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Matt Norlander

Welcome to The Dance, Oakland Golden Grizzlies

The Dagger

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It's OK if I'm completely honest with you, right? I only saw Oakland play one time this year, and that one time was Tuesday night. Can you blame me? The Summtt League is never on television. So I can only go off what I saw and the numbers on paper tell me. What I do know: The Golden Grizzlies (the smaller schools have the best monikers) absolutely dominated the Summit this season. Ooeey-Pooey (IUPUI) was no match for Oakland on Tuesday night (76-64), and while IUPUI would've been more fun to discuss for the next week, the right team got into the field. We're seeing a lot of that this year: The teams who owned the regular season are getting the job done in the conference playoffs.

Player to know: Yeah, I'm going to go with the guy who had 36 points and nine rebounds with a tournament berth on the line. That would be Derick Nelson, who still hasn't gotten his nose completely healed yet after getting it broken in Oakland's first game of the conference tournament.

The Vitals:

»Record: 26-8, 17-1 Summit
»Team colors: gold and black
»We're thinking: a 14-seed
»KenPom ranking: 147
»RPI: 61
»Best win: @ Oral Roberts (20-13)
»Worst loss: Eastern Michigan (17-14)
»Notable stat: Does five blocks per game do anything for you? That's not spectacular, but it was good enough to lead the Summit. Also: The team has a .500 NCAA tournament record! You'd never guess that, right? Well, here's the catch ...
»Most recent tournament history (one total appearance):
-2005 (15-seed): W opening-round game over Alabama A&M, 79-69; L first round to North Carolina, 96-68.

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