ELMHURST, Ill. – North Dakota State will enter The Summit League Men's Basketball Championship as the top seed for the second time in its history and first since its 2009 league and tournament title. Seven teams begin play at the tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Saturday, March 8 and will determine The Summit League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in the championship game on Tuesday, March 11.
The Bison (23-6, 12-2 Summit League) earned their second Summit League regular season title since joining the league and currently hold an all-time league high No. 4 ranking in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25. NDSU has a quarterfinal bye and will take the court for the first time Monday against the winner of the No. 4 Denver (15-14, 8-6) vs. No. 5 South Dakota (12-17, 6-8) game.
No. 2 seed Fort Wayne (22-9, 10-4), which earned its highest league finish in history, opens the tournament with a Saturday night quarterfinal matchup against No. 7 IUPUI (6-25, 1-13) at 6 p.m. CT on Midco Sports Network / Fox College Sports (Pacific).
The Denver-South Dakota matchup opens the Sunday's quarterfinals at 6 p.m. The session nitecap features two-time defending tournament champion South Dakota State (18-11, 10-4), the No. 3 seed, and No. 6 seed Western Illinois (10-19, 4-10) at 8:30 p.m. Both games air on Midco Sports Network / Fox College Sports (Central).
Monday's semifinals begin with No. 1 seed vs. the winner of the 4 vs. 5 game at 6 p.m. followed by the winners of the 2 vs. 7 and 3 vs. 6 games at 8:30 p.m. Both semifinals will air on Midco Sports Network / Fox College Sports (Central).
Tuesday's championship game is set for 8 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
The Summit League is playing its tournament in Sioux Falls for the sixth consecutive season and the final time at Sioux Falls Arena before moving to the adjacent 12,000-seat, $115 million Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in 2015.
For the fifth straight year, all men'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 2014 Tournament marks the third consecutive year that every game will be available live to a national cable television audience via Fox College Sports, which will show the quarterfinals and semifinals via Midco Sports Network's feed. Midco Sports Network will also make its feed available via a live streaming package linked through www.thesummitleague.org. The Summit League Men's Basketball Championship game has appeared on ESPN or ESPN2 each of the last 20 years.
Tickets for the 2014 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, visit The Summit League's championships website at www.thesummitleague.org/championships.