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Jacks draw Michigan in NCAA Tournament

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 12/22/2014 18:02:59

BROOKINGS, S.D. – South Dakota State punched its ticket for the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year on March 12, with a 73-67 win over North Dakota State in The Summit League Championship Finals.

For their efforts, the Jackrabbits earned a No. 13 seed in the Big Dance and a date with No. 4 seed Michigan on Thursday at 6:15 p.m., in a game that can be seen live on CBS.

THE LAST TIME OUT; March 12, vs. North Dakota State: SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Top-seeded South Dakota State won its second straight Summit League Championships crown on March 12, with a 73-67 win over No. 3 seed North Dakota State in front of a raucous crowd of 6,544 mostly SDSU fans at the Sioux Falls Arena.

With the win, the Jackrabbits punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in as many years and improve to 25-9 on the season.

The Bison, who fall to 24-9 on the season, scored first and after a couple of quick lead changes, opened an early 7-3 lead. The Jacks responded with a 10-0 run to go up 13-7 with 12 minutes and 10 seconds left in the first half, and never trailed again in the game.

Despite not ever trailing again, the Jackrabbits never really pulled away either, as the Bison kept the lead in single digits for the entire half before the Jacks took a 29-25 lead into the locker room.

The SDSU lead reached double figures for the first time at the 16:35 minute mark of the second half on a Brayden Carlson 3-pointer from the left side that put SDSU up 11 points at 36-25. SDSU would push that lead to as many as 12 on a Jordan Dykstra layup and-1 with 11:45 to play.

NDSU came right back with a Braun 3-pointer on the other end, and kept the lead under 10 points for all but a 17 second span between a Nate Wolters jumper at 9:26 that put SDSU up 52-42 and a Mike Felt 3-pointer at the 9:09 mark that cut the lead to 52-45, which started a 10-2 NDSU run that cut the lead to two points 52-52 with 7:24 left in the game.

The Jacks came right back with a quick 8-2 burst to push the lead back to eight points at 62-54 on a pair of Tony Fiegen free throws with 3:39 on the clock. From there, the Jacks went 9-of-10 from the free throw line down the stretch to secure the win.

Wolters led all players with 27 points in the win, adding six each in rebounds and assists in earning tournament MVP honors for the second straight year. A now two-time all-tournament team selection, Dykstra finished with 18 points and seven rebounds, while first-time all-tournament team selection Fiegen finished with 12 points.

NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS – A win over Michigan would propel the Jackrabbits to the third round of the NCAA Tournament, and pit the Jackrabbits against either No. 5 seed VCU or No. 12 seed Akron on Saturday at The Palace of Auburn Hills.


RABBITS ON THE RADIO – Originated from the AM 570 WNAX studios in Yankton, S.D., every SDSU men’s basketball games can be heard live on a total of five stations throughout South Dakota on the Jackrabbit Sports Network.

- 570 AM – WNAX – Yankton     
- 910 AM – KJJQ “The Ranch” – Brookings
- 1060 AM – KGFX – Pierre       
- 1480 AM KSDR – Watertown
- 1490 AM – KORN – Mitchell 

Pierre, S.D., native, and 2012 South Dakota Sportscaster of the Year, Tyler Merriam returns for his second season as the voice of Jackrabbit men’s basketball. He also serves as the voice of Jackrabbit football.

ALL NCAA TOURNAMENT GAMES STREAMED LIVE FOR FREE – In addition to watching every NCAA Tournament game on TV, fans can also watch all of the games streaming live on the internet for free on

THE JACKRABBIT INSIDER ON FOX – Fans of South Dakota State Athletics can get a weekly behind-the-scenes look at all 21 Jackrabbit varsity sports teams by tuning into “The Jackrabbit Insider.”

Hosted by Tyler Merriam, the show airs on Sundays on KTTW FOX 17 at 10:30 p.m., and can also be seen on Fox Sports North at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.


