The South Dakota State men’s basketball team received its NCAA Division I tournament assignment Sunday - the women will get theirs today. Here are some thoughts on that and other items in the postseason:
StatSheet.com updates RPI multiple times daily rather than once a week like the official NCAA site, and it has Michigan (26-7) at No. 17 and SDSU (25-9) at No. 62. By that math, the Jacks did OK to draw a No. 13 and to land the Wolverines, bucking a recent trend in postseason competitions for the SDSU athletic department. Very little fan griping this time around, in my estimation, indicative of a draw that’s generally fair if far from easy.
SDSU coach Scott Nagy said that Michigan runs an offense that’s similar to Kansas City (except with better personnel, of course). Why? Because usurped Roos coach Matt Brown is a disciple of Wolverines coach John Beilein from their time together at West Virginia.
How much better off are the Jacks as a No. 13 seed rather than a No. 14? Thirteens have a total of 16 wins in the Round of 64, while fourteens have 24.
SDSU is one of four Summit League teams to make a men’s postseason tournament. NDSU and Western Illinois are in the CBI (visiting Western Michigan and Purdue, respectively), while Oakland is visiting Youngstown State in the CIT. That means the Jacks played 14 regular-season games against 10 postseason qualifiers (NCAA-New Mexico, Belmont, Minnesota, Montana; NIT-Alabama; CBI-NDSU, WIU; CIT-Oakland, UND, Tennessee State).
It’s a busy week for the Golden Grizzlies as they are serving as the official host school at The Palace, too.
The SDSU-Michigan game is getting the primetime treatment, airing at 6:15 p.m. CT on CBS with legends Verne Lundquist and Bill Raferty on the call and Rachel Nichols on sideline duties.
Here’s a Raferty highlight reel, in case you need a reminder of how excellent he is.
One likely reason the game is getting good national play: The point guard matchup between Michigan sophomore Trey Burke and SDSU senior Nate Wolters. While he’s never faced Burke before, Wolters did attend the Kevin Durant with Wolverines guard Tim Hardaway Jr. over the summer.
Wednesday practices at The Palace - home of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons - are open to the public. Michigan will be in the floor from 2:45-3:20 p.m. CT, while SDSU will go from 4:55-5:35 p.m.
The other pairings for Auburn Hills: Valparaiso vs. Michigan State, Akron vs. VCU and Memphis vs. the St. Mary’s/Middle Tennessee State game.
It’s Selection Monday for the women’s tournament. I’ll have live coverage from Cubby’s in Brookings around 5:45 p.m. SDSU (25-7) has a leg up on 11 teams based on the most recent RPI. That should translate into roughly a No. 13 seed.
The Jacks are in the field for the fifth year in a row.
And, finally, a programming note: I’ll be in Auburn Hills along with sports editor Stu Whitney and photography Elisha Page starting Tuesday. We’ll have (at least) all the coverage you can handle.
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.