The Madness of March is officially here, and with that we have the Summit League tournament kicking off this weekend with quarterfinal games on Saturday and Sunday! My best guess is that one of the Dakota schools will win it - as of this writing, both teams played and won on Saturday night - and that's just because of the sheer overall talent and how those teams are built. We will start below with breaking down the two remaining Sunday quarterfinal games, in addition to projections for round two and the finals:
Oral Roberts (4) vs North Dakota (5) - 6:45 p.m. ET on ESPN+
These TEO teams split their regular-season meetings, and Oral Roberts only put up 71 and 74 points at home when I thought that they would've score a lot more. We will definitely see some points here though, and this matchup simply comes down to who is just hotter in a given game. This is about a 50-50 game as you can get in this conference, and while I am not sure who wins, what I do know is that the winner here will play against South Dakota State in round two, and I doubt either of these two teams beat SDSU.
North Dakota State (3) vs UMKC (6) - 9:45 p.m. ET on ESPN+
These two teams also split against each other during the regular season, but in one of those games North Dakota State lost one of their key players to an ankle injury. UMKC is a team which can’t score well, and here in this spot I don’t expect that to change. North Dakota State will struggle to break 60 in this one.
Projected game: South Dakota State vs Oral Roberts
Expect another high scoring game here, as these two teams split their season series while both games came down to who scored 90 first. And I believe that SDSU will outscore ORU much more often than not.
Projected game: North Dakota State vs South Dakota
These two teams split their regular season series as well, but since South Dakota won’t be at full power in round two of this tournament, I believe North Dakota should be able to win by double digits once again.
Projected game: South Dakota State vs North Dakota State
We would get another game between two teams that split their regular-season series. All I know is that I can argue either side in this potential finals matchup, and it's a game that will most likely be decided in the final one or two minutes. II wouldn't be surprised if we even get an overtime session here. I truly don’t believe that any other team can win this tournament outside of these two Dakota state teams. We might have an upset, sure, but asking any other team to win three straight games is something I can't buy.