Eli Linton is the RTC correspondent for the Summit League.
- Oakland (12-1) 18-8
- IUPUI (11-2) 18-8
- South Dakota State (9-4) 13-11
- Oral Roberts (9-5) 14-12
- IPFW (6-7) 11-12
- North Dakota State (6-7) 9-14
- UMKC (4-8) 10-13
- Western Illinois (3-10) 10-14
- Centenary (3-11) 8-17
- Southern Utah (2-10) 6-17
- Two teams from the Summit made an appearance on this week’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll. Oakland (#14) and IUPUI (#22) were both rewarded for their dominant conference performances thus far.
- WIU senior guard David Nurse was named to the ESPN the Magazine District V all-academic basketball team. Nurse is working on a masters degree in business and has a 3.8 GPA, proving that there are still students among the “student” athletes.
We enter the final three weekends of conference play, and it seems like the top four seeds have already been decided. Oral Roberts dropped two conference games to Oakland and lowly Western Illinois. Unless they can pull off a miracle, you can stick a fork in this team. A fourth-seed in the tournament would mean playing both top-seeded teams in order to make the dance. The eighth and final conference seed is still up for grabs. Western Illinois would like to have it, as they think they can upset anyone in the conference.
- Alpha Squads – Oakland, IUPUI
- Longshots – South Dakota, Oral Roberts
- Bottom Feeders – IPFW, UMKC, North Dakota, Southern Utah, Centenary, Western Illinois. No one seems to have what it takes to win this league besides the top two teams. Oral Roberts is too banged-up, South Dakota plays too small, and everyone else just doesn’t have enough. If someone else not named Oakland or IUPUI ends up winning this conference tournament, it would be a Disney-style underdog story.
- Oakland – The only team that can beat this team is IUPUI. And they already faced them twice. You can pencil them in for a trip to the finals.
- IUPUI – They have three very dangerous scorers (Robert Glenn–18.5 ppg, Alex Young –18 ppg, and Leroy Nobles–13.5 ppg), they will be a 20-win team, and could be Oakland’s Kryptonite. Remember at the beginning of the year? I said D wins the Summit League. They allow 67.8 points per game; I like love this team.
- SDSU – The Jackrabbits live by the three-ball, and they die by the three-ball.
- ORU – We keep talking about their close losses, five by three points or less, but at some point, if you want to be taken seriously, you have to make free throws and easy jumpers. ORU does neither.
- NDSU – North Dakota relies on their execution of the offense and getting open looks in order to win games. They are not athletic enough to cut and slash. I don’t see this team going too far in the tournament. They have only nine wins and its mid-February.
- UMKC – Will likely end up with the seventh seed, but could get as high as fifth. Then again, the Roos have IUPUI and Oakland coming up, so they could miss the tournament altogether.
- WIU – The Leathernecks are somehow holding on to that final spot in the conference tournament with a 3-10 conference record. This same record could also get you the eight seed in the Pac-10 tournament this year.
- Centenary – Sure, they are on the outside looking in, but they aren’t that far out, and it’s never too late to turn the season around! They swept the season series against IPFW, and they have a chance to sweep Southern Utah and scoot into the conference tournament, with some help.
- SUU – The Thunderbirds are 5-6 at home, and winless on the road (0-11). Next game: on the road at IPFW.
Games to watch
- February 13: IUPUI @ Oral Roberts – This game lost any significant when ORU choked at home against the Leathernecks, but it’s still the best game of the week.
- February 20: Oral Roberts @ Austin Peay (ESPN BracketBuster) – ORU needs this game if they want any confidence going into the conference tournament.