South Dakota State

AP Photo/Matt Stamey

Bracketology: Kentucky returns to top line

Leave a comment

Kentucky began its bracket journey last October as the projected No. 1 seed in the South Region.  As March nears, the Wildcats return to the top line, holding the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region.  For context, UK has lost just twice since the start of 2019, by a combined four points.

Duke continues as the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Virginia and Gonzaga.  Tennessee, North Carolina, Michigan State and Michigan remain in the top-seed discussion.  All eight have a lot at stake these next three weeks.

The cutline is equally compelling.  Will some early contenders make late runs to regain a look?  Will teams like Texas, Minnesota, and Ohio State hold on?  Will this be the year we see an at-large bid or two granted to deserving mid-majors?  The Madness is about to begin.

BRACKET UPDATE: February 25, 2019

FIRST FOUR – DAYTON
EAST REGION Temple vs. Alabama
MIDWEST REGION UCF vs. Utah State
EAST REGION ST. FRANCIS (PA) vs. NORFOLK ST
WEST REGION PRAIRIE VIEW vs. RIDER

EAST Washington, DC   SOUTH – Louisville                           
Columbia Columbus
1) DUKE 1) Virginia
16) ST. FRANCIS / NORFOLK ST 16) SAM HOUSTON ST
8) Ole Miss 8) St. John’s
9) Oklahoma 9) TCU
Salt Lake City San Jose
5) Iowa 5) Maryland
12) Temple / Alabama 12) BELMONT
4) Kansas 4) KANSAS STATE
13) OLD DOMINION 13) VERMONT
Jacksonville Hartford
6) Louisville 6) Virginia Tech
11) Arizona State 11) Texas
3) LSU 3) Purdue
14) YALE 14) TEXAS STATE
Des Moines Columbia
7) BUFFALO 7) Villanova
10) VCU 10) Ohio State
2) Michigan 2) Tennessee
15) LOYOLA-CHICAGO 15) WRIGHT STATE
MIDWEST – Kansas City WEST – Anaheim
Columbus Salt Lake City
1) KENTUCKY 1) GONZAGA
16) BUCKNELL 16) PR VIEW / RIDER
8) Baylor 8) WOFFORD
9) Syracuse 9) Auburn
San Jose Tulsa
5) Florida State 5) NEVADA
12) UCF / Utah State 12) LIPSCOMB
4) Wisconsin 4) Texas Tech
13) UC-IRVINE 13) NEW MEXICO ST
Hartford Tulsa
6) Iowa State 6) Mississippi State
11) Minnesota 11) Seton Hall
3) MARQUETTE 3) HOUSTON
14) HOFSTRA 14) SOUTH DAKOTA ST
Jacksonville Des Moines
7) Cincinnati 7) WASHINGTON
10) Florida 10) NC State
2) North Carolina 2) MICHIGAN STATE
15) RADFORD 15) MONTANA

BUBBLE NOTES
Last 4 Byes Last 4 IN      First 4 OUT Next 4 OUT
Texas Temple Butler Dayton
Minnesota Alabama Clemson UNC-Greensboro
Arizona State UCF Georgetown Davidson
Seton Hall Utah State Furman Murray State

TOP SEED LINE: Duke is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Virginia, Gonzaga, and Kentucky

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (8): DUKE, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse, NC State

Big 10 (8): MICHIGAN STATE, Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Ohio State, Minnesota

BIG 12 (8): KANSAS STATE, Texas Tech, Kansas, Iowa State, Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma, Texas

SEC (8): KENTUCKY, Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Auburn, Florida, Alabama

Big East (4): MARQUETTE, Villanova, St. John’s, Seton Hall

American (4): HOUSTON, Cincinnati, Temple, UCF

Pac 12 (2): WASHINGTON, Arizona State

Mountain West (2): NEVADA, Utah State

Southern (1): WOFFORD

Atlantic 10 (1): VCU

Mid American (1): BUFFALO

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Rider (MAAC), Old Dominion (C-USA), Texas State (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Wright State (HORIZON), Sam Houston State (SLND), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Lipscomb (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Hofstra (CAA), Radford (BSO), Norfolk State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), St. Francis (PA) (NEC), Prairie View (SWAC)

Bracketing principles: read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com.

NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheet: Getting to know South Dakota State

1 Comment

Read through the rest of the Cheat Sheets here.

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.

Nate Wolters sits out with injury in South Dakota State’s loss to Minnesota

1 Comment

With Nate Wolters in the lineup, it looked like South Dakota State had some upset potential against No. 14 Minnesota Tuesday night.

Then news broke Tuesday afternoon that Wolters had rolled his ankle in practice and was questionable for his team’s match-up with the Gophers. Ultimately, he dressed but didn’t play, watching from the sidelines as the Jackrabbits were dismantled, 88-64.

“I didn’t care about the score, I just wanted to see us compete like I want us to compete,” SDSU coach Scott Nagy said after the game. “I think that the talk was that they believed they could play well, they believed that they could win, but they didn’t play like it, and that was my frustration.”

There was no official word after the game as to how long the injury would keep Wolters out of game action, but his absence Tuesday night was the first time he has sat out in nearly a year.

He last did not play on Dec. 12, 2011 against Dakota State.

“I have a lot of respect for South Dakota State, but I have a lot of respect for our players, the way they conducted themselves tonight as far as being disciplined,” said Minnesota coach Tubby Smith. “Nate Wolters is a very talented player and we wish him the best, hoping his ankle heals.”

As for the game itself, Minnesota guard Andre Hollins scored 22 points, including 6-of-7 shooting from three-point range. The team as a whole shot 57 percent from the field and 10-of-22 from distance.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Trevor Lacey buzzer beater lifts Alabama over South Dakota State (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

The first buzzer beater of the season belongs to Alabama sophomore guard Trevor Lacey, who’s three-pointer lifted the Crimson Tide to a 70-67 win over Nate Wolters and South Dakota State Friday night at home.

The play started with Lacey on the wing, then setting an off the ball screen, trying to free up a teammate fading behind the arc. Lacey flashed to the ball and received a pass from Anthony Steele with just over five seconds remaining, being covered by SDSU’s Brayden Carlson.

Carlson got caught leaning into the ball screen. The 6-foot-3 Lacey fake a move towards the screen then crossed over, took one extra dribble and drilled his second three-pointer of the night, ending with 15 points.

Alabama led by seven with five minutes remaining, but a tough South Dakota State team was able to rally and tie the score at 67 with 30 seconds to play.

Wolters scored 30 points of 10-of-15 shooting for the Jackrabbits. Trevor Releford led the Tide with 18 points off the bench.

Bama will play West Alabama on Monday. SDSU takes on Tennessee State on Wednesday.


(Video credit to Matt Norlander of CBS)

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne