FORT WAYNE, In. — We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. College basketball is a 40-minute game.
Often in college basketball, games are a tale of two halves, One team holds a sizable lead after the opening half, only to see their lead disappear in the second frame. While one can’t help but feel for the team who sees their lead evaporate, it does provide exciting basketball.
On Wednesday night up in Fort Wayne, that’s exactly what happened.
When the Ball State Cardinals took on the Fort Wayne Mastodons in the opening round of the CIT, which was also the inaugural Lou Henson Classic, it was a tale of two halves for both teams.
After the first 20 minutes, the visiting Cardinals held a seven-point lead over the Mastodons, at 41-34. In the second frame, the balanced offensive attack of Fort Wayne took over, and the home side stormed back to continue their winning ways at home.
On the flip side, some smaller programs are still awaiting their first spot in the magical field of 68.
Advancing to the NCAA Tournament is always tougher for smaller programs. In most cases, non-power conferences are only represented by their respective conference champions. Outside of the Missouri Valley Conference and the West Coast Conference, it’s very rare to see to see multiple teams from the same small conference in the field of 68.
CALGARY, Alta. — His nickname is ‘The Dauminator’, and for good reason.
Mike Daum is undoubtedly one of the best players in all of college basketball, and he’s only in his second season with the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. The nickname fits right into his last name, and he dominates each time he steps foot onto the hardwood.
Ever since his first game as a freshman last year, Daum has been a household name among those in the Summit League. Slowly but surely, he has become a household name on a national level.
This past week was another example of just how dominate the 6’9” sophomore can be. The Jackrabbits came into the week riding a two-game losing streak, but thanks to Daum’s strong play, they got back on the right track.
Over the two wins for South Dakota State, Daum was at the forefront of the offensive attack. He set a season-high mark for the entire NCAA in Saturday’s contest, and has inched ever so close to etching his name into the record books with the Jackrabbits.
CALGARY, Alta. — If you thought that the South Dakota Coyotes would be in second place in the Summit League standings in mid-February, you must be rejoicing right now.
Coming into the season, the Coyotes were underrated by many, including those in their own conference. They were ranked seventh in the preseason Summit League polls, and did not have a player listed on the All-Summit League teams.
Predictions are just that, predictions of what people think will happen. The Coyotes are out proving people wrong with each passing game, and look like a top threat in the conference race.
This past week, South Dakota extended their winning streak to three games with a pair of wins over two top contenders for the Summit League crown.
A big reason for the Coyotes’ strong play as of late has been the individual play of senior big man Tyler Flack. After returning to the lineup on January 28th against the Denver Pioneers, Flack has scored in double-figures in all five games.
His strong play continued this past week, as he was highly effective from the floor in leading the Coyotes to two big wins to keep pace atop the standings.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The slogan read, “New Opportunity. Same North Dakota.”
On Thursday morning, the North Dakota Fighting Hawks made a big announcement that affected the future of athletics for the better. After being members of the Big Sky Conference, the Fighting Hawks are on the move.
North Dakota will become members of the Summit League at the start of the 2018-19 academic year, and the Missouri Valley Football Conference at the start of the 2020-21 academic year.
University of North Dakota President Mark Kennedy and Athletics Director Brian Faison announced the decision at a press conference on Thursday.
OMAHA, Neb. — Wednesday night was a big night in Omaha for the host Omaha Mavericks.
Taking on the Denver Pioneers in Summit League action, the Mavericks were looking to extend their winning streak to four games, and move above .500 in Summit League play.
On the flip side, the Pioneers were looking to extend their own winning streak to three games. Unfortunately, only one team would continue their winning ways, and the odds were in favour of the home side.