Summit League predictions: Feb 25-27

Okay, it’s the last week for the regular season and I went 6-2 last week with this crap.  There is a still a little bit to figure out in the standings to see who can finishes 3 to 7, and who can get a guaranteed trip to the NIT between IPFW and South Dakota State.

February 25th

South Dakota (4-10) @ IUPUI (8-6) on ESPN3

I would love for South Dakota to win this game, it would help the Mavericks out a little bit; but I doubt it will happen.  The Jaguars won by 11 in Vermillion, and they match up to play big against South Dakota.  Darell Combs needs to knock down threes in order for the Jaguars to really walk away big from this game, as he is really the team’s only healthy consistent three point shooter.  The Coyotes may just fall into Not Play Mode to rest up their players a little in prep to play in the Summit League tournament.

North Dakota State (8-6) @ South Dakota State (10-4) on ESPN3

North Dakota State embarrassed the Jackrabbits in Fargo and forced them to only shoot 29% from the field.  The Jackrabbits have been solid in revenge games this season, and the Bison could still be without their leading scorer, Paul Miller.  The Jackrabbits are 10-0 at home this season, and have lost very few home games in the last 4 years with Jake Bittle in the lineup.

Oral Roberts (6-8) @ Omaha (9-6)

It will be senior night for Omaha, so hopefully Omaha will come out with a lot to play for.  There is a lot on the line in terms of standings for this game.  There will be no chance for Omaha to reach top 3 in the conference if they lose, and a loss could push them all the way down to 5th in the standings.  Omaha has responded well in games like this: like North Dakota State and South Dakota State.

Omaha creates the most turnovers in the Summit League, and Oral Roberts has been one of the worst ball handling teams in 2016; so Omaha should be able to get out in transition.  Oral Roberts’ post players, Brandon Conley and Albert Owens, will not like the match ups against the Mavericks against Randy Reed, Tre’Shawn Thurman, and Jake White.  Neither Conley or Owens are quick enough to guard Randy Reed, neither of them create a bunch of fouls to put Jake White on the bench, and Conley has had to battle injuries all year.

This is also Jalen Bradley’s return to Omaha.  His crossover to his left side step into a baseline jumper move should make you cry that the Mavericks didn’t have it last season.  Oral Roberts is on a 3 game winning streak and Omaha just dropped two straight games, but Oral Roberts has not been a great road team…but they did pick up wins at IUPUI and Western Illinois: 2 places that the Mavericks could not win.

Oral Roberts has an extra couple days of rest, which is great, because it seems like Omaha always gets the team that only had one game in the previous week.  Just great.  The Mavericks only have one game this week, so hopefully they can get some rest to get ready for the Summit League tournament…it really seems like some of the starters need that rest.

IPFW (11-3) @ Western Illinois (2-12) on ESPN3

This game might be worth the replay to hear how many things the ESPN3 Western Illinois commentators get wrong about the Mastodons.

February 27th

IPFW (11-3) @ IUPUI (8-6) on ESPN3

These two teams are actually pretty well matched up.  IUPUI won their first match up in Fort Wayne on a last second shot.  This game could be a really important for IUPUI in where they will finish in the standings.  IPFW is guaranteed to be in the top 2 spots, but a guaranteed trip to NIT would be nice for the Mastodons.

Oral Roberts (6-8) @ South Dakota State (10-4) on ESPN3

Senior Day/Night for George Marshall, Deondre Parks, and Jake Bittle should be big time for the Jackrabbits.  Aside from those dudes being juiced up, Albert Owens should be too slow to guard Mike Daum.  This game might break a record for how many head shakes a head coach (Scott Sutton) and a team captain (Obi Emegano) give to their own teammates mistakes.

North Dakota State (8-6) @ Denver (6-9)

All year I really liked North Dakota State in this game, especially after North Dakota State won the first game by 26; but North Dakota State has lost a lot of steam since that game and they may still be without their leading scorer in this game.  Denver’s Marcus Byrd has averaged 18.6 points per game in the last 5 games.  A Denver Pioneer has averaged 18.6 points per game over a 5 game period…

Denver has some extra rest for this game as North Dakota State will be coming down after a game against South Dakota State.

South Dakota (4-10) @ Western Illinois (2-12) on ESPN3

Okay, this might be the worst thing that ESPN3 has ever hosted.  Both teams should a “Ahh F it” attitude.  This should be really good.  I hope they just take out the commentary and just play circus music throughout the entire game.

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