Having defeated the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the D-League semi-finals, the first seeded Fort Wayne Mad Ants are simply sitting pretty, patiently awaiting the reveal of their opponent in the NBADL Finals.
Such an identity will be revealed later on Monday night, following game three of the minor league's other semi-final matchup between the Santa Cruz Warriors and Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Their series tied up at one game a piece, the two teams actually matched up in last year's D-League Finals instead. Though RGV emerged victorious in the year 2013, they've had difficulty recapturing that same momentum in recent weeks.
Despite holding the D-League's top spot throughout much of the regular season, a six game skid amid the campaign's final weeks attributed to the Vipers slipping down to fifth overall.
Though the Warriors may have originated as the sixth overall seed in the postseason, such hierarchy often goes out the window when it comes to the playoffs. In fact, having propelled themselves to a higher seed, after previously just hanging on to the final postseason spot earlier in the year, perhaps the momentum is in the Warriors' favor. After all, the squad feels as though there's a statement to make after losing to RGV in The Finals last season.
Whatever the outcome of Monday's contest turns out to be, there's no doubt Fort Wayne are poised to face off against a worthy opponent. By now, everyone and their mother knows about the Vipers' high octane, run and gun, offense. But Santa Cruz should be considered no slouch, either. They have plenty of talent from A to Z, and have impressed as of late with the team's ability to keep up with RGV and even take control to slow down the tempo themselves at times.
For what it's worth, either team stands to be readily prepared to take on Trey McKinney-Jones and the Mad Ants. Before this round, the Vipers warmed up by defeating the Iowa Energy, and Santa Cruz made quick work of the D-Fenders.
Game three can be watched later at 8PM EST on Monday night on CBS SportsNet.