North Dakota Fighting Hawks (Overall: 22-9, Conf: 14-4)
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North Dakota (+100,000) is making its NCAA Tournament debut, but it would be overly optimistic for us—even for them—to expect the Fighting Hawks to move past the first round against a second-seeded powerhouse in Arizona. The Big Sky champs should still have enough to flirt with an upset, however.
They have a variety of options to choose from for their offense that racks almost 80 points per contest on a solid 48 percent shooting. There’s Quinton Hooker (19.1), Geno Crandall (15.6) and Corey Baldwin (10.3), the team’s double-digit scorers this season.
Defense and rebounding. Those are the areas where the Fighting Hawks are totally vulnerable. They average just 35.1 boards as a team, a result of their lack in size, and allow opposing teams to score 75 points against them.
Team Statistics (from teamrankings.com)
|Points Per Game||78.7||#45|
|Rebounds Per Game||35.1||#190|
|Blocks Per Game||2.8||#227|
|Free Throw Percentage||73.2||#88|
Again, North Dakota (+100,000) gets eliminated in the first round.
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