The opening round of play in the NSIC Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments is complete, and the teams left standing now advance to this weekend's quarterfinals in Sioux Falls.
"The parity in our league is just so good right now. Every time you step on the floor, if you don't bring your 'A' game, you're just not going to win that night, and it doesn't matter if you're in first place or seventh place, or wherever you are," NSIC Commissioner Butch Raymond said.
The opening night of NSIC tournament play lived up to the hype. Now, the scene shifts to Sioux Falls, and the Sanford Pentagon.
"I don't know how it could be any better than to have an opportunity to play a tournament game or tournament championship in a facility like the Pentagon. It's a state of the art facility. The student-athletes are just going to be amazed when they see it and excited to have the opportunity to play there," Raymond said.
The teams will also take part in a variety of other activities, including visits to elementary schools, a basketball clinic for kids, and events with the Boys and Girls Club and Make-A-Wish.
"It's a student-athlete experience, and playing basketball or football is one of them, but what are the things that you can contribute to the outside world and to the environment is equally important," Raymond said.
On and off the court, Raymond says the NSIC is as good as ever, and they're not concerned about comparing themselves to their division one neighbors.
"Division one is division one, and those schools out there, we wish them the best, and certainly some of the schools that were division two and are there now having good years and success. But, we're just concerned about ourselves," Raymond said.
The NSIC Tournament continues Saturday through Tuesday, before the Summit League tournament arrives March 8th, and runs through the 11th.