Today the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tipped off its championship tournament in Sioux Falls.
Minutes before the first game between Northern State and Augustana, fans were filling the lobby of the Sanford Pentagon. NSIC Commissioner Butch Raymond says it's always difficult to have a tournament in a new venue, but he likes what he is seeing in the stands.
"Very pleased with the turnout. Obviously it's a good matchup. Augustana and Northern State, doesn't get much better than that, so it was a natural for them, but yeah we're very pleased with the turnout," NSIC Commissioner Butch Raymond said.
This was the first event of its kind at the Pentagon after agreeing to a three year deal, but the Commissioner says he likes the tournaments new home.
"When you run a tournament as a commissioner you want to give your student athletes the best experience possible. That's what a championship is all about and there's no venue around that's going to be more exciting for a student athlete to come in and play basketball in the Pentagon. It's something they'll remember for the rest of their lives," Raymond said.
Senior Guard Alison Kusler of Northern State was one of those student athletes that played on the floor. She wasn't just happy with the final score of the game today, but she is enjoying the experience as well.
"It's really fun getting to see other teams play too so yeah it's definitely a cool place to play and Sioux Falls is a great host town so it's fun," Senior Guard Alison Kusler said.
Northern State fan Steve Gough made the long trip from Aberdeen to take in the tournament and watch his Wolves play.
"The first game we came to it was a nice atmosphere. I think the staff did a good job of putting it together. It was fun to watch, especially because Northern came out on top," fan Steve Gough said.
No matter what colors you're wearing, or what the final score is, fans and players will take something away from the first on many tournaments inside the Sanford Pentagon.
To get a complete look at the bracket click here.