Bison, Jacks Meet for Summit League Men's Basketball Championship Tuesday on ESPN2
Release: March 12, 2013
TONIGHT: No. 3 seed North Dakota State (24-8) plays No. 1 seed South Dakota State (24-9) in the championship game of the Summit League men's basketball tournament at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at Sioux Falls Arena (6,300) in Sioux Falls, S.D. The winner earns the league's automatic berth in the 68-team NCAA Division I tournament. South Dakota State has already earned at least an appearance in the National Invitation Tournament by virtue of its Summit League regular-season championship.
TELEVISION: Tuesday's championship game will be televised live on ESPN2 with Clay Matvick calling the play-by-play and Bob Valvano as color analyst. Live video streaming will be available through participating television providers on WatchESPN.com.
RADIO: KFGO-AM 790 of Fargo will broadcast live with KFGO's Scott Miller calling the play-by-play and NDSU director of sales and broadcastingas color analyst. Coverage includes 20-minute pregame and postgame shows. Live audio streaming will be on GoBison.com and the NDSU Bison mobile app for Android, iPhone and iPod Touch.
THE SERIES: This is the 207th meeting between North Dakota State and South Dakota State dating back to 1909-10. NDSU leads the series 109-97. The teams split two regular-season meetings with NDSU winning 65-62 in Fargo and SDSU winning 69-53 in Brookings. This is the fifth postseason meeting on record between the two schools and the first for a league championship since 1980 when SDSU beat NDSU 79-75 in Brookings.
NDSU-SDSU Postseason Meetings
2/23/1980 - North Central Conference championship in Brookings (SDSU 79-75)
2/23/1982 - North Central Conference quarterfinals in Fargo (NDSU 75-74)
3/5/1993 - North Central Conference semifinals in Sioux Falls (NDSU 68-64)
3/9/1996 - NCAA Division II North Central Regional in Hays, Kan. (SDSU 94-88)
BISON AT THE FALLS: North Dakota State has a 5-3 all-time record in Sioux Falls at the Summit League tournament. NDSU beat Centenary, Southern Utah and Oakland en route to the 2009 title and bowed out in the first round in 2010 and 2011 to Oral Roberts and 2012 to Western Illinois. NDSU's No. 3 seed is its highest since entering as the top seed in 2009. The Bison followed that seeded sixth, seventh and fifth the past three seasons.
NDSU Summit League Tournament Games
3/7/2009 - beat #8 Centenary, 83-77
3/9/2009 - beat #5 Southern Utah, 79-67
3/10/2009 - beat #3 Oakland, 66-64
3/7/2010 - lost to #3 Oral Roberts, 64-65 (OT)
3/5/2011 - lost to #2 Oral Roberts, 65-72
3/4/2012 - lost to #4 Western Illinois, 53-58
3/10/2013 - beat #6 Kansas City, 69-58
3/11/2013 - beat #2 Western Illinois, 55-43
NO. 3 SEEDS IN THE SUMMIT TOURNEY: Third-seeded teams in The Summit League have a 30-26 record in 29 tournaments including two championships by Eastern Illinois in 1985 (beat Missouri State 75-64) and Wright State in 1993 (beat Illinois-Chicago 94-88). The No. 3 seed has made five other title game appearances with the last in 2009 when Oakland lost to NDSU.
Title Games by No. 3 Seed
1985 - #3 Eastern Illinois beat #4 Missouri State, 75-64
1986 - #3 Eastern Illinois lost to #1 Cleveland State, 66-70
1992 - #3 Illinois Chicago lost to #4 Eastern Illinois, 68-83
1993 - #3 Wright State beat #4 Illinois Chicago, 94-88
1997 - #3 Western Illinois lost to #1 Valparaiso, 59-63
1998 - #3 Youngstown State lost to #1 Valparaiso, 48-67
2009 - #3 Oakland lost to #1 North Dakota State, 64-66
BISON IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: North Dakota State is seeking a trip to its second NCAA tournament and its third postseason appearance as a Division I program. NDSU was a No. 14 seed and played Kansas (L, 74-84) in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Midwest Regional at the Metrodome. The Bison played at Wyoming (L, 75-78) in last year's College Basketball Invitational. NDSU made eight NCAA regionals as a College Division and Division II program, including four straight from 1994-97. North Dakota State's first year of Division I postseason eligibility was 2009 after a five-year reclassification from Division II that left the Bison out of the playoffs from 2005 through 2008.
BRAUN'S 2ND HALF LIFTS BISON IN QUARTERFINAL ROUND: North Dakota State's Taylor Braun scored 24 of his season-high 27 points in the second half Sunday to beat Kansas City 69-58. Braun went 16-for-18 from the foul line - the second most free throws made in a Summit League tournament game. NDSU trailed by as many as five points early in the second half after committing 11 first-half turnovers, but Braun's first two made field goals sparked a nine-point surge that NDSU extended into a 24-5 run midway through the second half.
