Indiana/Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW) recorded the second 20-win season in its history as a Division I program in 2016. Now, the Mastodons are just three victories away from their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
They'll have to topple South Dakota State, Nebraska-Omaha and the rest of a competitive field in the 2016 Summit League Tournament to get there. IPFW and South Dakota State shared the Summit's regular season crown this winter with identical 12-4 league records and a 1-1 record against each other. If seeding holds true, they'll meet in a championship game rubber match that would determine which team goes to the big dance and which settles for an NIT bid.
Third-seeded Omaha could make some waves as well. The Mavericks are only in their fourth season as a Division I program, and the 2015-16 season marks the first in which they're eligible for the NCAA Tournament. Only four teams in the nation score more points per game than the Mavericks, so expect fireworks each time they take the court in the Summit League Tournament.
The Summit League Tournament is as straightforward as an eight-team bracket gets. There are no byes, and three wins will secure an NCAA Tournament for one of these mid-major programs. Only one team — 3-13 Western Illinois — was left out of the conference's postseason, despite a season-opening win over Wisconsin.
1. Indiana/Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW)
2. South Dakota State
4. Indiana/Purdue Indianapolis (IUPUI)
7. Oral Roberts
8. South Dakota
You can see the full bracket here.
Schedule and Results (all times Eastern)
Saturday, March 5 (Quarterfinals)
Game 1: No. 1 IPFW 86, No. 8 South Dakota 70
Game 2: No. 2 South Dakota State 73, No. 7 Oral Roberts 70
Sunday, March 6 (Quarterfinals)
Game 3: No. 5 North Dakota State 60, No. 4 IUPUI 45
Game 4: No. 6 Denver 78, No. 3 Omaha 70
Monday, March 7 (Semifinals)
Game 5: No. 5 North Dakota State 69, No. 1 IPFW 70
Game 6: No. 2 South Dakota State 54, No. 6 Denver 53
Tuesday, March 8 (Championship)
Game 7: No. 2 South Dakota State 67, No. 5 North Dakota State 59