Climbing to the Summit, Edge of Perfection AND tournament

  • March 4 & 5
    • Game 1 3/4: 1 South Dakota v 8 Western Illinois
    • Game 2 3/5: 4 South Dakota St v 5 Denver
    • Game 3 3/5: 3 Nebraska-Omaha v. 6 IPFW
    • Game 4 3/4: 2 No Dakota St v IUPUI
  • March 6
    • Game 1 Winner v Game 2 Winner
    • Game 2 Winner v Game 3 Winner
  • March 7
    • CHAMPIONSHIP - ESPN2 6PM PT

This shapes up to a be a fun one. On February 4th, South Dakota St, North Dakota, IPFW, Nebraska-Omaha, and Denver were all within 2 games of each other.  From there, fates varied. South Dakota St, not listed there, were in the midst of winning 6 of 8, and getting to the tournament 4th seed, Denver went on to lose 4 of 5, IPFW finished out .500, Nebraska-Omaha went 3-2, but the top two seeds up their game.  North Dakota St won 4 of 5 going into the season finale against Neb-Omaha, sitting tied with South Dakota who 6 straight to close the season. And that season finale? A loss to the Mavericks that gave South Dakota the outright season championship.

Nebraska-Omaha plays the wild card role in this tournament.  Beaten soundly by the top seeds at the turn of the year,  they made February a different story, beating both of them at home, to both propel themselves to the 3 seed AND put doubt into the inevitable (they also hold a road win at Iowa)...

N Dakota St ended January 7-1 in conference, but then February saw some fumble lead them to the second seed.  Led by Paul Miller & Dexter Werner, they split a pair of games with the Coyotes of So Dakota, and had the magic that led them to holding their own conference championship destiny, but the stumbles are troubling.

So Dakota is the opposite, a middling non-conference (9-6) and a shaky conference start (4-3) finished at 12-4.  They played their best ball in February, when you want to -- watch their trio: Matt Mooney, Tyler Flack (15 pts, 7 rebounds, 1.8 blocks) and Trey Dickerson.

Others to watch, despite their struggles closing the season, IPFW was strong enough to take down Indiana. And South Dakota St, got themselves to the 4 seed and boast the Summit POY.

Prediction: Upset special time! Jackrabbit closed on a 3 game winning streak, Mike Daum is a dude who can it up, and you know, this is in South Dakota, oh which TWO schools call a home state.

Jack Leasure Madbomber Candidate Award:  Mo Evans, IPFW, 91 3s, 44%

Accidental omission earlier -- West Coast Conference Candidate:  Jared Brownridge, Santa Clara, 99 3s, 37.1%

IVY LEAGUE PERFECTION

I don't have inside info how the vote went, but I imagine Princeton would like to change theirs (if they voted for a tournament) to start the tournament in 2018 - because with a home win today over Dartmouth, the Tigers will become the 14th team to run through the Ivy League regular season perfect.

The first ever 4-team (non tie-break required) Ivy tournament begins next week at the Palestra in Philly.  Princeton is obviously the top seed, Harvard and Yale have also both secured their spots.

The 4th slot is muy complicated.  It is down to Penn & Columbia.

  • If Penn wins, and Columbia falls - Penn is in.
  • If Columbia wins and Penn falls -- Columbia is in
  • If both teams win or lose today -- the other two games will determine this race
    • If Darmouth beats Princeton (unlikely) - Columbia is in no matter what
    • More likely, when Princeton beats Dartmouth - then Brown/Cornell is the deciding game
      • Brown winning gives the 4 seed to Columbia
      • Cornell winning gives the 4 seed to Penn

And that readership closes the Buffet for today because life calls...  Enjoy the hoops.

Congrats to Vandy, Seton Hall & Marquette who all did their work today to push themselves closer, in, and very in for next week's unveiling...