- The Summit League Championship Game is set between in-state rivals North Dakota State and North Dakota on Tuesday, March 10th at 9:00pm EST
- The Bison are six-point favorites and looking to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season
- Read on for the game odds, total and best bet for tonight’s championship game
The Summit League Championship Game is set, and it will be an all-North Dakota final.
On Tuesday night, North Dakota and North Dakota State will square off for the Summit League title and, of course, an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament later this month.
Summit League Championship Game Odds
|North Dakota||+6 (-110)||O 143 (+100)|
|North Dakota State||-6 (-110)||U 143 (-120)|
Odds taken Mar 10
Summit League Tournament Bracket
Surprise in the Final
This tournament has played out in far different fashion that the opening odds projected. The first-seeded Bison have followed the script, getting through Denver and Oral Roberts on their way into Tuesday night. However, the other half of this Championship Game will be a squad that entered the tournament as huge underdogs.
North Dakota had just +2400 odds to win the Summit League entering the tournament, better than only Denver (+6500) and Purdue Fort Wayne (+3500). Despite a record of just 15-17, the Fighting Hawks pulled off two big victories right when they needed it. A 74-71 win over South Dakota and a blowout victory against Purdue Fort Wayne has set up an in-state rivalry to cap off this Summit League Tournament.
Chance to Go Dancing
At stake on Tuesday, as in all the conference championship games, is a spot in the NCAA Tournament that begins on March 19th. Neither of these teams is a big player in the 2020 NCAA Championship Odds, but they each hope to carve their path as a cinderella.
For North Dakota, the key cog to their success is Marlon Stewart. As a senior, he has averaged 18.8 points per game, along with 5.2 assists and 5.5 rebounds. He posted a team-high 36 points for North Dakota during this Summit League Tournament, and he’ll have to keep up this pace to contend with the Bison. A 35-point game earlier this season is certainly encouraging.
Bison on Fire
Stewart and company will have to contend with an NDSU team that is firing on all cylinders. The pair of seniors in Vinnie Shahid and Tyson Ward have combined to score 80 points in the Bison’s two tournament games, and they’re a big part of the reason that North Dakota State has won 11 of their last 12 games. The one defeat in that run? A 71-68 loss to rival North Dakota.
That result all but eliminates the chance that the Bison are taking the opposition lightly here. Not only is this an in-state rival, but it’s a team that handed the Bison their first loss since January 22nd.
What’s the Best Bet?
While North Dakota State comes in to this game on fire, it’s a different story for their rival. North Dakota has lost five of their last ten contests, and they hadn’t strung together two wins in a row before this tournament since January 25th.
The story isn’t quite the same against the spread, but it’s similar. The Bison are just above .500, but they still possess a winning mark at 15-14-1. The Fighting Hawks have been unreliable for bettors, however, going just 11-18 against the number this season.
It’s plain to see that the Bison are the stronger squad here. North Dakota certainly has a bit of momentum with two tournament wins, but they were fortunate enough to avoid the 2nd-seed South Dakota State in the semifinal.
With the automatic bid on the line, it’s the Bison that should get it done on Tuesday.