WEEKLY NOTEBOOK: No. 17 (w/stats)
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- With only one week remaining of #SummitMBB action, zero of the eight seeds at the 2019 Basketball Championship have been locked in by a specific team. There are some things that we do know, however, as seven of the eight spots have been secured with UND earning the latest berth.
NDSU and Purdue Fort Wayne will occupy either the No. 3 or No. 4 seeds. Those two teams meet Saturday in Fort Wayne, but also have Thursday tilts to navigate through. The Mastodons, who hold a one-game lead on the Bison, play host to UND while NDSU is on the road at South Dakota. If these two end up tied in the standings and split the season series, Purdue Fort Wayne would own that tiebreaker thanks to a home win over SDSU.
The bottom four seeds are all still up for grabs as there is a scenario where Oral Roberts, North Dakota, South Dakota and Western Illinois could all end up with 6-10 records. Oral Roberts could clinch the No. 5 seed with a home win Thursday over Omaha. That would give the Golden Eagles a season sweep of the Mavericks and they would hold tiebreakers over both South Dakota and North Dakota if either of those teams also finished 7-9.
Seeding will likely be on the line Saturday in Vermillion as North Dakota closes out its first season as a Summit League member at South Dakota. Both teams enter the week 5-11 and play teams ahead of them in the standings on Thursday.
Western Illinois can clinch the final spot in the tournament with a win at Denver on Thursday or a win at SDSU on Saturday. In order for the Pioneers to earn the No. 8 seed, they need to win both games, have NDSU finish ahead of Purdue Fort Wayne in the standings and WIU lose both of their games this week.
FIVE THINGS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED...
• Purdue Fort Wayne's John Konchar enters the week 10 points away from becoming the first player in NCAA Division I history to score 2,000 career points, pull down 1,000 career rebounds (1,110), dish out 500 career assists (535) and record 200 career steals (261).
• South Dakota State senior Mike Daum made the 3,000-point fraternity at the Division I level a double-figure total as he became the 10th player to reach the milestone en route to earning a #SummitMBB record, eighth Player of the Week award of the season. He was also named the USBWA Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week after averaging 31.5 ppg in two wins last week.
• Western Illinois center Brandon Gilbeck needs one block to become just the fourth #SummitMBB player to record 100 blocks in a single season. He currently leads the NCAA in total blocks (99) and blocks per game (3.7).
• Only two players in Division I basketball have logged more minutes this season than South Dakota State senior Skyler Flatten. The Clark, S.D., native has played 1,091 minutes so far during the campaign.
• Omaha kept pace with the Jackrabbits at the top of the league standings by winning their sixth game in a row. That is the program's longest winning streak since the 2015-16 season.
UPCOMING SCHEDULE (TV/Stream; all times local to site)
Thursday, February 28
Western Illinois at Denver* (Altitude2) 7 p.m.
North Dakota at Purdue Fort Wayne* 7:30 p.m.
Omaha at Oral Roberts* (KGEB) 7:30 p.m.
NDSU at South Dakota* (MSN2/E+) 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 2
Omaha at Denver* (Altitude) 1 p.m.
North Dakota at South Dakota* (MSN2/E+) 3:30 p.m.
Western Illinois at SDSU* 4:15 p.m.
NDSU at Purdue Fort Wayne* 5 p.m.
all times local
Wednesday, February 20
South Dakota 72, Denver 45*
Omaha 77, Western Illinois 63*
Thursday, February 21
SDSU 92, Purdue Fort Wayne 83*
Saturday, February 23
North Dakota 81, Denver 63*
Omaha 58, NDSU 50*
SDSU 94, South Dakota 89*
Western Illinois 75, Oral Roberts 66*
* Summit League contest
THE NET RESULTS
Here's a look at how Summit League members are stacking up in the NCAA's new "NET" rankings system, which replaced the RPI from year's past.
