If you haven’t been to a Bison men’s basketball game yet this season, the time is now. If you’ve wanted to see NDSU play against an All-American player on their home floor, the time is now. If you want to attend the biggest regular season game of the year, the time is now. If you want to send out 3 Bison greats in their last two home games of their careers to a tremendous showing from the community, the time is now. This is it Bison fans, 2 home games, tonight at 7pm against Oral Roberts and Saturday afternoon at 1pm against Kansas City. The battle for the 2 seed in the Summit League tournament and earning an off day and easier first round matchup will ultimately come down to the outcome of these two games. If NDSU wins both games they will lock up the 2 seed as the best ORU can do is tie but NDSU would have the series sweep this season for the tie-breaker. That 2 seed may be as important this year as ever as the teams in the middle of the conference have been playing some of their best basketball down the stretch and will be poised to pull some upsets come tournament time. That means this NDSU Bison team needs all the help they can get from the fans to win these two games at home before closing the regular season on the road next weekend at UND.
Tonight’s game against ORU is likely to be a great one. It took a game winner from Sam Griesel to pull out the 1 point victory on the road when the two teams met back in January. Standing in the way of NDSU and the 2 seed is All American guard Max Abmas from ORU. Abmas is once again having an outstanding year as he averages 22.8 ppg which is 5th in the nation for scoring and he is also 2nd in the nation with 3-point makes at 99. With Kevin Obanor transferring to Texas Tech after last season, where he’s having a fantastic year by the way, ORU has found most of it’s scoring outside of Abmas from two other guards. Sophomore transfer from Vanderbilt Issac McBride is 2nd on the team in scoring at 11.3 ppg and sophomore Trey Phipps comes in at 3rd at 9.4 ppg. NDSU will have their hands full trying to contain this trio of guards and keeping them in check if they want to pull out the W. Working in their favor is the fact that freshman Grant Nelson and Andrew Morgan missed the game on the road at ORU and are now both back in the lineup. Their combination of size and skill is definitely a matchup advantage on the offensive end that the team will hope to exploit. This one should be fun and will be even more fun with a packed house, so get out to the game tonight and be loud!
Saturday’s game will be equally important as Kansas City is hot on NDSU’s heels trying to move into the top 3 seeds for the tournament. Emotions should be high for the NDSU team as it will be the last home game for 3 beloved Bison players in Rocky Kreuser, Tyree Eady and Sam Griesel. In addition to senior day, the Bison will also be looking to avenge the loss they took on the road at KC where they led by 14 with about 12 1/2 minutes left only to go on a nearly 9 minute scoring drought and let the game slip through their fingers. Again, NDSU was without Nelson and Morgan for that matchup so this game will have a slightly different look to it as since that game KC has also welcomed one of their better players in Josiah Allick back to the lineup. The Roos senior transfer from New Mexico State Evan Gilyard II has been on an absolute tear since the last time these two teams played averaging 21.8ppg which include games of 30, 33 and 29 points. He’s explosive, NDSU did a great job limiting him in their previous outing but there’s no doubt Gilyard will be out for revenge of his own in this matchup.
Three Bison greats last home games, two fantastic matchups, and one Summit League Tournament seeding to decide. What more could you ask for as a fan? I’ve been begging for fans to provide a rowdy atmosphere for this team since the SHAC opened, the time is now!