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Inside look at high school and Oakland University sports from Oakland Press sports writer Dave Pemberton.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A little tournament speculation

The final Saturday of the regular season in the Summit League is here and it will be an interesting one. Only two teams fates are already decided, Oakland will be the three seed and UMKC won’t make the conference tournament. Everyone else has something to play for, here is how things breakdown, game by game.

Update: Got an update from the league office today, apparently Saturday's Oral Roberts-North Dakota State game is winner take all. Meaning the winner is the No. 1 seed.

From the league office: In the event of a tie between North Dakota State and Oral Roberts, ORU will be the top seed in the tournament based on tiebreaker procedures. The teams split their head-to-head competition, therefore moving the tiebreaker to comparison of the teams’ record against the team occupying the highest position in the standings until a team gains the advantage. ORU went 2-0 against Southern Utah while NDSU went 1-1. In the event that Southern Utah and IPFW, or any additional team(s) tie, SUU gains the higher seed based on the same procedure.

North Dakota State (22-6, 15-2) at Oral Roberts (16-13, 14-3), 7:05 p.m. — There is no doubt this is the big one. The Bison have already clinched a share of the regular-season league title, but the No. 1 seed in the Summit League tournament and the automatic NIT bid are still up for grabs. The Golden Eagles can secure the No. 1 seed with a win and if Southern Utah wins at IPFW. NDSU wins the title outright with a victory and no tiebreaker is needed.

Southern Utah (10-18, 8-9) at IPFW (12-16, 7-10), 4 p.m. — Both teams have secured a spot in the tournament, but have plenty to play for. The Thunderbirds can secure at least the five-seed, possibly the fourth with a win. A loss and Southern Utah could fall to the six-seed and have to face red-hot Oakland in the first round. IPFW is currently in sixth, but could jump to five with a win, while a loss could put it in seventh.

IUPUI (15-13, 8-9) at Western Illinois (9-19, 6-11), 7 p.m. — The Leathernecks could be playing for their tournament life, but will know their fate before the game because Centenary plays at 2:30 p.m. If the Gents lose, Western Illinois is in, but if the Gents win, Western Illinois must win to get in. The Leathernecks will be the eight seed if they can get in because they can’t win the tiebreakers with IPFW or South Dakota State. IUPUI can secure the four seed with a win, but based on its sweeps of IPFW and Southern Utah can fall now lower than the five seed (I think) so the Jaguars are likely locked in at the 4-5 matchup.

South Dakota State (12-18, 7-10) at Centenary (7-22, 5-12), 2:30 p.m. — The Gents have collapsed after a nice start to the conference season, losing eight straight, but amazingly can still sneak into the tournament with a win and a Western Illinois loss. The Jackrabbits, which are hosting the tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D., are the real wildcard. SDSU has clinched a spot, but can finish as high as fourth and as low as seventh (I think). Best-case scenario for the Jacks, is they win, IPFW beats Southern Utah and Western Illinois beats IUPUI, which would create a four-way tie at 8-10 for the 4-7 spots. Who goes where I can’t really figure out because there is so many tiebreakers in play based on head-to-head sweeps and wins over the top three teams. I’ll let the league sort that mess out.

UMKC (7-23, 3-14) at Oakland (19-11, 12-5), 6 p.m. — This game is meaningless to the standings, but Oakland has a chance to secure 20 wins, a perfect home record and extends its winning streak to seven.

My predictions
1. Oral Roberts — Golden Eagles win fifth straight-regular season title and the No. 1 seed based on the tiebreaker.
2. North Dakota State — Bison lose at ORU and lose the tiebreaker because of loss to SUU
3. Oakland — Grizzlies enter tourney on seven game win streak
4. IUPUI — Jags beat Leathernecks and secure fourth spot
5. Southern Utah — Thunderbirds win over NDSU secures it the five seed
6. IPFW — Mastodons win third straight, but lose tiebreaker to SUU
7. South Dakota State — Jacks pick up first road win in conference play and get another shot at ORU
8. Western Illinois — The Leathernecks sneak in despite losing three-straight at home to end the season
9. Centenary — Gents complete collapse and lose their ninth straight to end the year
10. UMKC — The Kangaroos fall to Oakland and use the offseason to figure out what went wrong

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Blogger Rhett said...

According to a media release from the league office this morning, if ORU wins Saturday night, the Golden Eagles win ANY tiebreaker with NDSU, REGARDLESS of the IPFW/SUU outcome. Don't ask me how; maybe they can explain it to you and the rest of us.

February 27, 2009 at 8:42 PM 
Blogger Dave Pemberton said...


I just updated my post based on the new info. Don't really understand how that was determined, but it makes Saturday's game even more interesting.

February 27, 2009 at 10:49 PM 

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