Cheat Sheets

NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheet: Getting to know Valparaiso

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Conference: Horizon

Coach: Bryce Drew

Record: 26-7, 13-3

Rankings and Ratings:

– Kenpom: 67
– RPI: 61
– AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding?: Our Dave Ommen had Valparaiso as a No. 13 seed in Monday’s bracket projection.

Names you need to know: Ryan Broekhoff (16.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg), Kevin Van Wijk (12.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg)

Stats you need to know: Valpo is a very good shooting team, finishing fifth in the country in effective field goal percentage and hitting 37.7% of their threes.

Tendencies: Valpo’s strength is on the offensive end of the floor. More specifically, they can flat out shoot the rock, enough so that it makes up for the fact that they turn the ball over too much and struggle to get to the offensive glass.

Big wins, bad losses: Valpo’s best win this season came against Detroit in league play, as they whiffed on a couple big non-conference wins. They don’t have any truly awful losses, however.

How’d they get here?: First, Ryan Broekhoff did this in the semis. (Watch Bryce Drew’s reaction.) Then, they knocked off Wright State, 62-54, in the title game, giving them dual Horizon League titles.

Outlook: The Crusaders are good enough to pull off an upset if they get the right matchup. They have a pair of really good forwards in Broekhoff and Van Wijk that can create matchup problems. Particularly Broekhoff, the 2012 Horizon Player of the Year, who shoots 44.0% from beyond the arc.

How do I know you?: You might remember this shot. That’s Bryce Drew giving Valpo an upset win over Ole Miss. 15 years later, Drew is now Valpo’s head coach.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheet: Getting to know South Dakota State

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Conference: Summit League

Coach: Scott Nagy

Record: 25-9, 13-3

Rankings and Ratings:

– Kenpom: 106
– RPI: 77
– AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding?: Our Dave Ommen had the Jackrabbits as a No. 14 seed in Monday’s bracket projection.

Names you need to know: Nate Wolters (22.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 5.8 apg), Jordan Dykstra (12.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg)

Stats you need to know: SDSU shoots the ball very well from three, they don’t turn it over all that much and, while they are not a great defensive team, they keep opponents off the foul line and clean up the defensive glass.

Tendencies: It’s the Nate Wolters show. By now you should know who the kid is. A 6-foot-5 Minnesota native, Wolters got one scholarship offer coming out of high school and has made the most of it, becoming a favorite for statheads thanks to his uber-efficient, high-usage style of play. Scott Nagy spreads the floor with shooters and allows Wolters to create off the bounce.

Big wins, bad losses: The Jackrabbits have a couple of ugly losses — Hofstra, South Dakota, Cal. St. Bakersfield — but they also beat New Mexico at New Mexico.

How’d they get here?: South Dakota State no only won the Summit League title, after dropping two of their first three games in league play, they won the automatic bid by knocking off North Dakota State, 73-67, in the title game.

Outlook: You know what you are going to get with the Jackrabbits. The ball is going to be in the hands of Nate Wolters, and he’s going to be creating off the dribble. When his teammates are hitting the open shots he can create for them, this group is tough, and they can beat anyone; winning in The Pit is not an easy thing to do, and SDSU did that.

How do I know you?: Naters Gonna Nate.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.