Frost Arena will be packed with South Dakota State University fans Thursday night as the Jackrabbits play host to the Minnesota Gophers in the WNIT sweet 16.
The SDSU women's basketball team is gearing up to host a top regional rival, the Minnesota Gophers. While the tournament may not provide national exposure like the NCAA, head coach Aaron Johnston says he's proud his team has the opportunity to still participate in post-season play.
"Obviously our number one goal is the NCAA tournament and this year it just didn't work out. We played such a good schedule and had such a good year that the WNIT is a good option for us to keep playing and all these teams are the top 60 in the country and you're playing against some great names," Johnston said.
The WNIT collects a certain percentage of ticket sales after expenses. Besides keeping a certain percentage of the revenue, SDSU is able to pocket 100 percent of residual income, such as concessions and program sales.
"I think any post season means a lot to our fans and being able to host it takes it to that next step. Our ticket sales have been great and I think that's why we have been continuing to host because our attendance has been so great and our fans have responded," Senior Associate Athletic Director Leon Costello said.
"I think it will be a good game. I think SDSU will do good. It should be a good rivalry," SDSU fan Brooke Woods said.
And home court advantage is definitely a plus.
"If we played over there, I doubt we would have very many Jackrabbit fans, so playing over here, we absolutely have that advantage of being that team. Should have the roar in the crowd," SDSU Fan Ray Talley said.
The game starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Frost Arena.