Through games of Feb. 25:
South Dakota State (98)
Purdue Fort Wayne (207)
North Dakota State (224)
South Dakota (232)
North Dakota (290)
Oral Roberts (295)
Western Illinois (301)
MR. 3000 NAMED OSCAR ROBERTSON NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK BY USBWA
South Dakota State senior Mike Daum's 3,000th-career point will be remembered for more than just making him the 10th player in NCAA Division I history to reach the milestone. The basket came with 62 seconds to play, giving South Dakota State the lead for good in a in-state rivalry game against South Dakota. The Jacks would eventually win 94-89 as Daum added six free throws in the closing minute to add to the historic achievement and keep his team in first place in the #SummitMBB standings. Daum finished with 25 points and now sits at 3,006 career points -- just two behind Bradley's Hersey Hawkins for ninth place on the all-time scoring charts.
Daum was named the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for his efforts in two SDSU victories last week. In Thursday's win over Purdue Fort Wayne, he added 38 points and pulled down 20 rebounds to become The Summit League's all-time leading rebounder. It was his 19th double-double of the season, which is the second most in Division I this season.
NOTING THE PIONEERS...
• The Pioneers will be home for their final two regular season contests and still have an outside chance of earning the final spot in the #SummitMBB Championship in Sioux Falls.
• In order for that to transpire, DU will need victories in both of those contests, Western Illinois to also lose at South Dakota State on Saturday and North Dakota State to finish ahead of Purdue Fort Wayne in the league standings.
• Freshman David Nzekwesi earned the first two starts of his career last week and did not disappoint. The Fort Worth, Texas native averaged 16.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg and went 13-for-18 from the field (72.2 percent). He now has eight double-figure scoring games this season.
• Senior Joe Rosga continues to hold the all-time mark for career free throw percentage in Summit League history (88.2) and is 24-for-27 this year.
NOTING THE FIGHTING HAWKS...
• The Fighting Hawks have won back-to-back #SummitMBB games for the first time this season thanks to respective home wins over Oral Roberts (85-73) and Denver (81-63) on each of the past two Saturdays.
• Those two victories also clinched a spot in the Basketball Championship for the league newcocmer.
• In the latest game, senior captain Conner Avants returned from a six-game absence to score 12 points in the 18-point win over the Pios.
• All five starters reached double figures for the first time this season with junior Kienan Walter leading the way with a career-high 21 points. It was his 10th double-figure scoring game of the campaign.
• Avants' fellow captain Cortez Seales has reached double figures in seven straight -- his longest stretch of the season -- and is averaging 16.0 ppg in those contests.
NOTING THE BISON...
• After reeling off five straight wins, North Dakota State has fallen at home in close contests to the top two teams in the league.
• The latest setback was a 58-50 loss to Omaha on Saturday where the Bison led by 12 in the first half before the Mavs rallied for the win.
• Junior Vinnie Shahid led NDSU in scoring with 13 points and has reached double figures in a season-high, seven-straight games. He has also hit multiple 3-pointers in each of those contests and is shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc during that stretch (23-for-46).
• Junior Deng Geu is the only Summit League player without a start that is averaging double-figure ppg (10.8). He had 10 points in the loss to Omaha, which was his ninth double-figure game in league play.
NOTING THE MAVERICKS...
• The Mavericks have reeled off six-straight victories, which is their longest winning streak since the 2015-16 season.
• Omaha wrapped up its home portion of #SummitMBB play with a 7-1 record thanks to a 77-63 win over Western Illinois last Wednesday.
• If the Mavs win their final two games at Oral Roberts and Denver, they will be the No. 1 seed at the Basketball Championship in Sioux Fall.
• The Mavs began their season-closing, three-game road trip with a 58-50 comeback win at NDSU where they erased a 12-point deficit.
• Omaha has played in the highest-scoring Summit League game this season (209; overtime win vs. South Dakota) and the lowest-scoring league game (108; win at NDSU).
• During the six-game winning streak, senior Zach Jackson is averaging 21.6 ppg and he ranks fourth in the league in scoring (18.6 ppg) entering the final week of the regular season.
NOTING THE JACKRABBITS...
NOTING THE FIGHTING LEATHERNECKS...