Blog Entry

What-to-know tourney previews: Summit League

Posted on: March 2, 2012 1:12 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 1:33 pm
 
Leagues like the CAA and Missouri Valley have and will continue to get a lot of rightful pub and optimism about their tournaments this season.

The Summit League's bracket should be just as good.

When it comes to mid-major tournaments, really good teams and very dazzling players, the Summit boasts all in spades. It starts with Dominique Morrison, the league's player of the year who suits up for Oral Roberts. The Golden Eagles, a mainstay in the CBSSports.com Non-BCS Power Pyramid this season, is a group that went 17-1 in the regular season and has won 20 of its last 21 games. Oral Bobs is one of the best shooting teams in college basketball, putting up an effective field goal percentage of 54.2

ORU's only loss in-conference? At South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits have Nate Wolters, a junior point guard who does it all. Naters Gonna Nate. You know it well if you've followed the blog all season long. This is where it gets interesting. The site of the Summit conference tournament this year is Sioux Falls, S.D., meaning SDSU could and should have a home-court feel to it.

Morrison or Wolters getting to the tournament would be huge for the league. Both players are very capable of scoring 30 points and capturing a nation's attention on a Thursday or Friday afternoon or evening. Wolters does it all; he's a point guard, but the fact he can score in bunches doesn't indicate he's tunnel-visioned about it. His points come within the flow of the offense, and he's not turning the ball over much, either.

If you want an unfamiliar team with a good chance to steal a game, ORU or South Dakota State are the teams to root for. But third-place Oakland, which has point guard Reggie Hamilton -- also a fantastic player -- was in the NCAAs last year and gave Texas one of the most entertaining games on the first Friday of tournament play.

Nate Wolters has the ability to carry his team to a win over a big boy in the big bracket. (AP)
Beyond that, we could have some shakeups with fourth-place North Dakota State, fifth-place Western Illinois and No. 6 Southern Utah, but those teams don't have nearly the depth -- or offense to win three games in Sioux Falls. The top three seeds are all-top 30 offenses.

Also, if you want more information on this, we can't implore you enough to check this out.

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TOURNAMENT BRACKET

Schedule: March 3-6

Title game: Tuesday, March 6 (9 ET ESPN2)

BEST PLAYERS

  1. Nate Wolters, South Dakota State
  2. Reggie Hamilton, Oakland
  3. Dominique Morrison, Oral Roberts
  4. Alex Young, IUPUI
  5. Frank Gaines, Purdue-Fort Wayne

Conference RPI: 16

KenPom.com rating: 18

Sagarin rating: 18

NCAA Tournament Locks: None

NCAA Tournament Bubble Teams: None

Last NCAA Tournament Appearances:

  • Oakland: 2011, 13 seed, lost 85-81 to Texas in first round
  • Oral Roberts: 2008, 13 seed, lost 82-64 to Pittsburgh in first round
  • IUPUI: 2003, 16 seed, lost to Kentucky in first round
  • IPFW: N/A
  • South Dakota State: N/A
  • UMKC: N/A
  • North Dakota State: 2009, 16 seed, lost Kansas in first round
  • Southern Utah: 2001, 14 seed, lost to Boston College in first round
  • Western Illinois: N/A
  • South Dakota: N/A

--Matt Norlander

Category: NCAAB
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