There is a rivalry game on Friday night in the Summit League. It isn’t much of a rivalry game and won’t get much attention outside of North Dakota, but this is a meaningful game for North Dakota State and North Dakota. There is no love lost between these two, and bragging rights in the state count for something.
The Summit League is as wide open as it can get. That doesn’t mean there are any good teams in the Summit League, but even with North Dakota State at 6-6 on the season, they can still win the conference. They’re 4-0 in the conference, so yeah, I would say that the Bison have a chance to win the Summit League.
North Dakota State is undefeated along with South Dakota State and South Dakota. South Dakota State has only played two games in the Summit League, so South Dakota and North Dakota State lead at 4-0. If we’re looking at the overall body of work, South Dakota State is at the top with a record of 8-3.
The Fighting Hawks are going to need a lot to change soon if they’re going to get into the Summit League discussion. Perhaps a win over a rival on Friday can change the course of their season. It would at least give something to put on their resume. The Fighting Hawks have struggled to find wins, as they enter Friday with a record of 3-10.
North Dakota is coming off a 74-57 loss against Oral Roberts. This was after North Dakota had one of their best wins of the season in a 72-71 win over Oral Roberts. I think a lot of that had to do with Oral Roberts not taking their opponent seriously. When they found out what happens when you take a team lightly, Oral Roberts responded with a big win.
The Fighting Hawks also have wins against South Dakota, 75-71, and Kansas City, 52-45. They came close in their first meeting against North Dakota State this season. The Bison just edged out the Fighting Hawks barely by a score of 53-52 in their first meeting on December 12. However, since then, North Dakota State has been improving, while North Dakota has been going in the wrong direction. Head below for our free North Dakota State vs. North Dakota pick on January 15, 2021.
North Dakota State Bison vs. North Dakota Fighting Hawks NCAA Betting Odds:
North Dakota State vs. North Dakota Prediction:
North Dakota State has been feeling good of late with four straight wins. Most importantly, North Dakota State has covered the number in four of their last five games. Despite coming up short at TCU, their meeting against the Horned Frogs might have been the most impressive effort. North Dakota State was competitive on the road in a 89-82 loss. It was close at halftime, with only four points separating the Bison and Horned Frogs at the half, 49-45.
Following the loss for North Dakota State, they went on a four-game winning streak. The Bison beat Western Illinois twice, and then did the same against Omaha in back-to-back games. In their most recent outing, the Bison made easy work of Omaha in a 80-66 win. Rocky Kreuser scored 19 points, while Sam Griesel chipped in with 18 points in the winning effort. Overall on the season, North Dakota State has averaged 67.1 points per game, which isn’t spectacular.
That said, North Dakota has one of the worst offenses in college basketball. The Fighting Hawks have netted just 61.5 points per game for 333rd in the NCAA. With 345 teams in the NCAA, it can’t get much worse for North Dakota. And at home, they’ve been even worse with 52.5 points scored a game. In their last three outings, the Fighting Hawks have registered an abysmal 57.8 points per game.
Conversely, North Dakota State has been heating up from the field, with 75.8 points per game. I know how close this game was the first time these two teams met earlier in the season. However, one is heading in the right direction right now, while the other continues to struggle. Expect North Dakota State to get the win and cover.