NCAA Tournament – WED 3/20 | 6:40 PM EDT | UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON ARENA
N. Dakota St. Bison first appearance in NCAA Tournament appearance since 2015
North Dakota State Bison (18-15) were the unlikely winner of the Summit League tournament, taking advantage of a quarterfinal upset loss to regular-season winner South Dakota State is in the first in NCAA Tournament four years. North Dakota is a perimeter-oriented team with 10 players who have made at least 10 from 3-point land. Leading the Bison with a high scorer (12.8 ppg) is Vinnie Shahid and second on the team with 60 treys while is Jared Samuelson (7.2) is the better marksman of the two, hitting a team-high 64 while shooting better from beyond the arc (46.4 %) than overall (46.0).
Eagles in third straight play-in game hope to come out victorious
North Carolina-Central Eagles (18-15) seeded No. 16 three straight years in a row making an annual trip to Dayton in a hopes to reach the round of 64 proper. North Carolina-Central again came out victorious in the Mid-Eastern Conference tournament, taking down the top two teams — Norfolk State and North Carolina A&T in the final two games by a combined five points. It is the fourth trip for the school and coach LeVelle Moton, who took over in 2009 when the Eagles were just in their third season as a Division I program. Moton can lean on big man Raasean Davis, who may be just as eager as his coach to get a win at Dayton in his last go-round. The senior is averaging team highs of 14.6 points and 8.9 rebounds while shooting 64.5 5, and he had 19 points and 11 boards in last year’s 64-46 loss to Texas Southern.
North Dakota State Bison are no stranger to the tournament, North Dakota State is appearing for the third time in six years. They’re riding a four-game win streak, two of those when dressing up as underdogs. North Dakota State plays a much tougher schedule within the Summit League than NC Central plays in the MEAC. And the Bison will have had four extra days’ rest. Look for the Biston to push the pace and cover.
PICK *N. DAKOTA ST. -5.5