The NSIC Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments tipped-off Wednesday night at campuses throughout the league. The winners will converge on Sioux Falls and the Sanford Pentagon for quarterfinal play beginning on Saturday.
After spending the past two post-seasons at Taylor Arena in Rochester, Minnesota, the 2014 NSIC Tournament will shift to the Sanford Pentagon.
"We're really excited to have the event in Sioux Falls. It's going to be a huge benefit for the community, not only economically, but it's great basketball," Augustana Athletic Director Bill Gross said.
"There's a lot of very good teams on both sides. I think it's going to be a great tournament," Augustana Men's Basketball Coach Tom Billeter said.
"It's the first year, and it's going to be a new experience, and I know there's been a lot of work put into really making this a model for division two," Augustana Women's Basketball Coach Dave Krauth said
The tournament's top-seeds hosted Wednesday night's games. The winners will advance to this weekend's quarterfinals, and both the Augustana Men and Women are looking to avenge recent losses.
"Northern really beat us badly in the first half that we played them. I think that'll have our kids attention. I think our kids will enjoy going up and playing in the Barnett Center, which is a fine facility, and playing a team that's pretty recent in the memory bank, in terms of scouting and what the result of that game was. So, I think we'll have their focus, and I think it'll be a great matchup," Billeter said.
"Young people bounce back from losses better than I do, and ah...We had dug ourselves a hole. It's not the first time that's happened this year where we've done that with poor first halves, and then really came back and put ourselves in a position where we probably should have won, and didn't get the job done," Krauth said.
A win tonight would also give Augustana a unique hometown advantage for the upcoming rounds of play. But, first the Vikings women have to take care of business at the Elmen Center.
"I hope we represent ourselves well, and if we play well, and use that home-court, then we'll get a chance to experience the Pentagon quarters, semis, and finals," Krauth said.