Nebraska-Omaha at Western Illinois, 8:00PM Eastern (no TV)
The SCGD is back in action today, heading to Macomb, Illinois for the Summit League Battle between the Omaha Mavericks and the Western Illinois Leathernecks. As was discussed in our Under the Radar podcast last night (link to it coming soon), Omaha has been one of the bigger surprises among non-major conference teams, sitting at 10-5 on the season with an RPI of 74, BPI of 90 and KenPom of 117. Their 8 Division 1 wins so far this season is just two shy of tying their combined wins against Division 1 opponents from their past two seasons. While the Mavs are still transitioning from Division II, and are ineligible for postseason play this season and next, coach Derrin Hansen is clearly building a program in Omaha that could be a legitimate contender in the Summit League for years to come.
Omaha takes to the road tonight to battle the Western Illinois Leathernecks. WIU is off to a rough 6-9 start with only three D1 wins to date. This seasons has been a step back for the Leathernecks, who have posted winning records the past two seasons, including a school record 22 wins last season. They have played in the CBI the past two seasons, the only two postseason appearances in the school’s Division I history. Head coach Jim Molinari needs to rebuild again this year, though, if he wants to keep this program at the top of the Summit League standings. If he can, it will continue to strengthen this conference which was bolstered this season with the addition of Denver and will benefit from Oral Roberts’ return next year.