I went 4-4 last week, and I have the confidence to go 2-6 this week.
If you’re wondering about my resume for predictions; I finished in the top 5% of ESPN brackets last season, so I’m kind of cool. The worst my bracket has ever done was when I picked Kansas to win the whole thing and Northern Iowa’s Ali Farokhmanesh hit a game winning shot to upset the Jayhawks. Farokmanesh jogs on the same jogging path as me, and I have yet to scream at him, so I also have that going for me.
South Dakota State (8-2) @ Omaha (7-4) on ESPN3
Badly want Omaha to be wrong on this game, it would be the biggest win they’ve had since transitioning to division one, but it is a really big challenge and Omaha would have to play nearly perfect. The Omaha team we saw against Denver was far from perfect, and almost lost that game completely on fundamentals. Omaha cannot win if Devin Patterson is 2-of-9, Jake White and Tre’Shawn Thurman are in foul trouble, and Randy Reed & Tim Smallwood are both hurt.
But hey, if Creighton can beat the # 5 team in the country on Tuesday, why can’t Omaha beat the # 45th-ish team in the country at home on Wednesday?
As much as South Dakota State has embarrassed Omaha since the transition, the Jacks are only a 3 point favorite tonight.
IUPUI (7-4) @ Oral Roberts (3-8) on ESPN3
Obi Emegano only played 20 minutes in their first meeting and ended up fouling out, and hearing that would make you think IUPUI won the game. The Jaguars were out rebounded by 12 and gave up 10 threes, though. The Golden Eagles are on a 5 game losing streak and do not appear to have any momentum going their way, but IUPUI also dropped their last 2 games. Oral Roberts had guys step up, who normally don’t step up to beat IUPUI, can they really do that again?
Look, I just think IUPUI is an all around better team. Do you want to fight about it?
North Dakota State (6-4) @ South Dakota (3-8)
North Dakota State narrowly beat the Coyotes in Fargo last month, and Coyotes are a bad match up for the Bison…especially if Paul Miller won’t be playing for NDSU. The Coyotes are going to force teams to shoot threes, and although they have the worst defensive three point field goal percentage in the Summit, the Bison do not have a lot of guys that can consistently hit threes outside of Miller and AJ Jacobson.
Something I would like to randomly point out about Omaha: The Mavericks are no longer last in three point field goal percentage in conference games. They are 7th above South Dakota and Western Illinois thanks to Omaha shooting 41% on threes over the last three games.
Yeah, I think North Dakota State is a better overall team. I don’t want to fight about it.
Western Illinois (1-9) @ Denver (5-6)
Western Illinois still has some fight in them, but the Denver players are really getting the hang of their system. Western Illinois has yet to beat Denver since the Pioneers joined the Summit, and they have lost by an average of 11 points.
North Dakota State (6-4) @ Omaha (7-4)
A sweep of the Bison? You homer, you!
Paul Miller missed NDSU’s last game with a knee injury, even if he plays, can he be nearly as dangerous on a bum knee? The Bison will struggle to score without Miller.
Of course I say that the Bison will struggle without Miller like a complete jerk, after NDSU just beat IPFW by 16 in Fargo. The ‘Dons were playing that game with basically 6 players, more evidence to stick out there that IPFW is the least equipped team, of the top 4 or 5 teams in the League, to play 3 games in the Summit League tournament.
South Dakota (3-8) @ South Dakota State (8-2) on ESPN3
The Coyotes have still yet to win in Brookings since both schools joined the Summit League, and South Dakota has lost in Brookings by an average of 18 points.
Denver (5-6) @ IPFW (8-3)
IPFW only beat Denver by one in Denver. IPFW should actually not be heavily favored in this game, Denver won 2 upsets last week by a total of 5 points. This game could be another big game for Max Landis, and the Denver slow pace could be really good for him to have an efficient game.
Western Illinois (1-9) @ Oral Roberts (3-6) on ESPN3
Got to say, I don’t feel that confident in Oral Roberts here. The inconsistency of both of these teams is incredibly scary to really make a call. I am still going with I just can’t see Obi Emegano letting Oral Roberts lose to his former school.
Maybe the Leathernecks can win again if they barely play JC Fuller like they did against Omaha. The kid has an awful shot selection, and Billy Wright decided to play De’Angelo Bruster a bulk of the minutes. Bruster did not make any shots, but he only took 3, and he got his teammates involved and made some really good decisions on the court as a freshman.