CIO… the Summit League

Posted by Brian Goodman on January 24th, 2013

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Eli Linton is the RTC correspondent for the Summit League.

Top Storylines

  • All Eyes On Wolters: Nate Wolters is still on pace for the improbable back-to-back 20-5-5 season. Wolters (as of 1/23) is averaging 20.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game this seaon. It’s only happened five times in NCAA history, and he already owns one of those five seasons. If he keeps the pace, Wolters will be the only player in Division I history to average those numbers twice. Although there are questions about his ability to play at the next level, Wolters is having a historic college career, and it’s mostly gone unnoticed in the mainstream. Wolters is also one of 20 finalists for the Naismith Trophy, and he became the first player in SDSU history to reach the 2,000 point mark in a win over Western Illinois on January 17.
There Aren't Many Chances Left To Catch Nate Wolters In Action.. (AP Photo)

There Aren’t Many Chances Left To Catch Nate Wolters In Action. (AP)

  • The Summit League Rising: The Summit League has reached #16 in conference RPI as of January 22. With North Dakota State, Western Illinois and South Dakota State all reaching the mid-major Top 25 rankings, the Summit League seems to have been able to preserve the mid-major clout they had worked so hard to build in recent years despite realignment. We’re still looking for that Cinderella team to break through and get a win in March. This conference has had a strong candidate every season, and now it looks like the Summit has three strong contenders emerging from the ranks.

Reader’s Take


Power Rankings

  1. North Dakota State (16-4, 7-1): Taylor Braun is having a fantastic season, averaging 15.2 points and five rebounds per contest while shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc, but it is the Bison defense that has improved drastically to propel them to the top of the Summit League. NDSU is  holding opponents to 56.2 points per game and under 38 percent shooting on the season. Their last loss was against Minnesota on December 11 before falling on Saturday to a very good Western Illinois team on the road. This team is doing its best to ruin the repeat party for South Dakota State. Read the rest of this entry »
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CIO…the Summit League

Posted by Brian Goodman on December 22nd, 2012

CIO header

Eli Linton is the RTC correspondent for the Summit League.

Top Storylines

  • Oh, Pioneers—The University of Denver accepted an invitation to join The Summit League next season, rounding out the conference to 10 members. It’s a good move geographically for Denver, but besides a money saver on road trips, it doesn’t make much sense from a college basketball standpoint. Denver’s bad move could end up dissolving the WAC, as CBS’ Jeff Goodman pointed out in his short write-up about the move. Realignment will surely never end.
  • Nate Wolters’ march towards history—No player in college basketball history has ever averaged 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists in two separate seasons. Only five players have ever done it once—Norris Cole (Cleveland State 2010-11), Evan Turner (Ohio State 2009-10), Ricky Minard (Morehead State 2003-04), Speedy Claxton (Hofstra 1999-2000), and Nate Wolters (2011-12). Right now, Wolters is on the edge—averaging 19.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.0 assists. It is an impressive stat that speaks volumes to this guy’s talent level and consistency. Something we will be keeping tabs on the rest of the season.
  • Mid-Major Rankings—For the second consecutive week, two Summit League teams are ranked in the Mid-Major Top 25 poll. South Dakota State is threatening to break into the top-10 if they keep the pace, rising to #13 this week. North Dakota State remains at #25. It’s a welcome sight for Summit League fans, who have suffered through an abysmal season so far, with six teams posting a record well below .500.
Four-year runs like the one Nate Wolters is putting together happen very rarely. (South Dakota State Photo)

Four-year runs like the one Nate Wolters is putting together don’t come our way very often. (South Dakota State athletics)

Reader’s Take


Power Rankings

  1. South Dakota State (5-3, 1-0) — To be fair, South Dakota State hasn’t done much this season to be put on Cinderella watch. They showed some major weaknesses in their 27-point flop against Belmont, ending a three-game win streak against Montana, Cal State Bakersfield and NAIA opponent Dakota State. Their best win was a 78-77 nail biter against Marshall, a middle of the pack Conference USA team. On the bright side, the Jacks have one of the best point guards in the country, and as long as he is on the floor, they are going to dominate this conference. They aren’t as talented as they were last season, but neither is the rest of the league. Their next test comes against #16 New Mexico, but a more impactful matchup will take place on December 29th against their closest rivals in the Summit League—the North Dakota State Bison. We will know by then how ready the Jacks are to defend their title. Read the rest of this entry »
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Big 12 Morning Five: 03.07.12 Edition

