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#6 UND (13-17) vs #3 USD (20-11) 3/8 830 Summit League Quarterfinals

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The Regular Season has come to a close and now the 2nd season has started.  UND starts off their quest for the Summit League Crown in a first round matchup against South Dakota.

It was a tough finish for USD, but they still managed to end up as a top 3 seed.  However, that will make the path a little more difficult for the Yotes.  The good news:  They have the talent in the starting 5 to overcome and perhaps given the situation with Wilson, makes a potential SDSU semi-final matchup more manageable.  The Bad News:  The bench is going to be an issue and playing 3 games in 3 days might be taxing if they make a run.  However, they have to get past UND, who has a guard that can carry them if he goes off.  While the Yotes did not end up with the regular season crown, they can make up for it by being the ones cutting the nets down in Sioux Falls and going to the NCAA Tournament.

Key Player: Tyler Hagedorn 

The 6'10 Senior from Nebraska is looking to cap off his solid USD career with a title.  He has had a solid senior year coming off of injury and has put up career best in scoring, 3 point shooting, and rebounding.  He definitely deserved his spot on the 1st team All-Summit squad.  He is averaging 14.5 ppg in the 2 matchups against UND... but his shot from 3 hasn't been that great.  He could be due for a breakout, so Rebraca and Walter need to be ready for it. 

USD is 8-4 all time against UND at the D-1 level, 4-0 in Summit play.  UND is 99-92 all time against USD. 

The Fallen:

Western Illinois:  Of course, one team is always left out of the mix in Sioux Falls.  The Leathernecks missed out in their loss against DU.  This also led to the dismissal of their head coach.  They do have some solid talent on this squad, but they need to hire the right coach to lead it.  Be interesting to see where they go... do they perhaps raid the NSIC for a legacy hire?

Summit Storylines:

1) Will Wilson be healthy enough to play? Top story will be the health of Summit POY Wilson, who potentially suffered a stress fracture in the USD game last week.  Questions about not only his status but his effectiveness if he plays will be a big part of this weekend.   He probably will not be needed in the first round matchup on Saturday against the Dons unless it is necessary, but potentially with matchups against USD and NDSU, it might be.  While SDSU without is still a very good team and can still win it, it would make the task easier if he can play and play well. 

2) Bye Bye to the Dons:  This is the final Summit Tournament with Fort Wayne participating as they will be heading to the Horizon League next year.  While they have been typically a solid team with great players, this year has been a bit of a downer for the Dons.  Perhaps they have one more big game left in them in Sioux Falls.  Next year, the Roos of Kansas City will take their spot.

3) Can Oral Roberts make a run?  If there is a team outside of the top 3 that I think can make a run it is this Oral Roberts squad.  If they are playing at their best, they can beat anybody.  However, they could also easily lose against Omaha in the first round.   They have the great play in the post and have the guards play to match it.  Can they put it all together for 3 games, 3 days in a row?

4) Can NDSU avoid what happened to SDSU last year? The defending tournament champs won't be under anyone radar this year, but they must be aware of what happened last year with SDSU.  Denver is a young squad who is starting to figure things out a little bit and have the weapons at guard to make things difficult for NDSU.  NDSU should put DU away, but they shouldn't mess around.  

5) Summit Expansion: We are also nearing April and the decision by the NCAA to allow St. Thomas to jump from D3 directly to D1.  It will be interesting to see what new information gets brought up this week and weekend about their chances and how others feel about it.   

Milestones:

Stewart has 157 assists this season, which is good for 7th place in the single season record book.  He would need to get 10 to get to 6th place. His 352 assists are 9th best all time at UND, and would need 9 to pass Aaron Anderson for 8th. Also, his 1211 career points at UND is 20th all time in scoring.  He could get pass Seales points if he scores more than 27.  

DAE is 39 points away from the all time freshman record, but would need an epic performance to get it.  Would need another game to have a chance at it.

Keys

1) Get Marlon going early

2) Keep the USD crowd out of the game

3) Get something from the bench

4) No lapses in play, 40 minutes of good basketball. 

The Call:

UND has a chance in this one, but they are going to have to have others step up if they are going to make a deep run here.  Can Stewart do it alone?  Sure, he can Kemba Walker the bit.  However, UND is going to need Rebraca, Walter and DAE to step up and be solid contributors.  If UND can get any bench help it will be a bonus.  UND needs to step up and keep the USD crowd out of it.  USD is very capable in winning this whole tournament with their starting 5.  I expect UND to come out swinging.... but I think they will fall short

USD 79-77

Games are on Midco and ESPN+

I will be in Sioux Falls watching the games, can't wait to check it out for myself. 

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Excited to watch this, huge opportunity with SDSU being knocked out. Obviously it is NDSU's league to lose but we have shown we can beat them.

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3 minutes ago, sioux24/7 said:

Excited to watch this, huge opportunity with SDSU being knocked out. Obviously it is NDSU's league to lose but we have shown we can beat them.

Door is open, just need to take advantage of it.  Yotes will be on full alert however. 
 

im hoping for two good games tonight. 

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