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  1. UND went down the Omaha and put up a good fight for about 30 minutes and then it all went south from there. UND returns back to the friendly confines of the Betty to take on the arch-rival Bison in the first of two match-ups this year Since the two teams have resumed playing each other in 2010, before last year, there wasn't many moments of drama. Last year flipped the script a little. Both teams came away with wins on each others home court. We had Geno driving NDSU fan insane with his trash talk and the scuffle at the end of the game in Grand Forks leads me to wonder what will happen in the two matchups this year. Make no mistake about it, there is a bit more interest in these matchups. UND leads the all time series 160-33, including holding a 96-44 advantage at home. Looking at the D-1 matchups however, NDSU holds the advantage at 5-3, with the teams splitting the matchups in Grand Forks. NDSU is riding a 2 game winning streak in Grand Forks and would love nothing more to make it 3 in a row. Dave Richman also hold a 3-1 record in the matchups against Brian Jones. This NDSU squad is coming in with a 3 game losing streak. They have a decent victory down in Springfield against Missouri State, but dropped the return game at home. They have some talented pieces as usual and was picked 3rd in the Summit. They would love to get back to the dance, but the road will go through Brookings. The future is quite bright for this team however, they appear to the classic 1 year away team. NDSU so far has been paced by a grizzled senior but they also are paced by a few young guns as well. Paul Miller has been steady-eddy for them all year, scoring double figures in all but one of his games. Was held scoreless in the game in Fargo last year, but went off for 22 in the game in GF. Sophomore Tyson Ward is another 6'6 guard that has really blossomed this year. Freshman Cameron Hunter has given them another guard that can pack a scoring punch. AJ Jacobson is having a bit of a down year numbers wise, but is another dangerous player who has been there and done that. Keys to the game: 1) UND vs NDSU bench Both teams have strong starting units, but it will be interesting to see who wins the battle of the benches. NDSU seems to have a bit of a stronger bench than UND, which is something that UND needs to change 2) Geno vs Paul Both players have had strong games and will be looked upon to deliver once again. If the bench falters, they might have to take on more responsibility. Geno will be fired up for this one, can be play with controlled aggression? Whoever star can pull that off will come away with the victory. 3) X factors: Avants vs Geu/Eliason This to me will be an underrated matchup in the post. Avants has made another step forward in his play, while Geu and Elaison have been steady. Typically NDSU has had the edge in the post matchup, but this one leans more towards UND in this one. The call: As usual, you can throw out the record book when these two teams clash. UND would love nothing more than the get a victory on the home court and snap this two game skid at home against the Bison. Expect a early feeling out period before the two teams get going. To me this come down to which Geno will show up. If he is locked in, UND is going to win. If not, NDSU is going to make it three in a row. With the pending move next year in the Summit, this series will continue to build in importance. Right now, I think UND will do just enough to come away with the victory. With Geno and Avants leading the way. Own the Farm UND 74-69 *Disclaimer: While smack talk is all well and good, do you best to keep it civil and keep it basketball related.
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