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UND (8-14, 3-7) vs Griz (17-5, 10-0) 2/3 4 PM

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UNDs start to the 2nd half of the conference season started much better than their first half as they pulled a squeaker of a victory over the Bobcats. Doesn't get any easier today however as the first place Griz come into down, wanting to keep their undefeated conference season going.

The Griz has been rolling through the competition this year.  With the big men to match their talented guards, its not hard to think that they will be the team to beat once Reno rolls around.  Its not hard to think however that they want a little bit more than to just win the league.  They have a pretty tough finish to the year and trips to Idaho and Weber left on the docket, but the odds of them finishing the season undefeated are starting to increase.

How UND can pull the upset:

1) Geno needs to play at his best:  The team overall needs to play well to have a chance, but Geno needs to carry this team over the finish line.  He needs to have a similar effort he had against Hawaii, Weber and UNC. 

2) Stay out of foul trouble: I fully expect the Griz to attack Avants and Jones at will.  They need to play very smart and not commit any silly fouls.  The more that those two can stay on the court, the better.  Geno and Marlon also need to be careful as well. 

3) Do all the little things:  Its not a big team, but basic fundamental for rebounding.  Get every loose ball, take charges, make the extra pass, I can go on and on and on. 

4) Bench needs to step up:  The starters can hold their own, but out of the bench who can step in and help out.  I'm looking at you Billy and Tray.

Other games:

ISU (5-4) @ SUU (2-8)

The Bengals finished their first half of the conference season with a surprising winning record.  They held off a desperate Lumberjack squad in Flagstaff and are looking for the road sweep with UNC and UND coming to town next weekend.  SUU continues to stay close but cannot get rewarded.  Still a tricky opponent to play down in Cedar City. 

MSU (5-5) @ UNC (5-5)

This becomes an important game for both squad, both sitting at .500 and are two back of the teams in the first round bye spots. A Bobcat win also gives them the tiebreaker over UNC should it come down to that.  Both teams are coming off of losses, although the Bobcat one was a bit more surprising that the Bear one.  Should be a great guard battle between Hall and Spreight.

EWU (7-3) @ PSU (3-6):  

The surprise of the conference season, EWU, finds themselves in one of vaunted first round bye positions and want to keep it that way. They had no problem handling the Hornets on Thursday, while the Vikings dropped a tough one against Idaho.  You want offense?  You got it in Portland.  PSU is still a dangerous team despite their conference record. Important for EWU to come away with the win with a showdown game in Moscow next week. 

Weber (7-2) @ NAU (1-9)

Weber finished their 1st half with a victory over the T-Birds.  It is not hard to be thinking what if right now if you are a Weber fan.  The loss against ISU at home is looming huge right now in their efforts to chase down the Griz.  They will have to hope that someone can trip them up so they can have a chance at the #1 seed.  They go down to Flagstaff to take on a Lumberjack team who is just looking to get better and finish the year out strong. 

Idaho (7-3) @ SAC (3-6)

The Vandals are 7-1 against teams not named Northern Colorado.  The different between having a legit shot at a 1 seed and batting for a 1st round bye.  They survived the game against the Vikings and now have a pesky Hornets squad to deal with in Sacramento.  They barely took them down in Moscow and with Strings on the court, the Hornets have as good as shot as any.  They can't be looking ahead to their big home matchup against EWU just yet. 

The call:

The Griz are heavy favorites coming into this one.  They are in very good shape to win the league as of now and it might be time to start thinking that they could potentially run the table in the regular season.  They have yet to play Idaho, EWU and Weber as those matchups happen later in the month.  The first matchup was an absolute disaster for UND as the Griz dominated from the word go.  It also didn't help that UND played by far its worst game of the season.  UND is a much better team at home (obvious statement I know) and the Griz have had some moments of vulnerability outside of Missoula. I think UND will play much better in this one and Geno will have another big game.  However, I think the Griz will escape with their record intact

Griz 84-79

Note:  This is the Samaritans Feet game where both coaching staff will coach barefoot.  UND will also be wearing special jerseys for the occasion (they will have orange in them with green trim around the orange and might I say they look pretty sharp)

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