Wednesday, March 13, 2013

South Dakota State: 2012-13 Summit League Champions

The South Dakota St. Jackrabbits are headed to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row after winning the Summit League championship.
South Dakota State won the Summit League's regular season title with a 13-3 record in conference play. As the tournament's top seed, they made quick work of IUPUI and IPFW to reach the championship game. Led by Wooden Award candidate Nate Wolters and his 27 points, SDSU defeated North Dakota State, 73-67, to cut down the nets at Sioux Falls Arena.
SDSU experienced plenty of highs and lows this past season. They began the year with a tough loss against Alabama, and then lost a week later to Hofstra. They responded nicely though, winning nine of their next 11 games. Outside of a 27 point road drubbing against Belmont and a double-overtime loss to Cal-State Bakersfield the Jackrabbits don't have any bad losses on their resume.
Rated as the 106th best team by Kenpom's efficiency ratings, the Jackrabbits will be a dangerous mid-major team at the NCAA Tournament. Wolters has the ability to take over a game in the second half, and their offense, which is ranked 44th in the country by Kenpom, can put up a lot points in a hurry. The latest Bracketology update from Chris Dobbertean of SB Nation has South Dakota St. as a No. 14 seed in the West Region.
Last season, as a 14 seed, the Jackrabbits nearly upset Baylor in the opening round.

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