The Summit League Championship Game tips off Tuesday night, with the host South Dakota State Jackrabbits looking to earn the automatic bid by knocking off the Western Illinois Leathernecks.
Summit League Championship Game Info
- Location: Sioux Falls Arena in Sioux Falls, S.D.
- Time: 9:00 ET
- TV: ESPN2
- Point Spread: South Dakota State -9.5
- Over/Under: 120.5
South Dakota State-Western Illinois Preview
SDSU went 13-3 in conference play, finishing in second place behind Oral Roberts, who Western Illinois upset in Monday’s Semifinal matchup.
The Jackrabbits swept the season series against the Leathernecks, with the most recent victory coming by 17 points on the same floor where these teams will meet tonight.
When SDSU Has The Ball
If for no other reason, you should tune in to watch South Dakota State junior Nate Wolters, who averages 21.5 points, 6.1 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.7 steals. He is one of the country’s most efficient players and is among the nation’s leaders in usage rate, assist rate, and turnover rate.
Four SDSU players shoot over 40 percent from beyond the arc, which has helped propel them to the top of the Summit League in offensive efficiency. Western Illinois ranks third in defensive efficiency, thanks in large part to a league-best turnover rate, but that will be tested against a South Dakota State squad that rarely turns the ball over.
When Western Illinois Has The Ball
Western Illinois boasts three double-digit scorers led by Ceola Clark III and Obi Emegano, and post man Terrell Parks has played well in the tournament and shoots nearly 62 percent from the field. However, the Jackrabbits finished atop the league in defensive efficiency and should provide plenty of resistance on the defensive end. In conference games, SDSU ranks first in defensive rebounding percentage and second in both effective field goal percentage defense and opponents’ free throw rate.
South Dakota State-Western Illinois Prediction
Don’t expect this to be a high-scoring affair, as the Leathernecks play at the slowest pace in all of college hoops. South Dakota State is superior on both ends of the floor though, and I expect them to secure the automatic bid in front of a partisan home crowd.