WRIGHT'S FIVE TRIPLES PACE BISON IN SEMIFINALS: North Dakota State's TrayVonn Wright made a career-high five 3-pointers and the Bison advanced to their second championship game in five seasons with a 55-43 win over Western Illinois last night. Wright finished with 19 points and seven rebounds, and Taylor Braun added 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists as the Bison snapped a five-game losing streak to Western Illinois. NDSU led 39-37 with 7 minutes to play before Wright hit back-to-back 3-pointers to pull away. The Bison made 8 of 8 free throws in the final 1:40 to seal the victory.
THIRD TWENTY-WIN SEASON: North Dakota State has reached the 20-win mark for the third time in its nine-year Division I history behind the 2009 NCAA tournament team that finished 26-7 overall and the 2006-07 team that went 20-8 in coach Tim Miles' final season. NDSU has reached the 20-win mark 13 times in program history.
NDSU Most Wins in Season
26 - Saul Phillips, 2008-09 (26-7, 16-2 Summit, 1st)
26 - George Dewey, 1924-25 (26-5, 6-3 NCC, 2nd)
24 - Saul Phillips, 2012-13 (24-8, 12-4 Summit, 3rd)
22 - Tom Billeter, 1996-97 (22-7, 12-6 NCC, tied 2nd)
22 - Tom Billeter, 1994-95 (22-8, 12-6 NCC, tied 1st)
22 - Ion J. Cortright, 1925-26 (22-3, 8-2 NCC, 2nd)
BRAUN JOINS 1,000-POINT CLUB: North Dakota State junior Taylor Braun became the 28th player in program history to score his 1,000th career point March 2 at Omaha. Braun enters Tuesday's title game with 1,054 points averaging 12.9 points over 82 career games. He is the fifth player in NDSU's Division I history to accomplish the feat.
NDSU 1,000-Point Scorers, Division I
1. 2,315 - Ben Woodside, G, 2005-09
2. 1,962 - Brett Winkelman, F, 2005-09
7. 1,562 - Mike Nelson, G, 2005-09
12. 1,408 - Michael Tveidt, F, 2007-11
26. 1,054 - Taylor Braun, G, 2010-present
LEADING SCORER OUT 10 GAMES: North Dakota State went 5-5 with leading scorer Taylor Braun out of the lineup for six weeks with a broken right foot sustained in the home win over Oakland Jan. 12. NDSU's scoring dropped from 71.1 to 59.4 points per game (1.13 to 1.02 points per possession) but its defense also improved from 57.4 to 51.5 points allowed per game (0.91 to 0.89 per possession). Braun had one practice before starting his first game back Feb. 26 against Utah Valley and going scoreless in 18 minutes. He played 29 minutes and erupted for a game-high 22 points, three assists and three steals four days later at Omaha.
THREE IN A ROW TO THE TITLE: Three games in three days may not be ideal, but North Dakota State has had success in such tournaments in recent years. NDSU went 3-0 at the Progressive Legends Classic in November beating Youngstown State, Duquesne and James Madison, and the Bison were 3-0 at the San Francisco Hilltop Challenge last season with victories over San Francisco, Louisiana-Lafayette and Northern Arizona. NDSU also went 3-0 at the National Independent Tournament in February 2005 sweeping Central State (Ohio), South Dakota State and Florida Gulf Coast.
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL: North Dakota State ranked 20th in the nation through Sunday averaging just 11.0 turnovers per game. The Bison averaged only 8.6 turnovers in the month of February and tied a school-record with only four turnovers in the Feb. 16 home win over IUPUI. It was the fifth time in school history and the first against a Division I opponent. That capped a three-game stretch over which the Bison committed only 16 turnovers (5-7-4), which is the best three-game stretch on record at NDSU (through 1970-71).
DEFENSE EIGHTH IN NATION: North Dakota State ranked eighth nationally through Sunday allowing just 55.5 points per game, which would be the best scoring defense in school history dating back to 1950-51. NDSU has held 13 opponents under 50 points and prior to this year had done that just seven times in eight seasons of D-I basketball. The Bison tied their scoring defense record in a 71-34 win over Kansas City on Jan. 31 and held UMKC to its lowest point total ever in league play. NDSU also held IUPUI to its two lowest point totals in school history with 40 in Indianapolis and 39 in Fargo.
BISON 78th IN NCAA RPI: North Dakota State was 78th in the NCAA Rating Percentage Index released Monday. NDSU had its highest rating in program history at No. 46 in the first RPI, passing the No. 86 final ranking by the 2009 NCAA tournament team and No. 80 ranking after last season's 10-3 start. NDSU is second-rated Summit League team behind South Dakota State (76), and ahead of Western Illinois (121) and Oakland (151). The Bison were rated 46th, 54th, 53rd, 56th, 65th, 67th, 78th, 84th and 77th the past nine weeks.
