ELMHURST, Ill. – South Dakota State enters The Summit League Women’s Basketball Championship as the top seed for the third consecutive year, looking to extend its title streak to six-straight. Seven teams begin play at the tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Saturday, which will determine The Summit League’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
South Dakota State (22-8, 13-1 SL) won its fifth regular season title in the last seven years and is currently ranked No. 12 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll. With their No. 1 seed, the Jackrabbits, who are 15-0 all-time in Summit League Tournament games, earn a bye into the semifinals where they will face the winner of the No. 4 South Dakota (16-13, 7-7 SL) vs. No. 5 Western Illinois (14-15, 6-8 SL) quarterfinal game.
The first quarterfinal matchup of the tournament pits No. 2 IUPUI (21-8, 11-3 SL) against No. 7 North Dakota State (6-23, 2-12 SL) at 2 p.m. CT, Saturday, on Midco Sports Network and tape delay on Fox College Sports (Central) at 10 p.m. The Jaguars are the No. 2 seed for the second-straight season and have won a Division I-era program record 21 games thus far this season.
The South Dakota-Western Illinois quarterfinal matchup airs at Noon on March 9 (MidcoSN / Fox College Sports). The Coyotes, tournament runners-up a year ago, won seven of their last 10 league contests to earn the fourth seed, while the Leathernecks are the No. 5 seed for the second consecutive year. At 2:30 p.m. (MidcoSN / Fox College Sports), the final quarterfinal contest begins as No. 3 Fort Wayne (15-13, 8-6 SL) faces No. 6 Denver (7-22, 5-9 SL). The Mastodons earned their highest seed since 2011 when they were seeded No. 2.
Semifinal action begins on March 10 as No. 1 South Dakota State faces the winner of the No. 4 USD vs. No. 5 WIU game at Noon CT. That is followed by the winners of the No. 2 IUPUI vs. No. 7 NDSU and No. 3 IPFW vs. No. 6 DU contests at 2:30 p.m. Both semifinal games will be aired live on Midco Sports Network and Fox College Sports.
The championship game is set for 1 p.m. CT on March 11, and will be broadcast live on ESPNU.
The Summit League is playing its tournament in Sioux Falls for the sixth consecutive season and the final time at Sioux Falls Arena before moving to the adjacent 12,000-seat, $115 million Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in 2015.
For the fifth-straight year, all women’s quarterfinal and semifinal games will be televised by Midco Sports Network throughout South Dakota, North Dakota and parts of rural Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The 2014 Tournament marks the third consecutive year that every game will be available live to a national cable television audience via Fox College Sports, which will show the quarterfinals and semifinals via Midco Sports Network’s feed. Midco Sports Network will also make its feed available via a live streaming package linked through www.thesummitleague.org. The Summit League Women’s Basketball Championship game will air on ESPNU for the sixth consecutive season.
Tickets for the 2014 Summit League Basketball Championship can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com, or in person at the Sioux Falls Arena Box Office.
For complete information on this year’s tournament, visit The Summit League’s championships website at www.thesummitleague.org/championships.