The Denver Pioneers and Missouri-Kansas City Roos are scheduled for a Summit League showdown on Friday night at the Swinney Recreation Center. It has been a very average season in the Summit League for everyone, but somebody has to win the conference and go to the NCAA Tournament.
There are six teams that could foreseeably win the Summit League. From the current No. 1 teams, South Dakota and North Dakota, who are locked up at 9-3 and 12-9 overall, down to the No. 6 Kansas City Roos, 9-10 overall and 5-5 in the Summit League.
The top-8 teams are granted a spot in the conference tournament in the Summit League. That leaves somebody out, which is either going to be the Omaha Mavericks or Pioneers. Neither of these teams deserve a spot in any tournament, so the Summit League could just proceed without them and nothing would change.
Omaha is one of the worst programs in the country. Never mind the Summit League, Omaha is in the same territory as Mississippi Valley State. At least Omaha has two wins, though, something that Mississippi Valley State does not. Denver isn’t too far behind Omaha in the Summit League Standings.
A late season slip up, and Denver could be pushed to the bottomless pit of the conference. They head into Friday night with a record of 2-15 and 1-9 in the Summit League. Their only wins of the season came against Regis University to open the season on November 28, 82-66, and more recently against North Dakota in an upset on February 6, 85-81.
Credit the Pioneers for that effort, but the Fighting Hawks aren’t very good in their own right. North Dakota owns a record of 8-15, so Denver still doesn’t have a “good” win on their resume. In any event, in a tough season like this, any win has to feel good for Denver. Unfortunately, the Pioneers reverted right back to their losing ways, and they are coming off a 75-69 and 82-75 loss against Western Illinois.
Kansas City may not be the most difficult opponent, but the Roos can pressure defensively, which can cause plenty of headaches. They are coming off a two-game sweep of Omaha by a score of 62-52 and 55-47. The Roos enter on a three-game winning streak, which also includes a 49-47 win over top-ranked North Dakota State. Head below for our free Denver vs. Kansas City pick on February 19, 2021.
Denver Pioneers vs. Missouri-Kansas City Roos NCAA Betting Odds:
Denver vs. Kansas City Prediction:
Teams that aren’t interested in showing up and running their offense effectively are going to run into problems against Kansas City. The Roos are a poor man’s version of the Virginia Cavaliers. They are incredibly active defensively and want to wear their opponent down into the ground. Their offense can be anemic at times, but their whole philosophy is to slow the game down and allow their defense to go to work.
The Roos have been excellent at achieving that goal. If they want to beat good teams on a more consistent basis, though, the offense will have to come around for them at some point. Against a team like Denver, Kansas City shouldn’t run into too many problems, though. The Roos are ninth in the NCAA and best in the Summit League with an average of just 60.6 points allowed per game.
At home they’ve been filthy at limiting opposing teams. Kansas City has allowed just 51.6 points per game in their home court. Through their previous five outings, they’ve given up 58.6 points per game. Expect more of the same from Kansas City, especially against a Pioneers squad that has struggled to score mightily as a visitor. They’ve netted an average of only 61.7 points per game on the road.
As far as the bad Kansas City offense is concerned, they should be able to generate opportunities versus an anemic Denver offense. The Pioneers are giving up 79.6 points a game for 332nd in the NCAA. Are you shocked that Denver is 0-7 on the road going into tonight? Probably not. Kansas City’s offense has shown life at home, with 73 points scored per game. They likely play well enough to cruise past Denver for a double-digit win in the ballpark of 74-57 on Friday night.