Conference: Summit League
Coach: T.J. Otzelberger
Record: 28-6, 13-1 Summit (1st)
Rankings and Ratings:
– Kenpom: 80
– RPI: 42
– AP/USA TODAY: Not ranked
Seeding: The Jackrabbits could very well end up being the best mid-major automatic bid to get into the NCAA tournament. They are probably going to end up being the trendiest 12-5 upset pick.
Names you need to know: Mike Daum. The Dauminator. The biggest Jackrabbit averaged 23.8 points and 10.4 boards this season while shooting 42 percent from three, and those numbers are down from what they were earlier in his career. He’s probably going to play in the NBA.
Stats you need to know: The Jackrabbits do three things very well that will help them to land an upset: They shoot the three very well, they don’t turn the ball over and they clean the defensive glass. Oh, and they got that Daum guy.
Big wins, bad losses: Otzelberger gave his team some chances to win big games this year, and they landed a few. They won at Ole Miss. They beat Iowa. They beat a good Buffalo team. They also got worked by Kansas, blew a big halftime lead at Wichita State and lost at Colorado in double-overtime.
How’d they get here?: The Jackrabbits cruised through the Summit League regular season and knocked off in-state rival South Dakota in the Summit title game.
Outlook: It’s all going to depend on matchups, obviously, but I think that the Jacks have a real chance to win a game, maybe end two, in the NCAA tournament. They are good, they have a star and they do the things you need to do to be able to win a game against one of the big boys in March.
How do I know you?: SDSU always has some superstar on their roster, it feels like. A couple of years ago, they were again a trendy upset pick when they had Nate Wolters, a superstar in the mid-major ranks that ended up spending a few seasons in the NBA.