A little better last week, but damn it this league is hard.
North Dakota State @ Oral Roberts on ESPN3
The Bison really had no answer for Albert Owens in Fargo as he went off for 28 points and 9 rebounds for the losing Golden Eagles. The Bison have lost their last 2 road games, and this will be Oral Roberts’ Mega Bowl as they are only playing for a good show and to send their seniors out the right way on their last game.
Omaha @ Denver
Denver shot 64 percent the last time these two teams played, and still lost. The Mavericks were able to pick up a win in Denver last season, but with 29 points from Jake White as the rest of the team struggled a bit.
Okay, I might be trying to reverse jinx the Mavericks here.
It costs $9.95 to view this game on the Pioneers’ website. I really don’t want to give them my money, but I might.
Fort Wayne @ IUPUI on ESPN3
Fort Wayne defeated the Jaguars by 30 a month ago. IUPUI had 20 turnovers in that game, and it’s probably a bad idea to give the fast paced team like Fort Wayne the ball 20 times at home.
The Jaguars will not turn the ball over that much at home, but their offense is not good enough, even against a sub par defense like Fort Wayne’s, to put up enough points to make up the difference against the Mastodons. I say that, and remember at one time Western Illinois once outscored Fort Wayne.
South Dakota @ Western Illinois on ESPN3
Western Illinois’ defense is capable of frustrating South Dakota, but South Dakota’s defense is also capable of frustrating the non-existent offense of Western Illinois.
South Dakota was without Tyler Flack and were able to beat Western Illinois in Vermillion. The Leathernecks’ post players are not very well built to stop a player like Flack.
Denver @ South Dakota State on ESPN3
After a 51 point and 15 rebound performance against a fast paced offensive Fort Wayne, Mike Daum gets a week of rest to play a fast paced offensive Denver.
Maybe this is Mike Daum’s last game in Brookings? Maybe not. Either way, good luck Denver.
South Dakota @ IUPUI on ESPN3
The Jaguars are completely unpredictable, who knows what they’ll do. They lost in Vermillion when the Coyotes were playing without Tyler Flack. The Jaguars will need to knock down threes against the South Dakota defense, but the match up of the day could come down to Tyler Flack versus Matt O’Leary.
North Dakota State @ Omaha
The Mavericks have shown that they are a tough team to beat when they come out with a high energy level, and they should definitely be playing with some energy on senior night for Marcus Tyus and Tra-Deon Hollins…and Kyler Erickson.
Are the Mavericks going to get a medical hardship for Erickson and make him a 7 year senior next season?
The game between these two last season in Omaha was one of the better games Maverick fans have seen at Baxter Arena or Ralston Arena. The energy for both teams was high. The Bison had to figure out how to play without AJ Jacobson, who was in foul trouble. Jake White had to sit a little bit with some foul trouble, but came back into the game and made huge shot after huge shot. The Bison were also without Paul Miller in that game, and he is capable of hitting big shots against the Mavericks defense. Hollins, Tyus, Zach Jackson, and Daniel Norl will need to play big defensive minutes and slow him down.
The Bison are also not the greatest team on the road. They have lost their last 3 of 4 on the road with the one win at Western Illinois.
Fort Wayne @ Western Illinois on ESPN3
Okay, so my take on their previous match up couldn’t have been more wrong as I just wrote:
Western Illinois somehow won that game.
Western Illinois was in a zone in that stretch of the season where they were hitting threes with consistency and putting up points. Other than a 91 point performance in a double overtime game last week, the Leathernecks have struggled to score over the last month and a half.
Garret Covington and Mike Miklusak could go off against the poor defense of Fort Wayne. That could be enough to top the Mastodons, maybe.
This could potentially be Billy Wright’s last game with Western Illinois. Maybe the Leathernecks will want to see what he can do next season with a core of Brandon Gilbeck, Dalan Ancrum, and CJ Duff. I don’t really know though, Western Illinois appears to care the least about athletics in the league. He’s only been at Western Illinois for 3 seasons, but the Leathernecks have still yet to earn 20 wins over D1 teams.