Posted by dnspewak on March 7th, 2012

  1. As the center of Big 12 basketball for at least four days, Kansas City is reaping the benefits from hosting the Big 12 Tournament this week. Officials say it will bring about $18 million in revenue to the area, and if you’ve ever visited the Sprint Center complex, you’ll know why. Located in the Power and Light district, the surrounding bars, restaurants and other venues make this a special location downtown. Unfortunately, that doesn’t do a whole lot for the players, who are cooped up in a hotel room all weekend (presumably). For fans, though, it’s a nice perk.
  2. And that’s partly why some people argue the Big 12 Tournament should stay in KC after the contract runs out next year. Of course, with Missouri leaving, that would mean the league would host its men’s basketball tournament in a state where zero members of the Big 12 are located. That would be odd, sure, but Kansas City is still centrally located for Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State. But as Scott Drew mentioned in that article, it’s a huge disadvantage for Texas schools, which have never won the Big 12 Tournament. Pick your poison.
  3. There are two kinds of people in this world. People who care about uniforms, and people who don’t care about uniforms. I fall in the latter category. If you do too, stop reading. But if you’re the kind of person that gets downright giddy over the prospect of a new design, read on. And watch for Baylor this weekend in the Big 12 Tournament. Although I’m an Anti-Uniform kind of guy, I can admit that even those lime green jersey look pretty sweet.
  4. Texas Tech says it wants to play its best basketball when the Big 12 Tournament rolls around. Well, Red Raiders, here’s your chance. Luckily, they’ll actually get to face seventh-seeded Oklahoma State without Le’Bryan Nash, who head coach Travis Ford said won’t play as he nurses an injury. Maybe that’s the break this team needs to secure a victory and march on to the quarterfinals against Missouri on Thursday.
  5. The aforementioned Cowboys are one of the thinnest teams in the league, and they’re even thinner without Nash. But Kansas State? They’re not thin at all. In fact, Frank Martin is banking on his depth to win him a Big 12 Tournament title this weekend. He said depth helped Kansas State win the Diamond Head Classic in December, and the Wildcats are going to need a similar effort to pull off a few upsets in Kansas City.
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RTC Live: CBE Classic Semifinals

Posted by Brian Goodman on November 21st, 2011

RTC Live comes to you from Kansas City for the semifinal rounds of the CBE Classic at Sprint Center. Four power conference schools will square off tonight, with Missouri facing Notre Dame in the first game and Pac-12 contender Cal meeting Georgia in the nightcap. Join us for the conversation on a busy Monday of Feast Week, after the jump.

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Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week Two

Posted by Connor Pelton on November 21st, 2011

Here’s a look at the power rankings that Drew and I have compiled after the second week of Pac-12 games. Here we go!

1. California, 3-0: The Golden Bears hold steady at number one after playing just one game this week. The game was a 72-55 blowout win over Austin Peay. Jorge Gutierrez lead the way for the Bears with 14 points and six rebounds. Now it’s on to the Championship round of the CBE Classic, where Cal will face their first two tests of the year. Up Next: 11.21 vs Georgia in Kansas City

Gutierrez led the Golden Bears with 14 points on Tuesday night.

T2. Stanford, 4-0: The Cardinal had a great week, blowing out all three of their opponents. The highlight of the week came on Tuesday when Stanford beat a talented Colorado State team by 12 in the Preseason NIT Quarterfinals. Up Next: 11.23 vs Oklahoma State in New York City

T2. Oregon State, 4-0: The Beavers had one of the better weeks in recent memory, going 3-0 against solid competition. They started off the week on Monday with a 93-60 win over West Alabama, and they continued the streak with a ten-point win over Hofstra on Wednesday. The highlight of the stretch came on Saturday night in the Legends Classic Semifinals, where the Beavers used a 37-point performance from junior guard Jared Cunningham to upset Texas, 100-95, in overtime. Up Next: 11.21 vs Vanderbilt in East Rutherford

