We are one week out from conference play! See below how our voters stacked the teams this week.
1. SDSU (90 points; unanimous)
After a couple of poor performances out west, the Jackrabbits rallied to beat Northern Iowa and UT Martin at home, as well as defeating K-State at a neutral site in Kansas City, MO. Our voters agree that SDSU is the top team in the conference at this point. They will battle the nation’s best team in South Carolina on Thursday before opening league play at home next week with ORU and Kansas City.
2. NDSU (76 points)
The Bison have a commanding hold on second place in our rankings. Though they have dropped their last four games, they played Northern Iowa within nine, and lost a one-point heartbreaker to Central Michigan on the road. Heaven Hamling and the Bison could give SDSU a run for its money this season. The Bison open league play at home on Dec. 19 and 21 with WIU and UST.
3. South Dakota (65 points)
The injury-laden Coyotes fall into our third spot. Despite non-conference struggles, our voters know that USD can still make an impact in league play. The Yotes need to produce a more efficient offense, though, after multiple games with single-digit quarters. USD opens the conference slate at home against Kansas City and ORU.
4. North Dakota (64 points)
One point behind the Yotes, we have the UND Fighting Hawks. After starting the season 2-3, UND won its last 5 games. Kacie Borowicz also tallied her 1,000th career point last night in the win over Mayville State. Though our voters have them in the four slot, the Hawks may be a bit underrated heading into Summit play. They will open their conference season at home against UST and WIU.
5. St. Thomas (44 points)
Maybe the most underrated in the league, the Tommies fall into our fifth spot. UST is 4-5, but two of those losses came in OT. Earlier this week, the Tommies had a lead on Wisconsin but could not quite hold it together over the Big Ten team. Nonetheless, a stellar performance sparked excitement among our voters for what UST might do in its first season of conference-tournament eligibility. UST opens Summit play on the cold and bitter North I-90 road trip (UND, NDSU).
6. Kansas City (42 points)
Fourth in our first set of rankings, Kansas City has dropped just a bit to the six spot. Sitting at 3-7, The Roos have also battled hard but fallen in two OT games. First-year Head Coach Dionnah Jackson-Durrett will open the season on arguably the toughest road trip in the league at USD and SDSU.
7. Oral Roberts (38 points)
3-7 ORU has a tough contest at Texas Tech tomorrow before opening conference play next week at SDSU and USD. The Golden Eagles have a good win over Abilene Christian under their belts. Our voters are excited to see what new coach Kelsi Musick and her squad can do in the Summit this season.
8. Denver (31 points)
4-6 does not show it, but Denver has had a handful of close wins and close losses so far this season. Doshia Woods and her crew will take on Idaho this week before opening league play at home next Wednesday against Omaha. Our voters want to know if the Pios can take advantage of their opportunity to get a win at home to start the season.
9. WIU (28 points)
The Leathernecks, also 4-6, find themselves in our ninth spot. WIU dropped a close game to SEMO but came out on top of SIU-Edwardsville and Valparaiso late in the non-con slate. Western Illinois will open conference play on the road at both North Dakota schools.
10. Omaha (17 points).
The Mavericks are 5-5 and in our voters’ last position going into the conference season. Two seasons ago, Omaha made a great effort in the conference tournament, beating SDSU. Despite being in our last spot, it could definitely give some scares to the top half of the league this year. The Mavs open Summit play with the lone game out in Denver next Wednesday.
Our voters have spoken, but they could very well be wrong. The league is a lot closer this year than it ever has been, and we said that last year too. Each team has a handful of new faces and a good chunk of old ones as well. If you want to share your thoughts, DM us on twitter @reachsummitpodw and become a fan voter. You can also join our Twitter Spaces this Wednesday at 7 p.m. CST!
Conference play starts Monday and Wednesday, Dec 19 and 21. After the first week, it will move to the regular Thursday/Saturday schedule.