The Summit League isn’t the best mid-major conference in college basketball, but what they do well is their league tournament. It’s held in Sioux Falls, which usually attracts a pretty good amount of fans, and not just from the teams in-state. It’s rowdy, the basketball is pretty good and the games are almost always entertaining.
When: March 5-8
Where: Sioux Falls, S.D.
Final: March 8th, 9:00 p.m. ESPN2
Favorite: South Dakota State
IPFW managed to get the No. 1 seed via tiebreakers, but for my money SDSU is the best team in the conference. George Marshall, the former Wisconsin point guard, is tough, and freshman Mike Daum is one of the best big men in the league already. Throw in Deondre Parks, and the Jackrabbits may also have the best back court in the conference. They get the added bonus of playing the tournament in their home state.
And if they lose?: IPFW
The Mastadons are not a traditional powerhouse in the Summit League, but Jon Coffman has this team thriving. Max Landis is the real deal and Jon Konchar is a future Summit League Player of the Year. They get IUPUI, who swept them, in the semifinals if chalk holds.
- Omaha: SDSU and IPFW get the attention, but Omaha had three players make the first or second team all-Summit League teams. They’re dangerous.
- NDSU: The Bisons have been one of the more consistent programs in the conference over the years, and while they were down this season, they have the pieces to make a run. If you don’t want to see Dexter Werner back in the tournament, you’re un-American.
Summit League Player of the Year: Max Landis, IPFW
IPFW has the most potent offensive attack in the conference, and Landis was the guy behind it, averaging 18.7 points for the Mastadons as they finished tied for the league’s regular season title. Landis was the best scorer in the league not named Obi Emegano.
Summit League Coach of the Year: Jon Coffman, IPFW
IPFW was picked fourth in the league’s preseason poll, but that didn’t stop Coffman from winning a share of the league’s regular season title. It’s the first time the program has done that while setting school records for wins.
First-Team All-Summit League:
- Max Landis, IPFW
- Obi Emegano, Oral Roberts
- George Marshall, SDSU
- Mike Daum, SDSU
- Tra-Deon Hollins, Omaha
CBT Prediction: South Dakota State knocks off IPFW