T4. Washington, 3-1: The week began with a 30-point win against Portland, but a blowout loss at Saint Louis leaves a sour taste in their mouth’s after week two. Terrence Ross was the highlight of the week, averaging 20.5 PPG. Washington should now get two easy victories before heading to New York to take on Marquette and Duke. Up Next: 11.25 vs Houston Baptist

T4. Arizona, 4-1: The Wildcats dropped two spots after a tough loss against Mississippi State on Friday night. However, the trip to New York wasn’t too terrible since they got a solid, résumé building win against St. John’s. Up Next: 11.23 vs San Diego State

T6. Washington State, 2-1: Not a bad week at all for the Cougars. They got their season started on Monday night at Gonzaga, where they hung with the Bulldogs all night but eventually fell, 89-81. Their two victories came against a pair of solid mid-majors, Sacramento State and Portland. Up Next: 11.24 vs Oklahoma in Anaheim Read the rest of this entry »

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Big 12 Morning Five: 11.14.11 Edition

Posted by cwilliams on November 14th, 2011

  1. Baylor freshman Quincy Miller has wasted no time putting up big numbers for the Bears. After scoring 17 in its season-opening victory against Texas Southern, Miller again dropped 17 on Jackson State in a lopsided 92-59 Baylor victory. Miller scored just two points in the first half, but went off in the second, scoring 15 of his 17 points in the game’s final 20 minutes. A common concern for freshmen is a lack of confidence on the court, but Miller appears to have no issues in that department, stating, “my coaches told me to be confident from the start and shoot the ball, and that’s what I did.”
  2. Many Iowa State fans feared that a transfer-heavy team like their Cyclones might not be able to mesh as a cohesive unit this season, resulting in poor on-court results. Some of these worries were put to rest this weekend, however, as all four Iowa State transfer players scored in double-figures in an 86-77 victory over Lehigh. On paper, a Patriot League vs. Big 12 matchup would appear to be an easy power conference victory, regardless of which teams were participating. However, this Lehigh team is the defending PL conference champion, and narrowly lost to St. John’s earlier this season. While all transfers performed splendidly, Minnesota-transfer Royce White stole the show, dropping 25 on the Mountain Hawks.
  3. The good news is all Big 12 teams won their season openers. The bad news? Many of the teams did it in an uninspiring fashion. Missouri struggled with Southeast Missouri in the first half before pulling away for a 15-point victory. Oklahoma narrowly defeated Idaho State, 88-84, while Texas Tech escaped Troy with a five-point victory. Kansas State found themselves down 14 at one point against Charleston Southern before clawing back for a 72-67 victory, and Baylor did not look very dominant in a 20-point victory over Texas Southern. That said, I wouldn’t look into these narrow victories too much (even though I just did). Many teams struggle in season openers, whether due to jitters, new faces, or rust.
  4. examines if the Big 12 Tournament could return to Oklahoma City soon, where it was hosted in 2007 and 2009. The men’s tournament is under contract to remain in Kansas City’s Sprint Center until 2014. However, with the expected change in Kansas City’ conference culture due to Missouri’s departure to the SEC, many folks think that the Big 12 will not be interested in renewing its contract to for Kansas City and instead will look somewhere else. Oklahoma City and Dallas are the only two cities who have hosted a Big 12 tournament, other than Kansas City, so one of those would seem to be a natural fit.
  5. While Texas faces the daunting task of replacing many star players not returning from last year’s team, J’Covan Brown seemed to have no problem carrying the Longhorn offense in 2011-12. Brown dropped 28 points as the Longhorns cruised to a 82-46 victory over Boston University. One concern for the Longhorns, however, was their performance on the glass, as BU snagged 18 offensive rebounds. With Jordan Hamilton and Tristan Thompson now gone, Brown will need more help from his guards when it comes to grabbing defensive boards.
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Morning Five: 11.04.10 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on November 4th, 2010

