SDSU To Welcome Summit League Chance For The Dance

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

The move to becoming a full-fledged Division One university got sweeter for the men and women’s SDSU basketball teams. On June 27, Summit League officials announced that the 2009 and 2010 men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments will be hosted by South Dakota State University at the Sioux Falls Arena.

Summit League officials are looking forward to bringing March Madness to the Jackrabbit nation. “We are very excited about having our basketball tournament in Sioux Falls, and we anticipate tremendous support from the community,” said Tom Douple, Summit League Commissioner.

As 2009 will be the inaugural season for both SDSU men’s and women’s basketball teams to be eligible for the NCAA tournament, the opportunity to host such an event will be extra special for the basketball teams.

“I think it is a great thing for both men’s and women’s programs. Both ? [programs] are going to benefit form this” said Aaron Johnston, women’s basketball head coach.

The tournaments are scheduled for March 7-10 in 2009 and March 6-9 in 2010. The top eight from the men’s and the women’s conferences will compete in the tournaments. The three day event will consist of 14 games total each year, with both winners receiving an automatic berth into March Madness. The ESPN Family of Networks will televise the championships games, at least.

The 2007 Summit League, previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, is made up of 10 colleges from nine different states – Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, Utah, South Dakota and North Dakota.

The other Summit League members are Centenary College of Louisiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), North Dakota State University, Oakland University, Oral Roberts University, Southern Utah University and Western Illinois University.