For six years, Rod Pattison, known as RJ, was the play-by-play announcer for the University of South Dakota women's basketball team. During that time, he built a strong bond with the Coyotes.
"You travel with the team, you stay in the team hotel, you hang out in airports with them. You ride buses with them at all hours of the day and night. You go to practice and games and things like that. They become your second family," Pattison said.
Pattison says seeing the team come together and win the Summit League Championship Tournament is something he'll never forget.
"When Polly Harrington's name was announced as the tournament MVP, it literally brought tears to my eyes because that is a kid if there is any student athlete that at USD that can be used as inspiration for other it's Polly," Pattison said.
This is the first team for USD to make it to the NCAA tournament in just its second year of eligibility. Fans hope that success continues on Saturday.
"This team has taken on the personality of their coach Amy Williams. Amy Williams is a South Dakota kid, gritty, gutty and doesn't back down from anything and that's what this team does. It's a great opportunity, national exposure, great for the school, great for the program, great for them, personally. Let's see what happens," Pattison said.
The public can get tickets to the game at the NCAA tournament in Ames, Iowa, by visiting or calling the Coyote Ticket Office at the DakotaDome, 605-677-5959. Tickets cost $17 for adults and $12 for children through 12th grade.
People need to act because seating is limited. The USD game is at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 22.
President Jim Abbott is providing reduced-price tickets for USD students at a cost of $7 each. Those tickets must be purchased at the Muenster Student Center on Wednesday.