Sunday Roundup (11/26)
The headline may be that the Football team will get a return visit by San Diego on Saturday. After getting Thanksgiving week off, the tournament can begin in earnest as NDSU and other seven seeded teams kick it off.
But the bye week was full of alternative action. First up was Men's Basketball who hosted Florida A & M on Wednesday and Stetson on Saturday. The former represented the greater challenge but the squad managed to handle both with relative ease. With my pessimism about them this year I'm glad for every win that they can chalk up with the hope that they'll pay off a couple months into next year! From here they head south again for contests against Stephen F. Austin on Tuesday & Mississippi State on Thursday. 1-1 would be a great outcome this week but I wouldn't be shocked if they tack on an 0-2 record.
The women's team continued their impressive start to the season with a win today against UMBC but also dropped their first one of the season on Saturday against Navy. At 5-1 they're off to a tremendous start to their year and my 17 win prediction may have been an underestimation! They'll next travel to Colorado Wednesday and then finish out the road trip at Milwaukee on Friday.
And last but possibly best, the Wrestling team hosted #3 ranked Oklahoma State. When they joined the Big 12 it was pretty safe to assume that they would face & host some great programs but today was a landmark in that OSU is the highest ranked to yet visit the SHAC. They got run out of their own building but a negative outcome doesn't diminish the fact that NDSU's Wrestling is playing with the best there are. The question I have is whether the Bison's presence in a power conference will help to cultivate the sport in this region? Time will tell on that but today marked a landmark day for that part of the athletics department! Next up for them is a trip for Vegas for some of the competitors while others will take place in the Dragon open on Saturday.
Team Skol was the highlight of the Thanksgiving day slate with a closer then it should have been win over Detroit. For more about it, check the Pick Six!
They haven't arrived. I'm far from throwing in the towel on the Howl but they're taking longer then I would have guessed to congeal. They'll never lack for offense, even as they learn each other. Nay, it's the defense that is far from where it needs to be. It's not even association average which continues to be a thorn in the paw and is hard to explain because of the additions that were made. There's all kinds of time for them to go from winning, but inconstantly to being the team that I and many people expected them to be. It's become clear that game 20 is too early of a point on the calendar but hopefully they can have things working much better by 2018!
The fire breathers had a week full of Basketball. It started with the Men finishing out their exhibition schedule with a drubbing of the Cobbers on Tuesday evening. From their they travelled to Springfield Missouri for a two day tournament where they were summarily out classed. First was Drury who took MSUM by 20 points and notched 101 in the process. Following that up the Dragons defense may have been better the next day or their opponent may have been worse but the result was the same so the margin of defeat doesn't really matter. It's a tough start to the year but maybe all the signs have already been there that this will be a long season for the hoop heads!
The women on the other hand took care of business in both of their Thanksgiving tournament games. The first one out in Tampa was a narrow six point win but they followed that up with a double up, dropping 92 while only giving up 46. Those kind of games are few and far between so hopefully it was as fun for the local team as it would appear to be! Next up both teams head out to Central and North Western North Dakota for a pair of show downs, first against the U of Mary & then against Minot State next weekend.
The aforementioned Men's Basketball team went from the Dragon exhibition to a conference game at Augsburg. The Auggies took care of business though, defeating the Cobbers by 17. Concordia won't have to wait long for another chance at a conference win as they visit St. Thomas on Wednesday night & Macalester on Saturday.
Maybe their's something in the water that's being given to the women ballers in Moorhead because the Cobber ladies also managed to hang a 43 point win on their schedule. Either that or they're just taking on some very low level competition in the early going. Whatever the case, keep it up! Their next challenge will be a visit to Jamestown at mid week and then to Macalester at the end of it.
Beyond the ball, the only other activity for the corn cobs was a single skate session by the woman's Hockey team against Eau Claire. The 4-2 loss may be the most under the radar of all the collegiate level action from the past week but may also represent the worst outcome of the span as well. It's a matter of perspective but it's not unlike losing by 43 or 46 and so it should be avoided as often as possible. The losses will come, that's true of every team in this mix and of all those not currently included, but a close loss is much better then a blow out, even if it's a two score blow out.