WOLTERS ON MULTIPLE AWARDS WATCH LISTS – The only player in Division I men’s basketball to average at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game in 2011-12 put senior Nate Wolters on the national map, which led him earning a place on multiple award watch lists.

– Named on the Wooden Midseason Top-25 –
– Lute Olson preseason All-America selection –
– Bob Cousy Award Final 12 Candidate –
– Lou Henson Award Finalist –
– Naismith Men’s Player of the Year Candidate -

ELITE COMPANYNate Wolters enters The NCAA Tournament on pace to become the first player since the NCAA began keeping assists as an official statistic in 1983-84 to average 20 points, five assists and five rebounds in two separate seasons. He averaged 21.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game last year to become the fifth to achieve a 20-5-5 season. Wolters came up one assists shy of joining an elite group with a 20-points, six-assist and five rebound average in 2011-12, something only two other players in NCAA history achieved.

Nate Wolters (South Dakota State), 2012-13 – 22.7 ppg, 5.8 apg, 5.6 rpg
Nate Wolters (South Dakota State), 2011-12 – 22.5 ppg, 5.9 apg, 5.1 rpg
– Norris Cole (Cleveland State), 2010-11 – 21.7 ppg, 5.3, apg, 5.8 rpg
– Evan Turner (Ohio State), 2009-10 – 20.4 ppg, 6.0 apg, 9.2 rpg
– Ricky Minard (Morehead State), 2003-04 – 21.8 ppg, 5.1 apg, 7.3 rpg
– Speedy Claxton (Hofstra), 1999-2000 – 22.8 ppg, 6.0 apg, 5.4 rpg

Wolters also enters the NCAA Tournament three rebounds shy of joining an exclusive group of NCAA Division I players to reach career totals of 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 600 assists. Maryland’s Greivis Vasquez achieved the rare trifecta first and Ohio’s D.J. Cooper became the second to reach the milestone in the Bobcats win over Buffalo on March 5. Along with Vasques and Cooper, only two other players amassed 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 500 assists in a career: Duke’s Danny Ferry and Penn State’s Talor Battle. Wolters scored more career points than any member of that elite group.

NCAA players to amass 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 500 assists in a career (through March 16)

– Greivis Vasquez (Maryland), 2006-10 – 2,171 pts. 647 reb. 772 ast
– Danny Ferry (Duke), 1985-89 – 2,155 pts. 1,003 reb. 506 ast.
– Talor Battle (Penn State), 2007-11 – 2,213 pts. 625 reb. 517 ast.
– D.J. Cooper (Ohio) – 2,059 pts. 619 reb. 930 ast.
*Nate Wolters (South Dakota State) – 2,353 pts. 597 reb. 663 ast.

WOLTERS NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK/MONTH/YEAR –The Summit League named Nate Wolters its Player of the Week a league-record seven times during the 2012-13 season, giving him 15 weekly honors for his career, which ties the all-time league mark. He also earned the league’s male athlete of the month twice, along with the pre and postseason player of the year honors.

PERFECT AT HOME – The Jackrabbits entered the 2012-13 season with 17 straight home wins, and then capped their second perfect home season at 13-0 with a 64-55 win over Western Illinois on Feb. 16, giving SDSU a school and Summit League record 30 consecutive home wins, the longest streak in all of Division I basketball. 

JACKS DOUBLE UP – After posting a single double-double in each of his first two seasons, Jordan Dykstra posted double-doubles in a team-high nine games this season, including four of the last eight games of the season.

Nate Wolters posted five double-doubles in his first three seasons and six more so far this season. Four of Wolters double-doubles came with points and assists, and two of them from points and rebounds.

Both Dykstra and Wolters recorded double-doubles at CSU Bakersfield and at Omaha, while Dykstra and Tony Fiegen both posted double-doubles in the double-overtime win at Montana. Fiegen added his second double-double of the season in the Jacks 66-49 quarterfinal win over IUPUI on Saturday. SDSU enters the NCAA Tournament with a 10-2 record this season when a Jackrabbit records a double-double.

