We should have expected some intense match ups in the 2nd round of the conference tournament, but there is an in-state battle, and both match ups had teams split their season series.
Neither of these games are easily predictable.
For me, it’s also difficult because I did not get to really watch the Saturday night games. I was babysitting my 5 year old niece and she was more interested in watching the Secret Life of Pets and not what I wanted to watch. How rude?
I did watch some of the South Dakota versus Western Illinois game on my tablet, but couldn’t give it my undivided attention. Was trying to not be a terrible uncle.
South Dakota versus South Dakota State
Monday night tournament game with a trip to the conference championship on the line between the two teams in the conference from the state of South Dakota. So you guys think the arena will sold out?
The two regular season games between these two teams showed that these teams do match up well together. Their best players match up at the same positions, and their benches are relatively the same as well.
The first game was won on a last second shot by the all powerful Mike Daum. The second game saw South Dakota win after almost giving up a big lead, but the Coyotes battled through it to hold on for a 2 point win.
The difference in this game could come down to two key match ups between Mike Daum and Tyler Flack, and also Reed Tellinghuisen and Matt Mooney.
Mike Daum is going to score the ball no matter what teams do. It’s like watching Robocop take down a biker gang at a gas station. There are times where he almost does not seem guard-able. He can score from anywhere on the court, and at 6’9″ he can get his fade away jump shot over anyone. Tyler Flack is one of the few that can actually guard him. In Vermillion, Flack got his chest right into Daum and made him struggle to get into the paint. If Flack gets caught in foul trouble, the two back up centers for the Coyotes, Tyler Hagedorn and Dan Jech, cannot guard Daum in big minutes.
Mooney has proven he is one of the toughest players on the court in the Summit League. He hits key shots, makes smart plays, and bothers opposing guards on defense. Tellinghuisen has struggled at times of the season and been an inconsistent player all year. He was on fire for most of the game between these two in Vermillion, but struggled to hit key shots down the stretch. Tellinghuisen is also not the greatest defender in the league, so he will have to come up big against Mooney. I say this, not knowing what defensive plan TJ Otzelberger will go with this game as he has been up and down with this all year.
Omaha versus IUPUI
I don’t even want to talk about IUPUI. I’m so done with IUPUI. They are like the more inconsistent version of the inconsistent Mavericks.
The Mavericks had one of their signature dry spells late in the first half going into the part of the second half and ended up finding themselves down 11.
Tre’Shawn Thurman and Tra-Deon Hollins were incredible in that second half. Both of them were making huge plays for the Mavericks and were hustling their asses off. When the Mavericks needed energy, they brought the Kyler Erickson energy to will the Mavericks to the win. That three that rattled in late at the end of the game by Daniel Norl was seriously one of the biggest shots in the history of the Mavericks.
Still, there are things that need fixed. The Mastodons missed three wide open threes in the last minute of that game, and the ‘Dons made the right plays to get those open shots. When Hollins slipped on the floor giving John Konchar the wide open look, the only thing I could think was that this was my hell.
The biggest fear I would have for the Mavericks is their emotional level and mindset now. Getting past the first round was a huge goal of theirs, and you could see the emotion in the players and Derrin Hansen’s eyes after finally earning the win. The ‘Dons had been in their heads, and to get a win against them in that situation was a highly emotional moment for all of the Mavericks.
Now, let’s see if they can continue with the momentum and pick up another win.
Luckily, the Mavericks may find more inspiration than just getting past a team. Their loss to IUPUI in Baxter Arena was an embarrassing loss. The Mavericks could never quite get into the game after starting the game down 11, and it was all on them. Omaha made bad plays, turned the ball over with IUPUI not even really playing defense, and were just outplayed in energy.
The Mavericks know how important a big start is against the Jaguars this time around, hopefully the moment can energize them to give them the edge they never found when they lost at home to IUPUI.