BISON IN MID-MAJOR POLL: North Dakota State dropped out of the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll on Feb. 25 for the first time since Dec. 3. NDSU had its highest ranking in program history Jan. 14 when the Bison were No. 10, passing the No. 11 held Jan. 7 and by NDSU's 2009 Summit League championship and NCAA tournament team went 26-7 and was 11th in the final poll. NDSU was ranked for 11 straight weeks and was 23rd before losing to Akron in the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters.
SHOT BLOCKERS: North Dakota State's average of 4.3 blocks per game ranked 78th nationally through Sunday and would be third best in school history. NDSU has blocked at least four shots in 22 of 32 games including a season-high nine blocks at Morehead State. NDSU junior TrayVonn Wright blocked a shot in 19 straight games from Nov. 12 to Jan. 19, including a career-high five blocks in the home win over Oakland.
NDSU Career Blocks
1. Jason Wenschlag, 220 (1989-93)
2. Joe Regnier, 146 (1985-89)
3. TrayVonn Wright, 116 (2010-present)
NDSU Single-Season Blocks
1. Jason Wenschlag, 89 (1991-92)
2. Jason Wenschlag, 58 (1992-93)
3. TrayVonn Wright, 57 (2012-13)
BJORKLUND AMONG NCAA SHOOTING LEADERS: The national leader in field-goal percentage for six weeks in January and February, North Dakota State forward Marshall Bjorklund ranked second nationally through Sunday shooting 67.4 percent. Bjorklund made 24 consecutive field goals over a three-game span against Morehead State, South Dakota State and South Dakota, four shy of the NCAA all-divisions record of 28 straight field goals made by NDSU's Lance Berwald over a three-game span in February 1984. Bjorklund is second among NCAA active career leaders.
NCAA Division I Active Career Leaders, FG%
1. Taylor Smith, Stephen F. Austin - .700
2. Marshall Bjorklund, North Dakota State - .667
3. Jordan Morgan, Michigan - .624
4. Kevin Van Wijk, Valparaiso - .613
5. Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga - .612
NCAA STATS: North Dakota State ranked among the top 50 nationally in eight categories in the NCAA Division I statistics through Sunday including a No. 8 ranking in scoring defense allowing just 55.5 points per game.
NDSU in the NCAA Stats, all games through March 10
8th - scoring defense (55.5)
13th - FG percentage defense (.383)
17th - scoring margin (+11.9)
20th - fewest turnovers per game (11.0)
26th - FG percentage (.470)
35th - rebound margin (+5.3)
38th - winning percentage (.742)
47th - fewest personal fouls per game (15.8)
OVERTIME GAMES: North Dakota State has a 10-6 record in overtime games since beginning Division I play in 2004-05. The Bison won their only overtime game this year 83-80 over Youngstown State in the Progressive Legends Classic at Duquesne. NDSU is 7-3 in OT against Summit League opponents, including double-overtime wins at South Dakota State in 2009-10 and home against Kansas City in 2010-11.
PHILLIPS FOURTH NDSU COACH TO 100: Saul Phillips is in his sixth season as head coach at North Dakota State and fourth on the school's all-time wins list with a 108-75 record. Phillips directed NDSU to its first Summit League championship and NCAA Division I tournament appearance in 2009, and was one of 10 finalists for the Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of the Year award. A Bison assistant for three seasons, Phillips came to NDSU from Wisconsin, where he was director of basketball operations for three years under Bo Ryan. He was an assistant for two seasons each at Milwaukee and Lake Superior State and a graduate assistant at Wayne State in Nebraska for one year.
NDSU All-Time Coaching Victories
1. Erv Inniger, 244-150, 1978-92
2. Chuck Bentson, 169-207, 1949-65
3. Bob Lowe, 141-102, 1933-46
4. Saul Phillips, 108-75, 2007-present
PHILLIPS 10th IN SUMMIT LEAGUE WINS: North Dakota State head coach Saul Phillips is 10th on the Summit League wins list with a 63-43 mark in his sixth season in the league. The league record is 166 wins by Homer Drew at Valparaiso from 1988-2007. Oakland's Greg Kampe is the only other active coach in the Top 10 with 147 wins in third place.
THE SUMMIT LEAGUE: This is North Dakota State's sixth year in The Summit League after reclassifying from Division II and spending three seasons as a Division I independent. Other members are Fort Wayne, IUPUI, Kansas City, Oakland, Omaha, South Dakota, South Dakota State and Western Illinois. The Summit League dropped from 10 teams to nine this year with the addition of Omaha from Division II and the departures of Southern Utah to the Big Sky Conference and Oral Roberts to the Southland Conference. Denver will join from the Western Athletic Conference in 2013-14, but Kansas City will leave for the WAC in 2013-14.