In a week where they won two games and lost another, the Minnesota State men’s basketball team dropped from No. 2 in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Poll to No. 5.
Although they dropped in the national rankings, they still reign supreme in the NSIC. According to the poll, Minnesota State is one of four NSIC teams ranked in the top 25. MSU Moorhead slots in at No. 9, Minot State improves to No. 15 and Minnesota Duluth, whom the Mavs lost to last week, enter the top-25 at No. 22.
This week, the Mavs will have another chance to pick up two more wins as they hope to reclaim the top spot in the NABC Poll. Their challengers? Conference opponents Wayne State and Augustana.
The Mavs will have the luxury of playing their two games at home in Bresnan Arena in the Taylor Center. The first game will tip-off at 7:30 p.m. Friday against the Wildcats. This meeting between MSU and WSC will be their 40th. The Mavs currently lead the all-time series , 33-6. MSU is on a four-game winning-streak in the rivalry. Their most recent win came earlier this season, where the Mavs went on the road and took home the 110-77 victory.
The Wildcats will enter the weekend with a 13-10 record (6-10 NSIC) after splitting their games last weekend against Concordia St. Paul and UMD. The Wildcats are led by a coach with plenty of experience, as he is in his 30th season of coaching, (sixth with the Wildcats). The Wildcats have an offense that has scored 75.1 points per game and their defense has forced 291 turnovers this season.
Following their duel with the Wildcats, the Mavs will take on the Augustana Vikings Saturday at 5:30 p.m. There is much more history between these two teams, as this will be the 131st meeting between the Vikings and Mavs, with the Mavs holding a 68-62 series lead. The Mavs bested the Vikings earlier on the road this season, 85-72.
The Vikings will enter the weekend with a 14-8 record, including a 9-7 NSIC record. The Vikings also took on CSP and UMD last weekend, splitting the games as well. The Vikings offense packs a larger punch, averaging 80.2 points per game, led by Isaac Fink, who leads the team in scoring with 19.4 ppg.
With only five games remaining, the Mavs look like they could take home the NSIC title, but they will need to finish strong to keep momentum as they head into tournament season.
Header Photo: MSU, which was ranked second in last week’s poll, fell three spots after going 2-1 on the road. The Mavericks fell to Minnesota Duluth 85-70, before besting Southwest Minnesota State 68-58 and Sioux Falls 70-65. (Courtesy Maverick Athletics)
Write to Hayden Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org