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Summit League Tournament preview: Can Mike Daum and the Jacks four peat?

Is anyone up to the task to stop South Dakota State?

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South Dakota State v Ohio State Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Welcome to the South Dakota State Invitational, also known as the Summit League Tournament. It’s no coincidence that the Jackrabbits have owned the scene in Sioux Falls since Mike Daum stepped foot on campus in Brookings, South Dakota.

And it shapes up to play out the same way this season.

Just ask Ken Pomeroy. His projections give the Jackrabbits a 92.1 percent chance of beating Western Illinois to make the semifinals, and then a salty 62.3 percent chance of cutting down the Premier Center nets.

That seems good. The only thing left to do is see if Daum and Co. and make it four titles in four years.

Tournament Bracket

Summit League


How to Watch

Quarterfinals (Sat., March 9)

Midco SN will air both games. ESPN+ ($) will stream both games.

Game 1: No. 8 Western Illinois vs. No. 1 South Dakota State, 7 p.m.

Game 2: No. 7 North Dakota vs. No. 2 Omaha, approx. 9:30 p.m.

Quarterfinals (Sun., March 10)

Midco SN will air both games. ESPN+ ($) will stream both games.

Game 3: No. 5 Oral Roberts vs. No. 4 North Dakota State, 7 p.m.

Game 4: No. 6 South Dakota vs. No. 3 Purdue Fort Wayne, approx. 9:30 p.m.

Semifinals (Mon., March 11)

Midco SN will air both games. ESPN+ ($) will stream both games.

Game 5: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 3 Winner, 7 p.m.

Game 6: Game 2 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner, approx. 9:30 p.m.

Championship (Tue., March 12)

Game 7: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

The Favorite

South Dakota State: At 6-foot-9, Mike Daum is obviously the player that catches everyone’s eye at first glance. But the Jackrabbits are much more than Daum. David Jenkins Jr. is everything a team could want in a second option. An uber-athletic guard who puts in 19.9 points per game, second only to Daum (25.4) in that category. Jenkins is also the league’s best 3-point shooter at 47.8 percent. Then mix in Tevin King handing out 123 assists this season, and Skyler Flatten’s 52 percent field goal percentage, and the Jackrabbits have weapons all over the court with their starting five. Where South Dakota State lacks is in the depth department. South Dakota State will usually not go more than six or seven deep into the bench, so stamina and foul trouble will be key in March.

The Contender

Omaha: If any team is going to beat the Mavericks, they’ll have to do so without forcing a lot of Omaha mistakes. The Mavericks don’t beat themselves, ranking seventh in the country in total turnovers. Mix in Zach Jackson (18.6 points per game), JT Gibson (13.6), KJ Robinson (11.6) and Mr. Do Everything Mitch Hahn (13.4) and the Mavericks have the right balance to possibly challenge for the title.

The Dark Horse

Purdue Fort Wayne: Be prepared to see plenty of long-range shots. The Mastodons will let it fly from anywhere, ranking second in the country in 3-point makes (305). Purdue Fort Wayne also shares the ball and gets everyone open looks with 16.3 assists per game. Then there’s John Konchar, who has proven he can do it all throughout the course of his career. This season he’s averaging 19.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. Not to mention his 60 steals are the best in the league. Matt Holba (42.9 percent ) and Kason Harrell (39.2) are both sharpshooters from deep, dropping in better than 39 percent of their 3-point tries.

Players to watch

  • Kobe Webster (Western Illinois): Averages 16.7 points per game.
  • Emmanuel Nzekwesi (Oral Roberts): Posts 15.3 points per game, and missed both regular-season losses against North Dakota State.
  • Stanley Umude (South Dakota): Took the reigns as the Coyotes’ leading scorer and averages 14.2 points per game. Shoots at a 49 percent clip and 35.7 from beyond the 3-point arc.
  • Vinnie Shahid (North Dakota): Junior college transfer has led the Bison in scoring at 12.6 points per game.
  • Kevin Obanor (Oral Roberts): League’s top freshman is averaging 14 points off the bench.


It will continue to be South Dakota State’s league until someone unseats them. The Jackrabbit fans will flock to Sioux Falls, and it will be three straight home games for South Dakota State. The challenge for the other seven teams in the field will be to overcome all of that.