Welcome ladies, gentlemen and fellow NCAA men's college basketball degenerates, to my weekly Summit League review and recap! I take a lot of pride in both breaking down and handicapping these CBB plays, simply because you can find some real edges in the market (along with other small conferences), and that's why you hear me constantly covering them in the podcast and on Twitter as well. This will be the intro in every article, and I will also be recapping/reviewing the Horizon League as well. Both of these conferences play on back-to-back nights vs. the same opponent to cut down on travel for COVID purposes.
Don’t be confused about the schedule when you go to bet these games, as each of these conferences mainly play Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday. Both articles will be out by Wednesday night (Thursday at the latest) every week through March Madness. Personally I handicap every conference game and keep a lot of my work private. I do this because it forces me to look at every conference game and it helps me find real holes, since we are somewhat limited on our weekly choices. If you have any questions, thoughts or insights for now and/or going forward, feel free to contact me on Twitter any time @DanRivera228.
Author's Note: I went 4-3 on Friday and 6-0 on Saturday overall in terms of both my personal and public plays. The Horizon League Conference in particular had two very distinct days over the weekend. Friday games weren’t very surprising to me in terms of the final scores, but Saturday was a big surprise. I am very happy that I stayed away from this conference on Saturday, because then I would have ended up picking a lot of losers. On a side note, Omaha had the weekend off for Summit League Conference hoops action.
RECAP: Denver Pioneers (1-12, 0-6) @ North Dakota State Bison (9-7, 7-1)
- Game 1: NDSU 70-58 (Denver +14.5, under 137)
- Game 2: NDSU 84-58 (NDSU -14, over 136)
- Last year: NDSU 3-0 SU, 1-2 ATS, 1-2 O/U
Game 1 was a bit slow for the host Bison. They shot 31.3% from three-point range and 40.4% from the field overall. This is slightly below their season average of 34.5% from three and well below their 49.3% average from the field. If you backed the Bison in the first game, they still won, but you needed those field goals for the cover. Besides the Bison having a weaker shooting night, nothing else stood out much. These Denver Pioneers aren’t a good team, and their numbers lined up with what I was expecting overall here.
Game 2 though was much different. The Bison won the first half 46-20. This team meant business in this game. They also shot 62% from the field and 50% from three. This game was over at half, with NDSU winning outright 84-58 to complete the weekend series sweep and win both games by an average of 19.
RECAP: South Dakota Coyotes 8-6 (6-0) @ Western Illinois Leathernecks (2-11, 0-6)
- Game 1: South Dakota 65-60 (WIU +7.5, under 148)
- Game 2: South Dakota 84-74 (SDAK 84-74, over 144.5)
- Last year: WIU 1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS, 1-1 O/U
These were two very different games between the Coyotes and the Leathernecks. Game 1 was very low scoring, with both teams shooting poorly from three. The Leathernecks shot 25% from downtown, while the Coyotes shot 33.3%. To make matters worse for the Leathernecks, they only shot 33.9% from the field while the Coyotes 43.4% overall. The Leathernecks' season averages, for reference, are 30.2% from three and 43.6% from the field. Those are both ranked all the way down at 285+ on KenPom, by the way. When you look at conference only they are roughly in the same category, too, shooting 28.9% from three and 43.2% from the field. The Coyotes were both slightly below their season average from the field, and from three as well, but they still had a poor shooting night when you look at conference only. Their conference average from three was 43.9% (#2 out of 9) and 49.3% from the field (#5 out of 9). Every other stat was about even here. This game came down to the team that simply had the better shooting night (SDAK).
Game 2 was all points. If you strictly look at shooting, then you would be stunned by the Leathernecks losing by 10 despite shooting 43.5% from three. The Coyotes, on the other hand, shot 51.8% from the field. The problem, however, is that the Coyotes were up 42-20 after the first half and then lost the second half 54-42. The Coyotes are #124 in the nation at defending the three, allowing opponents to shoot 32.3% from deep, and they definitely didn’t put much effort in the second half in that area. That is when the Leathernecks took advantage and started their comeback. I like backing this Coyotes team for the most part, but this is also a team that doesn't have much of a chance of covering if it's not hitting its threes.
RECAP: North Dakota Fighting Hawks (4-13, 3-5) @ South Dakota State Jackrabbits (10-3, 4-0)
- Game 1: SDSU 92-73 (SDSU -14, over 143.5)
- Game 2: SDSU 85-74 (UND +14.5, over 146)
- Last year: SDSU 2-0 SU/ATS, 2-0 O/U
Both of these games saw also lot of points. In game 1, the host Jackrabbits were up by three points with 15 minutes left in the first half, and they never looked back. The Jackrabbits shot 63.6% form three and 60.8% from the field. The Fighting Hawks never had a chance on the road in this game, despite being right on their season shooting average. The Jackrabbits were up 56-32 after the first half and covered the -14.
Game 2 was much closer. The Jackrabbits came back down to earth, shooting 50% from three and 53.3% from the field. Once again, the Fighting Hawks had close to an average shooting night despite the other team stats being very similar on both sides. The Jackrabbits were up 33-28 after the first half and then won 52-46 in the second half. I did tweet out that I liked the Jackrabbits team total over 80.5 and game total over 146. Both of those got the easy cash. I also stated that I was staying away from the spread, as these Jackrabbits are a team you will be paying a big premium for at home (ATS). They have earned it though, posting a 13-5 ATS record since 2019 at home despite not covering the -14.5 in this game.
RECAP: UM Kansas City Roos (6-9. 2-4) @ Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (9-7, 6-2)
- Game 1: ORU 60-58 (UMKC +7, under 140)
- Game 2: UMKC 81-76 (UMKC +6.5, over 137)
- Last year: didn’t play
The Roos are a team that I still haven’t quite figured out yet. They play very slow (currently ranked #354 in adjusted tempo on KenPom), making them the 4th slowest paced squad in the entire nation. In game 1, this contest came down to a last second shot made by the host Golden Eagles. It is tough to practice and prepare for this very slow tempo type of team, and the Golden Eagles were lucky to win the game outright.
In game 2, the Roos were the far superior shooting team, shooting 65.9% from the field and 64.3% from three-point land. This was significantly higher than UMKC's season average. The Golden Eagles didn’t have a bad shooting night by any means, as they shot 52% from the field and 47.4% from three. The Roos just simply had a fantastic shooting night en route to their 81-76 victory on the road and their +6.5 ATS cover.