Basketball teams travel to nearby cities

Brian Kimmes

Brian Kimmes

Going home for Christmas Break does not mean eliminating the chance to view SDSU sports. While students are home for a month, enjoying time off of school and maybe working for a few weeks, the men’s and women’s basketball teams have a full slate of games in Brookings, as well as other cities where students might be during the holiday break.

The men’s basketball team plays the University of Minnesota Gophers Dec. 23 in Minneapolis. For most SDSU students, it will probably be the only opportunity they get to witness their home team play in one of the premier basketball arenas in the country. Williams Arena, the Gophers’ home, is one of the more unique facilities in the country. Williams is nicknamed “The Barn” because of its resemblance to an old barn. It looks similar to the Intramural Building at SDSU, only much larger, holding more than 14,000 fans. It is also unique because of its floor. The basketball surface at Williams Arena is raised about three feet above the ground and looks like a large stage. Even the players’ benches are not on the same level as the basketball floor. The benches are down about four feet. The game in the Twin Cities is a great opportunity for students from the Twin Cities area to watch an SDSU road game.

For students in the Sioux Falls area, the men’s basketball team has a game in Sioux Falls Dec. 20. The Jacks host Manhattan College, who has been to the NCAA Tournament. The game is considered a home game for the Jacks, so SDSU students get into the game free with their student I.D. The basketball game in Sioux Falls is an excellent chance for students to view SDSU basketball during winter break without having to travel to Brookings.

For students who live in northern Minnesota and North Dakota, the Jacks play rival NDSU during the break in Fargo. The men’s basketball team travels to Fargo Jan. 14, shortly before classes resume. The NDSU game will be the closest the Jacks are to Brookings the rest of January. The team does not have a home game until Feb. 2. It will be the last opportunity to see the men play for the next three weeks.

The men’s basketball team also hosts Butler University during the break. Butler, a common upset pick in the NCAA Tournament in the last few seasons, comes to Brookings Dec. 28.

The men also travel to Bozeman, Mont. and host Utah Valley State.

SDSU students from eastern Wisconsin have an opportunity to watch women’s basketball during the break. The Lady Jacks travel to Marquette Dec. 21. A week later, the team is in Boulder, Colo. to face Colorado Dec. 28. The women host Alabama Dec. 18, and Kennesaw State Jan. 10 in Brookings, while traveling to California and Idaho during the break.