A FIRST FOR THE JACKRABBITS – South Dakota State’s victory at previously unbeaten and No. 16 ranked New Mexico on Dec. 22, marked SDSU’s first victory over a ranked opponent at the Division I level and gave The Summit League its only win over a ranked team this season. The Jackrabbits lost their first seven games against ranked opponents in Division I.


WOLTERS SETS SCORING RECORDSNate Wolters became the 42nd member of the SDSU 1,000-Point Club in a win over Sam Houston State on Nov. 22, 2011, and then set the school record for points in a career on Jan. 5 at South Dakota, when he broke Mark Tetzlaff’s 28 year-old record in the DakotaDome.

Wolters also set the SDSU single game scoring record with a 53-point outburst at Fort Wayne on Feb. 7, when he eclipsed the SDSU single-game record with nine 3-pointers. In addition to those records, the 53-point performance marks the third-highest in Summit League history, trailing only North Dakota State’s Ben Woodside (60 vs. Stephen F. Austin, Dec. 12, 2008) and UMKC’s Michael Watson (54 vs. Oral Roberts, Feb. 22, 2003), but does represent the highest single-game total in league history in a regulation game, and represents the highest single-game total in NCAA Division I this season.

WOLTERS JOINS 2,000-POINT CLUB – Wolters scored 1,628 points in his first three years as a Jackrabbit, including the SDSU sophomore record with 604 points and the junior record with 721 points. He entered his senior season 372 points shy of becoming the first member of the SDSU 2,000-Point Club, which he accomplished with a 22 point game in a win at Western Illinois on Jan. 17. 

WOLTERS SETS FREE THROWS RECORD – Adding to his legacy, Wolters tied the SDSU career free throws made record of 532 at Kansas City on Jan. 3, and then broke the record with his first make at South Dakota on Jan. 5. He enters The Summit League Championship finals with an SDSU record 644 in his career.

MORE THAN JUST A SCORER – In addition to his scoring prowess, Wolters set the SDSU career assists record on Feb. 9, at Oakland, when dished out his 606th career assist, topping the old mark of 605, set by Brian Norberg from 1995-99. Wolters enters the NCAA Tournament with 663 dimes in his career. He also ranks fourth all-time at SDSU with 191 steals.

DYKSTRA HITS 1,OOO-POINT MILESTONE – Junior Jordan Dykstra became the 43rd member of the SDSU 1,000-Point Club in the Jacks win over South Dakota on Jan. 31, and immediately started to climb the scoring charts. He enters NCAA Tournament ranked 24th all-time at SDSU with 1,137 points.

JACKS SET FREE THROWS RECORD – The Jackrabbits combined to go a perfect 17-for-17 from the free throw line at Oakland, for a perfect 100 percent free throw percentage. That ties a perfect 14-for-14 night vs. IPFW on Jan. 5, 2008 and a 13-for-13 night against IUPUI on Feb. 7, 2008, both at Frost Arena.

GOOD FOR THREE! – Three of the top-10 three-point shooters in SDSU history, based on 3-point field goal percentage, currently play for the Jackrabbits. Jordan Dykstra leads the way with .464 percent, Chad White ranks second with a .442 mark from deep, while Brayden Carlson enters the Big Dance with a .400 career mark from long range.


MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (26-7, 12-6 Big 10) – The No. 4 seed Wolverines enter their 24th NCAA Tournament after earning an at-large bid out of the Big Ten after bowing out of the conference tournament after a 68-59 loss to Wisconsin in the quarterfinals.

THE SERIES vs. MICHIGAN – The Wolverines lead the all-time series with South Dakota State 2-0, with the first win being a 95-55 contest on Dec. 11, 1957, followed by a 104-66 Michigan win on Dec. 3, 1988. SDSU and Michigan played both games in Ann Arbor, Mich.

