BANKER (South Dakota St. vs North Dakota)
I was on South Dakota St last time they faced North Dakota and going to be on them again here. This time South Dakota State is on the road where their defense has been a little worse but I’m not really sure it’s going to matter here as North Dakota is the worst defensive team in the nation. North Dakota is ranked 358th out of 358 qualified division 1 teams in adjusted defensive efficiency. That is very bad. They are also ranked 356th in effective field goal percentage defense, and 353rd in 3-point percentage defense. On the other side, South Dakota State is a very good offensive team and one of the best offensive teams in the nation analytics wise. They are number 1 in the country in 3-point percentage, 2nd in effective field goal percentage, and 10th overall in adjusted offensive efficiency. They’re also coming off somewhat of a letdown game at home vs North Dakota State where they kind of fell asleep towards the end of the game and nearly went to OT.
I think their focus will be back on track here as they have a legitimate shot to go undefeated in conference play. The bottom line for here is that I just don’t see North Dakota being able to score enough points to keep pace with the jackrabbits. South Dakota state is playing their best ball and has been firing on all cylinders even without their best player in Noah Friedel. Baylor Scheierman is an electric forward who can do a multitude of things at 6’6-6’7 who is a matchup nightmare and see him having a big game. I think South Dakota State starts fast here and may pull the starters late which could lead to a late run from North Dakota so rolling with the 1H here as I think they’ll be winning by 10+ at the break. Score Prediction: 47-34 HT lead for South Dakota St
Colorado St is coming off a shocking loss to UNLV where the where 14/15-point favorites and lost by double digits as Bryce Hamilton had a performance for the ages dropping 45 against the Rams in their own building. I think we will see a much more focused effort from Colorado State here as they have a legitimate shot to get an at large bid for the NCAA tournament but not if they keep losing games like that to UNLV. Wyoming is a very solid team who has a potent offense, but they have been sleep walking through their games recently and don’t believe they’re playing the type of ball to win this game. They nearly lost to Air Force and New Mexico and blew a late lead vs Boise state in their last three games. I see Colorado State getting a much-needed win here to stay in the race for mountain west champs. Score Prediction: 81-72 Colorado State
UNC Wilmington is a team who has kind of surprised everyone in the colonial conference this year. They are usually a middle to lower class team in the condense but this year they are in a torrid run as they have started out 8-0 in condense play including wins over Hofstra, Towson, James Madison and Charleston. They have also won 11 games in a row overall and are one of the hottest teams in the nation as they have not lost since December 11th. They have also played very well at home this year going 8-1 and face a Drexel team who has struggled on the road with their 3-5 record. I think UNC Wilmington finally believes that they are here to stay and don’t see any type of letdown from there. I think they take care of business in their home building. Score Prediction: 72-66 UNC Wilmington