A few final notes from the Summit League basketball tournament at the Arena. It concluded Tuesday night:
Comparing the late shot hit by North Dakota State senior Taylor Braun to the one made by Bison legend Ben Woodside in the 2009 final was not a media gimmick – the NDSU players and coaches brought it up multiple times during the press conference.
Braun and Woodside – now a pro playing in Europe – are summer workout partners, and many members of the 2009 club were at the game.
This was just the second time in tournament history that the men’s bracket went exactly to seed. That also happened in 1994.
Of this year’s games, only two of the six were decided by less than 15 points.
NDSU will head into the NCAA tournament on a nine-game win streak. It’s RPI was No. 38 as of Monday. ESPN.com projects that the Bison will be a No. 13-seed. SDSU was a 13 last year.
The Summit champ hasn’t won an NCAA game since 2005 when Oakland prevailed in a play-in affair.
The Arena’s run as Summit tourney host has ended after six years and 82 games. That includes 12 title tilts – six men and six women. Of those 12, seven were decided by six points or less and three went into overtime.
Still, the No. 1 seed prevailed five of six times on the men’s side and three of six on the women’s side.
Postseason invites will be handed out Sunday for the men and Monday for the women. Summit officials feel good about getting at least three men’s teams into an event (NDSU, Fort Wayne, SDSU) and think that Omaha and Denver will be considered, too. On the women’s side, IUPUI is the most likely to join USD and SDSU.
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.