With four or five games to go in the season, the Summit League race is now boiling down to just a pair of teams. Check out who is eliminated and who still has a shot in this week’s Summit League Power Rankings.
The Ass End/Eliminated
- Omaha 7-17 (2-6) LW: 7
Last Week: L 80-60 vs. South Dakota State
Omaha continued the slippery slope all the way to the bottom of the Ass End and with just six games and the Summit League tournament to go, it’s time to start betting on whether the Mavericks will reach 10 wins this season. I’d put my money on the under.
This Week: Thu vs. Western Illinois, Saturday vs. Fort Wayne
- Oral Roberts 9-17 (3-6) LW: 6
Last Week: L 85-75 at Fort Wayne, L 82-56 at Western Illinois
Although not mathematically eliminated quite yet, Oral Roberts needs a lot to go its way and can only grab a share of the regular season title at best. The slack-dick Division II teams did nothing to prepare the Golden Eagles for the likes of Fort Wayne and lowly Western Illinois.
This Week: Thu vs. North Dakota State, Sat vs. South Dakota State
- Western Illinois 11-11 (2-7) LW: 8
Last Week: L 80-54 vs. South Dakota, W 82-56 vs. Oral Roberts
Out from the bottom, but still in the Ass End. The Yotes traveled to Macomb and rocked the Leathernecks’ world, but Western Illinois followed it up with a win of equal proportions over Oral Roberts to move up this week. However, WIU still owns the conference’s worst record and will forever be in the Ass End.
This Week: Thu at Omaha
Holding on by a Thread
- Denver 10-13 (4-5) LW: 5
Last Week: L 91-63 at Fort Wayne
The Pioneers hold onto their fifth spot after getting blown out by the Mastodons, but they’re likely closer to the spot below than above. Like Oral Roberts, Denver can still get it done, but it needs way too much help than is possible.
This Week: Thu vs. South Dakota State, Sat vs. North Dakota State
- North Dakota State 12-10 (4-5) LW: 3
Last Week: L 82-63 at South Dakota State, L 76-72 vs. South Dakota
It’s a South Dakota league and boy did NDSU run into the wrong teams last week. Losses in Brookings to SDSU and in Fargo to our beloved Coyotes pushed the Bison to the brink of elimination. Four games back is not a good place to be at this point as a single loss puts NDSU in the black.
This Week: Thu at Oral Roberts, Sat at Denver
- Fort Wayne
Last Week: W 85-75 vs. Oral Roberts, W 91-63 vs. Denver
So, you’re telling me there’s a chance? Yes, but not really. Fort Wayne can still pick up wins over both South Dakota schools, but it still needs help beyond that that it likely won’t get. So, no Fort Wayne, you don’t have a chance. Hold onto that thread all you want but get ready to lose to the future champs on Thursday.
This Week: Thu at South Dakota, Sat at Omaha
The Real Race
- South Dakota State 20-6 (8-1) LW: 2
Last Week: W 80-60 vs. Omaha, W 82-63 vs. North Dakota State
This Week: Thu at Denver, Sat at Oral Roberts
- South Dakota 20-6 (8-2) LW: 1
Last Week: W 80-54 at Western Illinois, W 76-72 at North Dakota State
This Week: Thu vs. Fort Wayne, Sun vs. Peru State
The South Dakota schools held serve this week each picking up two wins. Both schools are now the only legitimate contenders for the Summit League title and will likely meet once again in Sioux Falls for the tournament title. The regular season will come down to the Coyotes’ trip to Brookings on Feb. 22. The Yotes hold the top spot until further notice.