Bison and the Bunnies back at it again

The Bison look to end six-game losing streak to SDSU

The men’s basketball team takes on the Jackrabbits tonight in what may be the biggest regular-season Summit League game of the year. South Dakota clinches the regular-season title with a win, while a loss would open the door for the Bison to steal the conference crown away.

The Bison were hotter than a jalapeño pepper on a sunny day in June before hitting a snag against UND last Saturday. Now the Herd has no room for error if they want to secure the one seed in the Summit League tournament next Saturday.

The common denominator for the Bison to succeed seems to stem from the play of senior point guard Vinnie Shahid. When Shahid is on, the Bison are on. Shahid was averaging 23.8 points a game throughout the Herd’s seven-game win-streak before putting up just 14 points in the loss to the Fighting Hawks.

Shahid is the team’s primary ball-handler and can be a dangerous scorer. His ability to create opens things up for guys like Rocky Kreuser and Tyson Ward to make plays.

The cohesion the Bison plays with comes from them being a very experienced team. These guys have played March Madness basketball against Zion Williamson, theirs no reason to think they can’t make another run at the big dance.

However, the Jackrabbits have been something of a jinx for the Bison. The Bunnies have beat the Bison six straight times dating back to 2018. The Herd will need to exorcise some demons if they want to send the fans at the SHAC home happy.

For the last two months, it has felt like these two teams are on a crash course to meet each other in the Summit League tournament championship game. The Jackrabbits were shocked by eighth-seeded Western Illinois in the first round last year, so they’re on something of a revenge tour.

Anytime NDSU and SDSU clash in any sport it’s a big deal, but there is a lot on the line in tonight’s matchup. Perhaps this won’t be the last time these two teams see each other this season.

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