February 15, 2011

Summit League Power Rankings - 02/15/2011

The Summit League season is quickly winding down, and teams are jockeying for position and spots from the top to the bottom. ESPN2's coverage of the final continues to look like more exciting instead appearing to be a predetermined conclusion. Every match up from day one to day four will be worth watching, even with rearranging of a couple teams. Let's check it out!

Weekend Scores

Thursday, February 12

@ SUU 70-49 CENT
@ SDST 81-70 IUPUI
ORU 102-81 @ UMKC
@ NDST 68-48 WIU

Saturday, February 14

IUPUI 76-72 @ NDST
@ OAK 86-78 IPFW
@ UMKC 91-58 CENT
@ SDST 82-61 WIU
ORU 71-69 @ SUU

Short week: Oakland & IPFW


Post-Weekend Rankings

Record Games Back
1) Oakland 13-1 N/A
2) IUPUI 10-4 3.0
3) ORU 10-5 3.5
4) IPFW 9-5 4.0
5) SDST 9-6 4.5
6) UMKC 8-6 5.0
7) NDST 7-8 6.5
8) SUU 4-10 9.0
9) WIU 2-12 11.0
10) CENT 0-15 13.5


Schedule If The Tournament Started Tomorrow

1 Oakland vs 8 Southern Utah
2 IUPUI vs 7 North Dakota State
3 Oral Roberts vs 6 UMKC
4 IPFW vs 5 South Dakota State

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Student On Sports Power Rankings

1) Oakland

While Oakland is still finding ways to win, they continue to walk on progressively thinner ice. Dating back to their near-loss at the hands of Oral Roberts on December 30, they've started to slip from "holy crap" to "well..." in the eyes of opponents. In the first round of League games they looked untouchable, but as the season progresses they continue to show weak spots, particularly without Keith Benson patrolling the glass. IPFW was one mishandled shot away from beating Oakland, and IUPUI absolutely romped on them the weekend previous. It will be interesting to see how North and South Dakota approach the Golden Grizzlies this week, particularly in the paint.

2) Oral Roberts

The Golden Eagles are the team that scares me the most right now. Right now, their starting five are playing the best of anyone, and they have an odd schedule due to BracketBusters, one that sets them up to be well rested and well prepared for IUPUI come February 24. Besides the Jaguars, ORU has Western Illinois and Centenary in League action, a perfect recipe for the two-seed.


What worries me about IUPUI is also what I love most: Their ability to go on 18-22 point runs, but also give up 16-20 point runs. After keeping it close against South Dakota State through the first half, they went an eternity without a basket while playing mediocre defense, allowing the Jacks to run away with the game. The converse happened at North Dakota State. IUPUI went up big to start, but let the Bison back in through the second half. If they play like they did over last weekend, they could be as good as a Sweet 16 team. If they give up an untimely run in the tournament though, they might be a one-and-done in Sioux Falls...

4) South Dakota State

I have no clue how this team lost to UMKC at home. Between Clint Sargent's three-point wizardry and Nate Wolter's ability to run the point like a future NBA player, they are poised to make a deep run into the Summit League tournament. The Jacks ran circles around IUPUI, but what's more interesting is their upcoming schedule. THey have to go to IPFW, Oakland, and North Dakota State still, which is going to test them perfectly before the tournament begins.


Though IPFW always seems to be in games late, the way they win isn't anything exactly frightening. That being said, HOW DO THEY KEEP WINNING?! They lack size inside, and while their guards are good, they aren't All-Summit League or anything. They swept Oral Roberts, played Oakland tough in three of four halves all season, but nearly lost to Centenary and got clobbered by IUPUI at Conseco.

T-5) North Dakota State

North Dakota State could be good for an upset in the first round of the tournament, but Michael Tveidt isn't enough to keep the Bison going into the semifinals. They have bad losses at Western Illinois and Southern Utah, and this week couldn't overcome a giant first half lead against IUPUI. They can still shake up the standings though, with games against Oakland, IPFW, and South Dakota State (whom they already beat once).


Much like IPFW, I couldn't tell you how the Kangaroos continue to win. They really only have about nine guys who are worth putting on the floor in anything short of a blowout, but even then only about four would be of the same quality across the Summit League. Jay Cousinard is one hell of a player, but much like Tveidt he can't be the only guy if they expect to win. They too have a tough schedule remaining, staring down IUPUI, Oakland, and IPFW, but they have the latter two at home. The loss to Oral Roberts hurt IUPUI's chances at securing the second seed, but they're not a team to take lightly.

8) Southern Utah

Southern Utah has consistently been almost good enough all season. They held tough with IUPUI but lost control on a 20-0 run. Ryan Brimley made a three-pointer basically on his back to pull the game within two against Oral Roberts, but the Golden Eagles held on. They face IPFW and Oakland at home on mirroring days that UMKC will, and still have a trip to IUPUI and Western Illinois. Winning of of those game should secure their spot at Sioux Falls.

9) Western Illinois

Western is hurting in a bad way. Just two League wins on the season (Centenary and North Dakota State), they have got to win two (or three if they lose to SUU) games against UMKC, Southern Utah, Centenary, and Oral Roberts. It's beginning to look more and more like Ceola Clark's injury did the Leathernecks in.

10) Centenary

Centenary may be eliminated from the tournament (4 games behind SUU with 3 games to play), but they can still cause all kinds of #PANIC (thanks, @brendanloy!) in the standings. The Gents will look for their first win of the season tonight against Oral Roberts, or in the coming games against Western Illinois and IUPUI. Beating IUPUI or ORU wouldn't just send the standings spinning out of control, but most likely the team they beat, too. Their most likely win should come against Western, but even that is a long shot.


Week 7 Schedule

Tuesday, February 15

Oral Roberts @ Centenary

Thursday, February 17

South Dakota State @ IPFW
Southern Utah @ IUPUI
UMKC @ Western Illinois
North Dakota State @ Oakland

Saturday, February 19

North Dakota State @ IPFW
South Dakota State @ Oakland
Pacific @ Oral Roberts
Southern Utah @ Western Illinois

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