SDST 80-64 @ IPFW
SUU 80-68 @ IUPUI
UMKC 66-61 @ WIU
@ OAK 71-69 NDST
@ IUPUI 84-69 UMKC
@ IPFW 73-61 NDST
@ OAK 105-96 SDST
@ ORU 79-63 (Pacific)
SUU 68-63 @ WIU
Short Week: Oral Roberts & Centenary
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Oakland needs to make sure they don't slip in the last two games of the regular season. They had a hard time dispatching the Dakotas, which doesn't bode well for the Grizz. They need to be sure to get the kinks out against UMKC and Southern Utah, two very likely upcoming Summit League Tournament opponents.
2) Oral Roberts
The showdown with IUPUI is going to be absolutely huge. ORU hasn't played anyone tough in a couple of weeks, and beating IUPUI would be a huge step in the right direction for Scott Sutton's club.
To get the second seed in the Summit League Tournament, IUPUI absolutely MUST beat ORU on Thursday. Traditionally, this has been extremely difficult task for the Jaguars, so completing this task would truly prove they've earned the second seed.
4) South Dakota State
South Dakota State has proven that, besides a few unfortunate blemishes, they are the real deal. With Nate Wolters growing more confident each game, they are due for a good stretch of games. The worst part for everyone else? The Jacks will be in their own backyard.
The only thing keeping IPFW afloat right now is their two wins over Oral Roberts. Without those, they'd be far worse off, as shown by their absolute beat down at the hands of South Dakota State. They are a good young team, but Dane Fife's magic dust is quickly running out. If the Dons aren't careful, they could slip below both UMKC and South Dakota State, potentially moving from the 4- to 6-seed.
The Roos showed their true colors this weekend, falling to IUPUI and struggling against WIU. I am curious to see how they can come together in South Dakota...or if they even have another gear to shift into. Beating IPFW this upcoming weekend would be huge for their morale, and potentially their tournament seed.
7) North Dakota State
Despite not beating Oakland or IPFW this weekend, Michael Tveidt and gang have shown they potentially can. While I doubt they could string together three consecutive wins against the top four teams, they absolutely have the potential to ruin someones tournament.
8) Southern Utah
If I were one of the T-Birds reserves, I would frame Thursday night's box score. Those kids played absolutely out of their minds, a feat they'd be hard pressed to repeat. Either way, good for them. They can still take over the seventh seed with wins over Oakland and IPFW (would move past North Dakota State on a tie-breaker), though I have to wonder if their season finale against Oakland will be more of a practice round before meeting them again a week later.
T-10) Western Illinois
Western is down for the count. Besides being only 3-20 against Division-1 teams (counting Centenary as a Division-3 team...), only one win over a D-1 team has come since the new calendar year began. If Centenary is going to get a win, it will be against the Leathernecks.
In all reality, they have one chance to win left. I would love nothing more than to see them beat Western Illinois, because desperation can lead teams to do crazy things...like win. (IUPUI is at Centenary in the season finale...)
Week 8 Schedule
Thursday, February 24
Western Illinois @ Centenary
IPFW @ Southern Utah
IUPUI @ Oral Roberts
Oakland @ UMKC
Friday, February 25
South Dakota State @ North Dakota State
Saturday, February 26
IUPUI @ Centenary
IPFW @ UMKC
Oakland @ Southern Utah
Western Illinois @ Oral Roberts
North Dakota State & South Dakota State