Happy Valentine’s Day, or Happy Not Caring What Today Is Day, whichever you want to call it. We’re in the second half of the Summit League schedule, and nearing toward Summit League tournament positioning, so things are going to get pretty interesting as teams are looking for a little revenge over the teams that beat them.
Western Illinois @ Fort Wayne
I got it right when Western Illinois won at Fort Wayne in January, and that is pretty big because when picking Western Illinois to win, I am right 5% of the time.
Western Illinois hasn’t won during the week of Valentine’s Day since 2013.
John Konchar really struggled against the Leathernecks last month, but he has been improving as the conference season has been going on. Perhaps, the length of Brandon Gilbeck bothered him, but Konchar will be able to figure it out at home against the Leathernecks.
South Dakota @ Oral Roberts
With an overtime win against North Dakota State and a 10 point loss against South Dakota State, the Golden Eagles appear to be bouncing back from their struggles.
The Coyotes are 4-1 on the road this season in the Summit League, and they’re a roster filled with competitive defensive players. Competitive defensive players that are all currently in “playoff mode” trying to earn that top spot in the Summit League tournament and an automatic NIT bid.
Omaha @ Denver
Denver will be seeking revenge after their double-overtime loss in Baxter Arena. It was a game that anyone could have won, but the Mavericks just happened to escape with the win. A game that showed their post players being just plain afraid of Matt Pile.
Also, how freaking great was that play at the end of regulation to get Daniel Norl that three point shot? That play almost never works out, but the Mavericks executed it perfectly. Really makes you feel like maybe they would have won the Summit League Tournament last season if they had a timeout near the end of the game to set up a play.
Either way, here we are now. We’re in the revenge part of the season. Daniel Amigo is back in the starting lineup for the Pioneers, and you could see how he felt frustrated with the referees and especially Matt Pile in Omaha. Now, both players will be in the starting lineup, and Amigo will be looking to go right at the freshman. If the Pioneers get off to a hot start at home, it should be difficult for the Mavericks to play catch up.
Western Illinois @ South Dakota State
I’m getting super good at making home made burritos. I’ll use some bison, or some ground turkey with taco seasoning…then I’ll spread some avocado on the wrap, a little ranch, corn, almond cheese, and sometimes I’ll throw in some red or yellow peppers. I’ll try and get some brown rice and black beans involved, when I can. It’s pretty incredible.
Fort Wayne @ North Dakota State on ESPN3
Who even knows what’s going on with these two teams? North Dakota State squandered a big lead the last time these two teams played, and I thought that was Fort Wayne’s specialty.
This is the last home game for North Dakota State’s AJ Jacobson and Paul Miller, and even though Paul Miller may not even play, we’re taking the home team in a situation like this.
Omaha @ South Dakota on ESPN3
With their defense, and mixture of personnel issues, the Coyotes should be able to pick up an easy win against the Mavericks.
It’s nice that Mitch Hahn came back with 21 points against Fort Wayne, but there are too many IFs for the Mavericks to pick up an upset in Vermillion. They can win if Mitch Hahn plays like vintage Mitch Hahn. They can win if Renard Suggs and/or Ayo Akinwole give some meaningful minutes off the bench. They can win if KJ Robinson can score efficiently. They can win if Matt Pile comes plays like he did in the first half of the season.