ELMHURST, Ill. – South Dakota earns the top seed in the upcoming Summit League Women's Basketball Championship after capturing the regular season title for the third time in the last four years.
Eight teams will begin tournament play at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., on March 3, which determines The Summit League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
South Dakota (24-5, 14-0 SL), riding an 18-game winning streak, earns the No. 1 seed after becoming just the second team ever to go undefeated in league play. The Coyotes, ranked No. 10 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll, will meet No. 8 Fort Wayne (4-23, 1-13) Saturday, March 3, at Noon CT (Midco Sports Network / ESPN3).
The second quarterfinal pits second-seeded South Dakota State (23-6, 12-2) against No. 7 North Dakota State (9-19, 2-12) at 2:30 p.m. CT Saturday, on Midco Sports Network and ESPN3. The Jackrabbits, ranked No. 7 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll, are the No. 2 seed for the third time in the last four years and have won the tournament title a league record seven times.
On Sunday, March 4, quarterfinal action resumes with No. 4 Denver (16-13, 7-7) facing No. 5 Oral Roberts (16-12, 7-7) at Noon CT. The Pioneers (RPI - 170) earned the No. 4 seed, their highest in program history, by narrowly edging the Golden Eagles (RPI - 179) in the RPI tiebreaker. That is followed by reigning champion and third-seeded Western Illinois (21-8, 10-4) against No. 6 Omaha (12-15, 3-11) at 2:30 p.m. CT. Both games will air live on Midco Sports Network and ESPN3.
Semifinal action begins on Monday, March 5, with the winner of the No. 1 vs. No. 8 game against the No. 4 vs. No. 5 game winner at Noon CT. That is followed by the winners of the No. 2 vs. No. 7 and No. 3 vs. No. 6 contests at 2:30 p.m. CT. Both semifinal games will be aired on Midco Sports Network and ESPN3.
The championship game is set for 1 p.m. CT on Tuesday, March 6, and will be broadcast live on ESPNU with Clay Matvick and Joan Bonvicini on the call.
For the fourth consecutive year, all men's and women's games at The Summit League Basketball Championships can be viewed live across multiple platforms ranging from cable television to handheld devices. The coverage by Midco Sports Network and ESPN platforms marks the ninth consecutive season that both the men's and women's tournaments are available nationwide in their entirety.
All women's quarterfinal and semifinal games will be produced and televised by Midco Sports Network for the ninth straight season and the feed will extend beyond its footprint via ESPN3. The Summit League Women's Basketball Championship game will air on ESPNU for the 10th straight year.
Tickets for the 2018 Summit League Basketball Tournament can be purchased at all TicketMaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com, or in person at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center Box Office.
For complete information on this year's tournament, visit The Summit League's official championships website at www.thesummitleague.org/march2thesummit.
ABOUT SUMMIT LEAGUE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League features women's basketball teams from eight member institutions: Denver, Fort Wayne, North Dakota State, Omaha, Oral Roberts, South Dakota, South Dakota State and Western Illinois with North Dakota becoming an official member for the 2018-19 season. In 2016-17, The Summit League raised its RPI for the third consecutive year, finishing with an all-time best No. 11 ranking. The Summit League has sent at least three teams to the postseason nine straight years with three postseason tournament semifinal appearances the last four years, while recording the nation's best Division I winning percentage improvement since 2009-10. Called "March's Best-Kept Secret" by USA Today, The Summit League Basketball Championships annually ranks as one of the most attended Division I conference tournaments. This season's event returns to the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., March 3-6, 2018. For more information about the league, "See The Summit" by visiting www.thesummitleague.org and following Summit League Basketball on Twitter @summithoops.