Proving Ground

Proving Ground

Just wanted to amplify what Jeff wrote yesterday about the importance of tonight’s NDSU game with Akron; going beyond the TV impact; which can’t be ignored; I remember talking to the three standouts of this team when they verbally committed to the Bison(Wright; Braun and Bjorklund) all of them mentioned seeing NDSU playing Kansas in the NCAA Tournament as being a major factor of why they chose to come to Fargo. I’m not comparing the impact of tonight’s BracketBuster with that game, but for future recruits this is a big deal, there are not many games on tonight and for NDSU to get one of those games, it’s a big deal. It’s also a potential big weekend for the Summit League, getting 2 national TV games, this is a chance perhaps to push the needle for the conference against other leagues that 1) are on TV all the time and 2) have had NCAA tourney success. The Summit has multiple matchups with some solid mid-major leagues this weekend; 2 against the MAC(NDSU-Akron; Bowling Green-IPFW) ; 3 against the Ohio Valley (SDSU-Murray State; Oakland-Morehead State; UMKC-Tennessee Tech) and 2 against the Horizon (IUPUI-Milwaukee; Western Illinois-Cleveland State); take a look at some numbers of these leagues:

 MAC (Since 2009); 3 NCAA Tournament Wins

Ohio Valley: 4 NCAA Tournament Wins

Horizon League: 14 NCAA Tournament Wins (This number is skewed by Butler of course)

Summit League: 0 NCAA Tournament Wins (Last was 2005)

Now I know some would point to how poorly the Summit has been seeded in the NCAA Tournament; but take a look at this:

NCAA Tournament Seeds:

                 Summit League                     MAC                      Ohio Valley                 

2009          NDSU (14)                          Akron (13)            Morehead St (16)

2010          Oakland (14)                     Ohio  (14)              Murray State (13)

2011          Oakland (13)                     Akron (15)            Morehead St.(13)

2012          SDSU    (14)                      Ohio (13)              Murray State (6)

This is a major chance for both NDSU and SDSU this weekend to put the Summit out there; not only for themselves; but for the league and the tournament committees(NCAA and NIT) to get them into bigger tournaments come next season and beyond.

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