Well the constant conference shakeup has finally directly affected NDSU, thanks to this report out of the Tulsa World tonight: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=298&articleid=20110929_298_0_OralRo588207
So what do we take out of this? Well with Southern Utah on the way out after this season, the league will have teams in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri and Oklahoma. Does anything seem out of place to you? Sure it makes sense for ORU to look at the Southland all the teams in that league play in Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana. But how much does this impact the Summit League? For the casual college basketball fan, they’ve heard of Oral Roberts. That’s how I knew before I moved to Fargo the league NDSU was moving into, when it was known as the Mid-Con, that’s the league with Oral Roberts. Think nationally, that’s how the league is known, despite NDSU and Oakland’s recent success, the Golden Eagles dominated this league, 3 straight NCAA trips, 6 appearances in the Bracket Buster series. That’s a lot of national publicity. For the schools remaining, it may mean an easier trip to the NCAA tournament that doesn’t go thru ORU. The article implied that ORU was getting unhappy with NDSU and SDSU’s recent success (evidenced by the basketball tourneys in Sioux Falls; Bison won title in 2009 and the Jacks have never lost in SF and record-setting attendance each of the last 3 years); those 3 straight trips to the NCAA tourney for the Eagles, all of those trips occured when the tourney was in Tulsa. The basketball tourneys are staying in Sioux Falls thru 2014, and when that’s done it’s expected that Omaha will get into the bidding and with the facilities they have to offer, it’s a strong bet that the league will look at staying in the northern Midwest. Apparently that’s enough for Oral Roberts to look elsewhere. So with that being said, who does the Summit League look to fill? Do they have to worry about Oakland leaving? Northern Kentucky just approved this week moving forward with Division 1, that’s not far from Indianapolis, where IUPUI is located. What about Eastern Illinois out of the Ohio Valley? EIU is located in Charleston, which is 3.5 hours from Macomb, but that’s a bus-trip and double those schools together.
Safe to say this discussion is just getting started, but best be prepared that Oral Roberts probably will no longer be a member of the Summit League.