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ELMHURST, Ill. – Summit League champion South Dakota State will face Michigan to open NCAA Tournament play on Thursday, March 21 in Auburn Hills, Mich. The 13th-seeded Jackrabbits will face the fourth-seeded Wolverines as part of the South Region. Game time and television are to be determined.
South Dakota State is led by Nate Wolters, The Summit League Player of the Year. The senior point guard ranks among the nation's top-five scoring leaders and is a finalist for several national accolades. Facing Michigan's Trey Burke, who was named Big Ten Player of the Year, creates a highly-anticipated matchup of two of the nation's top point guards.
The Summit League has a 3-6 record as the No. 13 seed in NCAA Tournament games. The most recent 13 seed was Oakland, who lost to Texas (85-81) in 2011. Valparaiso owns two of the league's three wins as a No. 13, captivating the nation in 1998 with upsets over Mississippi and Florida State en route to a Sweet Sixteen appearance. The league's other victory as a No. 13 seed came in 1987 when Missouri State knocked off Clemson.
The South Dakota State-Michigan matchup marks the first between Summit League and Big Ten teams in the NCAA Tournament since 2000 when Michigan State began its national championship run with a first-round victory over Valparaiso in a No. 1 vs. No. 16 pairing. The Summit League's lone victory over a Big Ten opponent in the NCAAs came in 1986 when Cleveland State shocked Indiana in the first round.