THE WOLVERINES THE LAST TIME OUT: March 15, vs. vs. Wisconsin – CHICAGO, Ill. - The University of Michigan men’s basketball team’s (No. 6 AP, No. 8 ESPN/USA Today) Big Ten Tournament run was halted in the quarterfinal round by Wisconsin (No. 22 AP, No. 23 ESPN/USA Today), 68-59, on March 15, inside the United Center.

After five minutes of back-and-forth play midway through the second half, Wisconsin went on a 7-0 run to increase its lead to 11 points, 56-45, with 5:54 on the clock.

Michigan came back firing, going on a 9-0 run of its own, compliments of three points from freshman forward Mitch McGary and six from sophomore guard Trey Burke, forcing Wisconsin to call timeout at the 3:35 mark. After the timeout, the Badgers scored five unanswered to go up by seven. The Wolverines were forced to foul down the stretch, and Wisconsin went 5-for-6 from the free throw line to seal the victory.

Burke led the Wolverines for the second straight game in the tournament with a game-high 19 points and seven assists, while junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (Miami, Fla./Palmetto Senior) added 14 points and nine rebounds. McGary was just shy of a double-digit scoring effort with nine points and seven rebounds.

After a slow start and with Michigan leading, 6-4, with 12:39 remaining in the first half, back-to-back transition baskets gave the Wolverines a 10-4 advantage. Burke assisted on both field goals, including a layup by McGary and an alley-oop to Hardaway for a slam.

After the second media timeout, where Michigan owned a 10-6 lead, freshman guard Glenn Robinson III laid in a transition alley-oop from Burke and followed it with an offensive put-back to put the Wolverines up 14-6 by the 7:27 media timeout. Out of the timeout, junior/sophomore forward Jon Horford backed his man into the paint and banked one in off the glass.

Wisconsin responded with a three-pointer and a free throw to cut U-M’s lead to six, 16-10, before freshman guard Nik Stauskas hit a jumper to make it 18-10 in favor of the Wolverines at the 4:35 mark. Two pairs of free throws by Wisconsin brought the Badgers within four, 18-14, with a minute remaining in the first half. Robinson made it 20-14 with 27 seconds to play with his driving field goal, but a long-range bucket from the Badgers with seven seconds on the clock cut U-M’s lead to three, 20-17, at the half.

Michigan’s 20 points in the first half are the lowest it has tallied in a half this season. Wisconsin shot just 17 percent (5-for-29) in the opening half, while the Wolverines hit 35 percent of their attempts (10-for-29).

Out of the locker room, two pairs of free throws by Stauskas and Hardaway put Michigan up, 24-19, at the 18:26 mark. Wisconsin responded with 10 unanswered points, including a three by Ben Brust, two layups by Jared Berggren and a triple from Frank Kaminsky, giving the Badgers their first lead since the opening basket, 29-24, by the 15:15 mark.

The two teams continued to exchange baskets and an old-fashioned three-point play by Horford brought the Wolverines within three, 40-37, with 11:22 to play.

THE LAST MEETING: at Michigan: Dec. 3, 1988, Ann Arbor, Mich. – Cullen Ober led a pair of Jackrabbits in double figures with 22 points and added eight rebounds in the loss to the eventual national champion Wolverines. Bill Cartwright added 10 points and six boards, while Tony Matthews, Terry Nelson and Brian Flom all finished with eight points. 

THE FIRST MEETING: at Michigan: Dec. 11, 1957, Ann Arbor, Mich. – The Wolverines won the first-ever meeting with South Dakota State 95-55. The Jackrabbits, under second-year head coach Jim Iverson, finished the season with a 12-11 overall record and a 9-3 mark in the North Central Conference, while the Wolverines and head coach William Perigo finished the season with an even 11-11 mark overall and a 6-8 mark in the Big 10.