2015 NCAA Tournament Preview: North Dakota State Bison

The North Dakota State Bison knocked off South Dakota State to return to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year, and are hoping to build off of last year's first round upset over Oklahoma.


Record – 23-9 (12-4 in Summit)

RPI – 101

Strength of Schedule – 286

Starting Lineup:

G Kory Brown (Jr.) – 8.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg

G Lawrence Alexander (Sr.) – 18.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg

G Carlin Dupree (So.) – 7.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg

F A.J. Jacobson (Fr.) – 11.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg

F Chris Kading (Jr.) – 5.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg

Key Player:

Lawrence Alexander

Alexander emerged as one of the stars in the first round of the NCAA Tournament for his performance during NDSU's upset of Oklahoma last year, and he's looking to guide the Bison to the Sweet 16 this year. He's good at getting to the rim, but he's lethal from behind the arc, shooting over 44 percent from long range.

Biggest Strength:


North Dakota State doesn't create a lot of turnovers, but they do rank 55th in the country in points allowed per game. Their man-to-man defense funnels opponents towards the sidelines and towards other defenders, making it hard for the offense to get anything going towards the basket.

Biggest Weakness:

Ball Movement

The Bison rely so much on Alexander that their offense is often predicated on him going one-on-one and creating his own shot. That's good every now and again, but it stagnates their offense and makes them much easier to guard as a team.


North Dakota State has the star player, defense, and experience needed to pull off another upset in the first round of the tournament, but if they play a good defensive team that can shut down Alexander, they won't have a chance.

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