  1. We’re a few days out from this, but we wouldn’t feel like we had done our best for you if we didn’t pass along word of the most recent blog post by the high lama of hoops statistics, Ken Pomeroy. In it, he examines the question of whether the preseason AP poll is actually the most accurate poll of the season, as far as predicting the success of the top teams is concerned. He then reveals how this really is the case, because in the preseason poll the voters aren’t hampered by bias, unhelpful instructions from the AP, or incorrect voting tendencies. Interesting stuff as always.
  2.’s Jeff Goodman stepped up with his Big 12 preview, and his accompanying tweet indicates that he’s ready for any heat he might take because of his second place (and therefore third place) pick. He posted his ACC preview on Tuesday, and we don’t want to give away who he has projected for last place, so we’ll just say that it rhymes with Shpake Blorest.
  3. More conference previews? Got you covered. Gary Parrish predicts the Big East will end up so that Louisville, Connecticut, and Cincinnati will be back in the dorms watching St. John’s and Notre Dame go dancing. Compelling points for all. My, how times have changed in that league. Our Big East preview shall appear within the next few days…
  4. Mike DeCourcy probably lost a few Twitter followers (or gained a hundred) in Chicago and Milwaukee yesterday when he wrote that the Big East is finding it tough to defend its decision to let DePaul and Marquette in during the league’s expansion five years ago. Before Blue Demon and Golden Eagle backers unsheath your Twitter and e-mail swords in his direction, we say read the article again. He’s not saying those programs are to blame for anything. He’s saying that the Big East might regret it now simply because of the realities inherent in college sports today, and should have forseen it.
  5. The Kansas City Star says forget that weirdly-shaped ball, KC is a hoops town, and it isn’t going to change anytime soon. Yes, the Chiefs are doing well. OK, fine, there are some schools around there that play football. But the gravitational pull of the college basketball programs fans follow in that part of the world means that KC (and the whole Big 12) belongs to the roundball. When Colorado and Nebraska leave the conference next year, it’ll only tip the scale more toward the basketball side.
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Big 12 Tourney Daily Diary: The Semis

Posted by jstevrtc on March 13th, 2010

My goodness, how fun is this?

Meet Katie and Christie, two of the cockiest KU fans in the throng. Pretty easy to see why.

Was it raining in Kansas City yesterday?  You’d never know it.  Even with temperatures in the mid-40s and a light drizzle falling, the Power and Light District was still filled with college hoop lovers to the point where you could barely navigate through it.  The Kansas fans are still greatest in number and noise-making ability, but the Kansas State fans have been slowly creeping up to rival the Jayhawk supporters in both categories.

I don’t have to tell you about how many great teams there are in the Big 12 and the high quality of basketball that the conference has given us all year, but how fitting is it that for the final, we have Sunflower Showdown III?  Frank Martin said that Saturday’s game will have “the greatest atmosphere for any one game this year.”  Couldn’t agree more, coach.

Some notes from the games and the day in general:

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Big 12 Tourney Daily Diary: Quarterfinals

Posted by jstevrtc on March 12th, 2010

After two days of hoops at the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City, what’s all the talk?  The rocking of chalk.

I don’t just mean the Jayhawk victory over Texas Tech.  The crowds in KC are definitely enjoying themselves and taking in some high-quality hoops, but they’re wondering where the upsets are.  So far, the only real upset we’ve had so far was the first round toppling of Missouri by Nebraska.  As I was talking to some Kansas State fans about this in a local restaurant after the game, one of them spoke the truth:  “Upsets are great, as long as it’s not happening to your team.”

Upsets or no, I’ll say this:  these flyover country folks know how to enjoy college basketball.  It’s obvious from being here how much everyone who’s taken over downtown KC this week, from the fan with the worst seat in the Sprint Center to the highest Big 12 administrator, loves college hoops.  My spot on media row is right beside ESPN’s (and Big 12 Network’s) Holly Rowe, who couldn’t be nicer, and is probably a bigger overall sports fan than anyone in the arena.  Like most experts, she says it’s coming down to Kansas and Kentucky in the final, but also is high on Ohio State.  And when I asked her about certain colleagues of hers who are appearing on certain ABC dancing shows later this year, she smiled, suddenly turned serious, and said, “I’m the better salsa dancer.  That’s all I’m saying.”

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