The Summit League postseason tourneys are underway right now in Sioux Falls, S.D. So far, there haven’t been any surprises. I confess this roundup is rather generic. Forgive me. I am not on the ground in South Dakota to provide you up-close-and-personal coverage of the event. Perhaps next year. For now, here’s the map-of-the-earth view.
Men’s Basketball Bracket
As expected, No. 1 seed South Dakota State put away my IUPUI Jaguars 66-49. The nightcap between No. 2 Western Illinois and No. 7 South Dakota was a bit more dramatic as the Coyotes no doubt enjoyed the comforts of this “neutral” site. The Leathernecks, however, prevailed, beating South Dakota 54-53.
No. 4 Oakland vs. No. 5 Fort Wayne—Normally, I’d say Oakland is the better team, but I think the Mastadons pull off the minor upset. They beat Oakland twice this year already. I know it’s tough to beat a team three times, but I’ve got a feeling about Fort Wayne.
No. 3 North Dakota State vs. No. 6 Kansas City—Ah, the charmed six-seed. Most often, upsets in the Summit tourney happen at the hands of the No. 6 seed. Not this year. Kansas City got its doors blown off twice by the Bison. It’s going to happen a third time.
Women’s Basketball Bracket
No surprises at all on the women’s side of the tournament. Top-seeded South Dakota State beat No. 8 seed Oakland 67-53. My No. 2-seeded IUPUI Jaguars knocked off No. 7 Kansas City 59-47, thanks to stifling defense. Again, no surprises.
No. 4 Fort Wayne vs. No. 5 Western Illinois—I just saw Fort Wayne play last week. They are not the same team without Saule Kontautaite. I expect Western Illinois to pull this one out.
No. 3 South Dakota vs. No. 6 North Dakota State—For the sake of my Jaguars, I hope the Bison get the sixth-seed mojo working and pull out the upset. The Coyotes beat IUPUI twice this year. Worse yet, the “neutral” site. Sure, North Dakota State fans might travel in droves, too, but I like IUPUI’s chances better against the Bison. The Coyotes and Bison split on the season, so this is anyone’s game. The Coyotes match up well against IUPUI, but they’re vulnerable. Here’s to hoping North Dakota State sends the Coyotes packing.
I’ve been to three conference tournaments. The men’s team reached the championship game twice (2004, 2008). The women reached the championship game once, in 2008. Here’s to hoping the women’s team has two more games (and then some) to play. Of course, my legacy from my tournament junkets is one that you may have seen. I never get tired of sharing it.