It's always fun when the final weekend of the regular season means something. And last weekend was a lot of fun in the NSIC, especially on the men's side.
With all eight spots for the conference tournament were up for grabs, in one way or another, the only certainty was that the tiebreaking system--which Tom Nieman and I spent at least three days trying to decode--was sure to get a workout.
There were way too many scenarios to share here, so I'll do my best to paint a clear picture.
Here's how things looked entering Friday's games:
Standings - As Of Feb. 23
- 1-St. Cloud State (19-6, 15-6 NSIC)
- 2-MSU Moorhead (18-6, 14-6 NSIC)
- 3-Bemidji St. (19-7, 14-6 NSIC)
- 4-SMSU (14-7, 15-10 NSIC)
- 5-Winona St. (23-3, 18-2 NSIC**)
- 6-Augustana (15-9, 12-8 NSIC)
- 7-Minnesota Duluth (14-10, 11-9 NSIC)
- 8-Northern St. (13-12, 9-12 NSIC)
- 9-Concordia-SP (11-14, 8-13 NSIC)
- 10-Wayne St. (8-16, 7-13 NSIC)
**Standings adjusted for 13 nullified games
Here's are the results:
Friday, Feb. 24
Augustana 75, MSU Moorhead 61
Winona St. 82, Minnesota Duluth 69
Upper Iowa 65, Bemidji St. 77
Wayne St. 53, Minnesota, Crookston 44
Saturday, Feb. 25
Concordia-St. Paul 93, St. Cloud State 89
Southwest Minnesota St. 79, Minnesota St. 71
Winona St. 84, Bemidji St. 94
Wayne St. 64, MSU Moorhead 50
Upper Iowa 81, Minnesota Duluth 72
Northern St. 67, U-Mary 70
Augustana 70, Minnesota, Crookston 61
- 1-Bemidji St. (21-7, 16-6 NSIC)
- 2-SMSU (16-10, 15-7 NSIC)
- 2-St. Cloud State (19-7, 15-7 NSIC)
- 4-MSU Moorhead (18-8, 14-8 NSIC)
- 4-Augustana (17-9, 14-8 NSIC)
- 6-Winona St. (24-4, 19-3 NSIC**)
- 7-Minnesota Duluth (14-12, 11-11 NSIC)
- 8-Wayne St. (10-16, 9-13 NSIC)
- 8-Northern St. (13-13, 9-13 NSIC)
- 8-Concordia-St.Paul (12-14, 9-13 NSIC)
Only one team (UMD) finished the weekend in the same place it started. Enter the tiebreakers.
Bemidji State clinched the regular season title, as well as the No.1 seed, outright, by way of their win over Winona State and St. Cloud State's loss to Concordia-St. Paul.
Southwest Minnesota State gets the No. 2 seed over St. Cloud State by way of tiebreaker No. 2 (2-0 vs. SCSU).
MSU Moorhead gets the No. 4 seed over Augustana by way of tiebreaker No. 3 (Point Rating System - Conference Games Only)
Wayne State gets the No. 8 seed over Northern State by way of tiebreaker No. 3 (Point Rating System - Conference Games Only).
Now that the dust has settled, tournament time is officially upon us. Play tips off tonight, with higher seeds hosting quarterfinal games at campus sites. From there, the tourney moves to Taylor Arena in Rochester, Minn., March 3-4.
Semifinal and championship games will be aired live on Midco Sports Network, channel 322.
I'll have the call for all six games in Rochester, and am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a couple of great analysts.
Men's Quarterfinals - Feb. 29 (all games at 7 p.m.)
(5) Augustana (14-8) at (4) MSU Moorhead (14-8)
(7) Minnesota Duluth (11-11) at (2) SMSU (15-7)
(6) Winona St. (19-3) at (3) St. Cloud State (15-7)
Women's Quarterfinals - Wed. Feb. 29 (all games at 7 p.m.)
(8)Northern St. (10-12) at (1) Wayne St. (20-2)
(5)Minnesota St. (13-9) at (4)Minnesota Duluth (15-7)
(6)Winona St. (13-9) at (3)University of Mary (15-7)
Check back for updates following tonight's first round games. Happy madness.