ELMHURST, Ill. – South Dakota State will enter The Summit League Men's Basketball Championship as the top seed for the first time in its history. Eight teams begin play at the tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Saturday, March 9 and will determine The Summit League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in the championship game on Tuesday, March 12.
The Jackrabbits (22-9, 13-3) earned their first Summit League regular season title since joining the league and will look to defend their 2012 Tournament crown. SDSU takes on No. 8 IUPUI (6-25, 1-15) in the first quarterfinal on Saturday, March 9 at 6 p.m. CT (Midco Sports Network / Fox College Sports).
The second quarterfinal of the night features No. 2 seed Western Illinois (21-7, 13-3), and No. 7 South Dakota (10-19, 5-11) at 8:30 p.m. CT (Midco Sports Network / Fox College Sports). The Fighting Leathernecks were co-champions, claiming the school's first title since the league's inaugural season in 1982-83 and highest seed since 1996. USD is making its first Summit League Tournament appearance.
Quarterfinal play resumes Sunday with No. 4 Oakland (16-15, 10-6) vs. No. 5 Fort Wayne (15-16, 7-9) at 6 p.m. (Midco Sports Network / Fox College Sports). The Mastodons and Golden Grizzlies will meet for the third time in four games, with IPFW winning both of the regular season meetings.
The second game of the evening, and last quarterfinal game to be played, pits No. 3 North Dakota State (22-8, 12-4) against No. 6 Kansas City (8-23, 5-11) at 8:30 p.m. CT (Midco Sports Network / Fox College Sports).
The winners of the 1 vs. 8 and 4 vs. 5 games will meet in the first semifinal Monday at 6 p.m. CT (Midco Sports Network / Fox College Sports) while the winners of the 2 vs. 7 and 3 vs. 6 games will advance to the second semifinal at 8:30 p.m. (Midco Sports Network / Fox College Sports).
Tuesday's championship game is set for 8 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
The Summit League will be playing its tournament in Sioux Falls for the fifth consecutive season. For the fourth straight year, all men's and women's quarterfinal and semifinal games will be televised by Midco Sports Network throughout South Dakota, North Dakota and parts of rural Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The 2013 Tournament marks the second straight year that every game will be available live to a national cable television audience via Fox College Sports, who will show the men's and women's quarterfinals and semifinals via Midco Sports Network's feed. The Summit League Men's Basketball Championship game has appeared on ESPN or ESPN2 each of the last 19 years while the Women's Championship game will air on ESPNU for the fifth consecutive season.
Tickets for the 2013 Summit League Basketball Championship can be purchased at all TicketMaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com, or in person at the Sioux Falls Arena Box Office.
For complete information on this year's tournament, click on the 2013 Summit League Basketball Championships button at www.thesummitleague.org.