Small Conference Game of the Day – December 16

Delaware at North Dakota State, 8:00PM Eastern

The Gotham Classic continues tonight as Delaware travels to North Dakota State (local TV in North Dakota only).  The Gotham Classic is a five team full round robin event with these two teams joined by Bryant, Ohio State and Notre Dame (the feature game being this coming weekend’s battle in New York City between Notre Dame and Ohio State).  Tonight’s game is between a pair of teams that are definitely under the radar for most of the country, but could prove to be a very entertaining one.

North Dakota State has made some noise so far this season, most notably last week’s victory at Notre Dame.  They are 7-4 on the season, with their losses being to very good Ohio State, St. Mary’s and Southern Miss teams, as well as falling in their in-state rivalry game to North Dakota.  The Bison are led by Taylor Braun, Marshall Bjorklund, Dexter Werner and TrayVonn Wright.  All four are averaging double figure scoring led by Braun’s 16.6 points per game and 41% shooting from behind the arc.

While North Dakota State has been showing they are the top force in the Summit League, Delaware has very quietly been playing like the second best team in the Colonial, behind their long-time rivals Drexel.  Delaware sits at 5-4 on the season, though their losses include Richmond, Villanova and Notre Dame.  Their schedule has been strong enough that they enter the game with a top 100 KenPom rating, most notably due to 4 of their 5 wins having come on the road.  Tonight’s game is the start of a very tough week for the Fightin’ Blue Hens, as they will travel from Fargo to Columbus to take on Ohio State Wednesday night before playing Bryant in New York City on Saturday in the final game of the Gotham Classic.  The Blue Hens have been led so far by Devon Saddler who is averaging 23.2 point per game.  A win tonight will be their biggest of the season so far, but given the ability to win road games that they have shown so far, North Dakota State should not overlook this team.

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