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College basketball preview: IPFW at South Dakota

When: 8 p.m. today

Where: Dakota Dome, Vermillion, S.D.

Records: IPFW 11-16, 4-9 Summit League; South Dakota 8-17, 4-9

Radio: 1380 AM

IPFW leaders: Frank Gaines (19.2 ppg); Mario Hines (5.6 rpg); Pierre Bland (2.6 apg)

South Dakota leaders: Juevol Myles (15.4 ppg); Trevor Gruis (5.8 rpg); Myles (2.7 apg)

Key matchup: The last time these two teams met was Jan. 17 at Memorial Coliseum, where the Mastodons escaped with a 62-60 win. Coyotes 6-foot-10 junior center Gruis was a handful for IPFW when he scored 15 points, had seven rebounds, four assists, three blocks and was 6 of 9 from the floor. What saved IPFW from a possible loss was the 2-of-15 shooting from Myles, who scored just nine points. It’s unlikely that Myles will have a similar game in his own gym.

The skinny: From now until the end of the season, IPFW’s games, with the exception of the Feb. 23 Bracket Busters contest against Bowling Green, is all about seeding for the Summit League tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D. The Mastodons, South Dakota and UMKC are tied for sixth place. Because Nebraska Omaha, in fifth place, is ineligible to play in the tournament until it becomes a full Summit League member in 2015, what’s up for grabs is the No. 5 seed. After tonight, IPFW has two more league games remaining – both against Oakland (Wednesday at the Coliseum, March 2 in Rochester, Mich.).

– Steve Warden, The Journal Gazette