Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tough day for MSU hoops, but things may work out

The Minnesota State men's basketball team lost 82-74 to Winona State in Saturday's semifinals of the Northern Sun tournament, but the opportunity to host next week's Central Region tournament may not be lost.
It was a day of upsets in the Northern Sun as in all four semifinals, two for men and two for women, the lower-seeded team won.
In the men's tournament, Winona State and St. Cloud State will play for the championship, and since the winner gets an automatic berth into the national tournament, an neither team is ranked in the top 10 in the region, some team is going to get bumped, likely either Augustana or Adams State.
Minnesota State was ranked No. 1 in the region before this weekend's games, followed by Colorado School of Mines, Mary and Metro State. All four lost this weekend so the seedings will probably remain the same.
Minnesota State is hosting a viewing party for the NCAA selection show at 9 p.m. Sunday at the downtown Buffalo Wild Wings. The best guess is that Minnesota State will retain the No. 1 ranking and host the Central Region tournament next weekend.
Here's a guess at the pairings: Minnesota State vs. the winner of Winona State and St. Cloud State, Mines vs. Augustana, Mary vs. Metro State and Fort Lewis vs. Mesa State.
The NCAA could choose not to have so many matchups between teams of the same conference, so we'll see Sunday.
Will it matter for MSU? Not if they play so passively as in Saturday's loss. Winona State attacked the offensive glass, and Minnesota State didn't match the physical play. The referees allowed a lot of contact, and the Mavericks didn't adjust.
Unfortunately, Minnesota State has a reputation for great regular seasons and postseason losses. So far, that's the story on this season.

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