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UND (10-17, 5-10) vs UNC (18-10, 9-6) 2/24 3 PM

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It wasn't pretty, and lets be honest it was downright ugly at times.  However, UND got the results they wanted, which was two wins at home.  They only play once this weekend against Northern Colorado and not only will be the final home game of the regular season, but will be the final home game in the Big Sky Conference.

These games as been historically close and the first matchup was no different.  A half-court shot at the buzzer was the difference in the game between the two teams and did send UND in a bit of a tailspin.  With the rematch upcoming, should we expect anything different?

Honoring the Senior: Dale Jones

On Saturday, UND will honor the only senior on the team.  The Grad Transfer from Iowa provided a punch from the post and another individual that could stretch the floor (and it was nice to see a big make free throws).  He provided production from a position of need.  His career was defined by several injuries but he stayed healthy (minus 1 game) and he can leave with the understanding that his career will end on a good note. 

Road to Reno Storylines:

1) The race for the top seed is heating up:  The weekend was the first test for the Griz, and they failed.  Not only did they get swept by Idaho/EWU, they won both of their games and Weber won their two.  So instead of a easy road to a one seed, there is a now a three team race for the top seed.  Montana is still favored with all three games at home.  Weber and Idaho will clash on Saturday for a critical tiebreaker for the 2nd seed.  Montana also will clash with Weber in the final weekend

2) Who will get the final first round bye

Minus a dramatic collapse of Weber or Idaho state, the first three byes are set for Reno.  EWU and UNC are in a fierce battle for the final bye.  The schedule heavily favors EWU in the final weekend (home against SUU/NAU) but this weekend favors UNC (road trip to UND). ISU,PSU, and MSU still have realistic chances, but they would probably need to win out and get some big help. 

3) What has happened to MSU?

If you want the most disappointing team of the year?  Look right in Bozeman.  Started off 4-0 in conference play and now are 2-9 since then.  With all the expectations coming it, they have struggled to live up to them and will be a Day 1 Reno team once again. They are still dangerous and can make a run... but they also look like a team that could lose in Day 1. 

The call:

UNC is still playing for a lot, as they have a chance at a first round bye.  UND is playing for position for Day 1 Reno, where they could still climb as high as a 6 seed if things broke right.  This will be another nail biter and high scoring affair.  It will be another great battle of the guards between Spright/Davis and Geno/Stewart.  Being that this is the final BSC home game and UND is looking to build momentum towards Reno, I think they will play the role of spoiler and get a bit of revenge against the Bears

UND 88-84

Predicted Standings after Saturday

Griz 14-2

Weber 14-2

Idaho 12-4

EWU 10-6

UNC 9-7

PSU 8-8

ISU 7-9

UND 6-10

MSU 6-10

SUU 5-11

SAC 3-13

NAU 1-15

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UNC 45

UND 34

Half

Still within striking distance, but need to slow down UNCs offense, who is shooting at a 62% pace.  UND is at 48% with 0 made threes

Avants paces all scorers with 12 points.

 

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