last ditch effort, IPFW’s Steve Forbes puts up a three (he has never officially made or attempted a three so far at IPFW), the shot is a miss, but the official blows his whistle.  A foul on John Karhoff.  The Hoff looks at the ref like he is going to murder him right there with 1000+ witnesses and not even care.  Boos come from everywhere in the arena.  The referees have to go to the monitor to, I assume, check to see if it was a two point or three point attempt.

I am still not sure if anyone has ever said that foul was legit or not, but it was called a foul.  While the refs were checking the monitor, the body language was not good like – oh shit, what did we do?  An official can never really say yeah I screwed up, my bad, I am sorry.  They always say, I called it as I saw it.  The only time in recent memory that I can think of a ref admitting fault is when the first base umpire made a terrible call to screw up a perfect game for Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga.  Hey, at least Galaraga still got a sweet car out of the deal.  And the officials can look at the monitor and realize they made a mistake, but they cannot wave off the foul, so while I was watching those officials at the monitor, their body language was the body language of a couple dudes that realized that they are bad at their job.  It is not like I am mad at Steve Forbes, he did not make the call, but I do not recognize sports officials by name, so I just need a scapegoat.

A win probably would of had that big of an impact on the Mavs season.  After Forbes hit the free throws to give IPFW the win, I was thinking that the chances of going to the CIT were over.  I thought it was done, IPFW took away the positive feelings at the end of the year.  Thankfully, it did not eliminate UNO from postseason play and the Mavs could pick up their first post season win a few weeks later.  But still, the Mavs felt stripped of a win on senior day.  Karhoff, Matt Hagerbaumer, Justin Simmons, Alex Phillips, and Caleb Steffensmeier did a lot for the basketball program, they all played great on their senior day, but were screwed out of a win we felt.  And this is the IPFW team that went on to beat South Dakota State, and then only lose by three to conference champion North Dakota State.  I will say that is the first time I have seen Mav basketball fans boo out the refs, so perhaps it was a bonding experience for Mav fans.  I almost feel like we need to avenge that Karhoff’s foul*.  #win4theHoff

*I still do not believe that was a foul.  John Karhoff could walk up to me and say that it was indeed a foul, and I would not believe him.  I would think IPFW employed The Madhatter to put a mind controlling device on John Karhoff to say what they wanted him to say.  That’s a Batman reference.

UNO and IPFW are actually pretty similar teams on paper.  They have both lost to IUPUI, South Dakota State by a bunch, Western Illinois, Oral Roberts, and beaten Oral Roberts and won at South Dakota.  Their back court is roughly the same size at UNOs with Isaiah McCray at 6’0″, 6’2″ Max Landis, and 6’0″ Mo Evans.  They have been playing a little bit of small ball with 6’5″ Joe Edwards at the “four”.  Really it seems the plan is to stretch the floor with their four guards and then swing the ball around so they can work to get the ball into Steve Forbes in the post.  I based this off of the little bit of what I watched from IPFW at South Dakota last night, and also a little bit of nothing.

Something I did notice is that when South Dakota would run the crap out of the ball, it was difficult for IPFW and mainly Steve Forbes to keep up.  Steve Forbes probably does not look forward to a team that plays the pace of the Mavs.  It would be like a English bulldog with a stupid look on his face trying to chase down a black lab.**  When South Dakota would have to get into a half court offense, they were more successful when they got the ball inside to a post player who could put the ball to the floor and basically run around Forbes.  So what sounds good against something like that?  Tre’Shawn Thurman and/or Jake White?  This looks like it could be another close game between the Dons and Mavs.

**This may be kind of a fat joke, but I do not like making fat jokes.  I find them to be uncreative, and someone can always lose weight and you will just look like an asshole for making fun of them a while ago.  And Steve Forbes could beat me up at recess if he wanted.

This is a match up of two teams that have been underachieving in what has been an awkward year for the Summit League.  Something that was brought to my attention when I was listening to UNO-South Dakota State on the radio on Wednesday night is that most teams in this conference are not losing much to graduation. South Dakota State is graduating two players, North Dakota State is only graduating one player, Denver is graduating two.  IPFW and South Dakota each have three seniors in their rotations.  This season should mean more to them, they have the most to lose.  Most other teams are trying to build onto something for the next year or two.  It will probably be more tough to pick up conference wins next season with most teams seeming to be loaded with juniors.  IPFW does have four juniors in their rotation, but no other team has as many minutes from seniors as the Mastadons, they need this more.  The time is definitely now for them, but would that mean that there is more pressure on them to win this game?


Some thoughts:

UNO and Creighton play at the same time on Saturday, what a bum deal.  The CenturyLink gets a Jays Basketball-UNO Hockey double header.  I really cannot wait until next year when we can host UNO Basketball-Hockey double headers in Aksarben.

If neither UNO and Creighton make the post season, is it against the rules to schedule them to play?  Like an Omaha Mega Bowl?


Some milestone notes:

  • Mike Rostampour is 10 rebounds away from tying Matt Hagerbaumer for most rebounds by a Mav since transition.
  • Devin Patterson is 1 assist away from his 100th career steal as a Maverick.
  • Marcus Tyus is 1 steal away from tying Caleb Steffensmeier for 3rd most steals by a Mav since transition.
  • In his last game, Tre’Shawn Thurman passed Marcus Tyus for 2nd most points by a freshman since transition.

 

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