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UND (11-3, 16-8) @ Weber (11-2, 16-8) 2/18 8 PM

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UND began their last road trip of the season last night with a 16 point win over ISU.  Only 6 players scored for UND but 5 of them were in double figures as Geno, Drick, Q, Baldwin and Seales all had solid nights.  Now its on to the rematch.  First place is on the line when UND travels down the Weber.

Its really simple: The winner of this game is more than likely going to go into Reno as the number 1 seed.  Either UND is going to leave with a 1/2 game lead and the head-to-head tiebreaker over Weber, or Weber is going to have a 1.5 game lead.  I don't see UND losing again if they beat Weber and I don't see Weber losing 3 out of 4 the rest of the way if they beat UND. 

In the 6 point win at home, it was a two man show for UND with Geno and Q piling in 53 out of UND's 83 points.  The difference in the past month for UND has been the emergence of Seales off the bench, who has averages of 11.4 points and 5.4 rebounds off the bench in his last 7 games.  One promising trend for Weber has been the play of their big guy Braxton, who in his last 4 games is nearly averaging a double-double with 16.3 ppg and 9.8 rpg.  Both teams have had some evolution since the previous matchup but the key will once again be the stars of Q and Senglin, which this game could also decide who gets the Big Sky POY at the end of the year.

This is the 12th meeting in Big Sky play between the two teams.  UND is 2-9 all time and 0-3 in Weber.

UND has a chance to match their total wins from last year and the most Big Sky wins they ever had since moving to the conference.

Other Games:

Idaho (8-5) @ EWU (9-4) *Tonight

Critical clash between 3rd and 4th ranked teams in the conference.  EWU with a chance to gain the tiebreaker and have a 2 game lead for the all important 3rd seed.  Idaho needs to steal one on the road to make things interesting down the stretch (and avoid the MSU/Montana/SAC mess for the final bye) with Weber and ISU visiting next week for both squads.

Sac (7-6) @ MSU (8-6)

In the previous thread, I stated that this was an opportunity for Sac State to get back in the race for the final bye.  Well sweeping the Griz and being a half game back is a great start.  Now they need to avoid what happened last time and take care of business in Bozeman, where MSU got an OT victory over PSU last night.  With the Hornets remaining schedule, if they can swipe this one on the road (with their toughest game left in Grand Forks), Sac State would be in the driver seat for the last spot.  MSU has a chance to gain a critical tiebreak with a sweep of Sac State.  Bobcats next two games will go a long way to determining if they are going to get that last bye of not (they host the GrIz next week).

PSU (5-8) @ Montana (8-6)

This is strange to state but this is a must win at home for the Griz after shockingly dropping one against Sac State last night.  Portland had a tough loss in OT in Bozeman.  The Viks are fading down the stretch as playing on day 1 is more and more likely unless they win out and get lots of help. Griz on the other hand need this one to keep pace with whoever comes out of the Sac State/MSU game as the winner.  With their last 3 on the road against MSU/Weber/and ISU. They need this win or playing day 1 in Reno is a big possibility. 

UNC (4-10) @ ISU (3-10).  ISU lost once again to UND and UNC nearly pulled off the upset at Weber. Its been bad news for UNC this week as not only were they denied possible their defining win in a trying year but the full extend of the NCAA investigation was revealed.  UNC could be in serious hot water for the next few years.  Have 4 games left in their season and looking to play any team tough down the stretch.  ISU just needs to start piling up wins to position themselves better for day 1 in Reno

SUU (2-11) @ NAU (4-9)

Travel partner matchup with actually some implications. SUU has a chance to sweep a season series and potentially be tied with ISU and NAU trying to perhaps pass PSU for the 8th spot.  Both teams are playing day 1 in Reno but they both can start the preparations. 

Results that will help UND for seeding purposes:

-EWU over Idaho

-PSU over Griz

The call:

This is without question the biggest game in UND's brief history in the Big Sky (yes, even bigger than the BSC title game in 2014).  UND is going to need a similar effort put out against Idaho last weekend to pull this one off. It is imperative that UND gets off to good starts in halves and finishes strong.  The first and last 5 of halves will be critical.  Weber should still be favored in this despite their less than impressive win against UNC and Senglin's struggles.  This game will once again come down to one person: Geno Crandall.  If he plays like he did against Weber in Grand Forks UND is coming out with a win.  If he throws up a clunker, Weber is going to hold serve at home.  Sometimes you just have a feeling about a team when it is their time.... I think its finally UNDs time. Q and Geno bring home UNDs biggest Big Sky win ever and heads back home in 1st place.

UND 81-77

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"This is without question the biggest game in UND's brief history in the Big Sky (yes, even bigger than the BSC title game in 2014).  UND is going to need a similar effort put out against Idaho last weekend to pull this one off. It is imperative that UND gets off to good starts in halves and finishes strong.  The first and last 5 of halves will be critical.  Weber should still be favored in this despite their less than impressive win against UNC and Senglin's struggles.  This game will once again come down to one person: Geno Crandall.  If he plays like he did against Weber in Grand Forks UND is coming out with a win.  If he throws up a clunker, Weber is going to hold serve at home.  Sometimes you just have a feeling about a team when it is their time.... I think its finally UNDs time. Q and Geno bring home UNDs biggest Big Sky win ever and heads back home in 1st place."

Well if that's the case, I'm glad that I will be in attendance tomorrow night, and that I was at the 2014 BSC title game. Hopefully though, the most important Big Sky game will be the final this year that finally propels the team to the dance (I hope to be in attendance for that one as well).

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This weekends game against Weber is huge.  If we win, we have a half game lead on the conference and the tiebreak.  Looking at both UND's and Weber's schedule, I definitely think it favors UND down the stretch.  After Weber, UND will have games @UNC and Sac St. and Portland St at home.  Those teams are currently in 10th, 7th, and 8th respectively in the conference.  Weber will be @EWU, @idaho, and Montana and Mt St. at home.  Those teams are currently 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th respectively in the conference.  I really think that UND can win its last 3 game, especially since 2 are at home.  Weber finishes the season playing the 5 of the top 6 teams in the conference.  Sure they are currently 1, but that is still a brutal stretch.  Saturdays game is huge!!

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Weber will probably be a 6 point pick,  UND will be a very small 0-2 point pick at UNC. Sac st is playing well now...They beat Weber and beat Montana twice, Portland St. Crushed UND and 4 of their losses were in OT....No cupcake games left for UND

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2 wins in last 4 games locks up a top 3 finish for UND which gets them a preferred bye slot for the BSC tourney....This is a solid advantage... Hope that EW wins tonight that would make it really tough for Idaho to finish ahead of UND.

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3 hours ago, hoops44 said:

2 wins in last 4 games locks up a top 3 finish for UND which gets them a preferred bye slot for the BSC tourney....This is a solid advantage... Hope that EW wins tonight that would make it really tough for Idaho to finish ahead of UND.

Fours win gets #1 seed and NIT bid.  :)

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