North Dakota St. (#14, Midwest, Minneapolis pod)
vs. Kansas (#3)
Mar. 20 @ 12:30pm
Vegas Line: NDSU +10
Location: Fargo, North Dakota
Conference: Summit League — Tournament Champion
Coach: Saul Phillips, hired 2007. Record at NDSU = 42-19
08-09 Record: 26-6 (16-2)
Last 12 Games: 11-1, won 7.
Best Win: vs Oakland 66-64 on 3/10/09 for the Summit tournament title after the teams had split the season’s two earlier matchups.
Worst Loss: Southern Utah, 69-74, on 2/14/09, though the most heartbreaking was the 4-point loss at USC on 12/20.
Off. Efficiency Rating: 103.0 (139th)
Def. Efficiency Rating: 107.7 (285th)
Nuts n Bolts
Star Player(s): Ben Woodside (5’11” senior guard), 22.8 ppg/6.3 apg and shoots 84.2% from the FT line and 42.7% from three.
Unsung Hero: Brett Winkelman (6’6″ senior forward), 18.7 ppg/7.4 rpg and shoots over 50% from the field and over 80% from the FT line. Probably not as much “unsung” as he is simply playing behind Woodside.
Potential NBA Draft Pick: None.
Key Injuries: No significant injuries.
Depth: 31.0% mins (170th nationally)
Achilles Heel: Defense. NDSU lets opponents shoot 45.1% (254th) and 35.7% (251st) from the field and from three, respectively.
Will Make a Deep Run if…: …Woodside can still hit shots even with the tougher defenses he’s going to face, AND he and Winkelman get some help from 1-2 other fellows who might find themselves benefitting from the attention Woodside draws.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: …they don’t shoot well. This is where they live. This team shoots 49% and 41.2% from the field and from three respectively. That’s 3rd and 5th in the NATION, for those categories. If they don’t shoot well, it’s over.
Last Year Invited: None — this is their first eligible season.
Best NCAA Finish: n/a
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): n/a
Six Degrees to Detroit: None
Distance to First Round Site: 235 miles
School’s Claim to Fame: Alf Clausen, composer for The Simpsons, is an alum.
School Wishes It Could Forget: That it wasted Woodside’s 60-point explosion against Stephen F. Austin in December; Woodside was the story, but NDSU lost that game 112-113 in three overtimes.
Prediction: Do you want to see this team coming in the first round? Everyone’s going to be rooting for them. Woodside’s got a shooting eye that can turn out your lights and there’s probably not a lot of game film about. Still, probably a one-and-done debut. It’ll be fun to watch, though.
Preview written by: John Stevens, Rush The Court.