The Summit League Men's and Women's Basketball championships open Saturday at Sioux Falls Arena. Following hotly contested regular season races, won by the SDSU Women and NDSU Men, things may boil over in the tournament.
"Our depth this year in the league is the best we've ever had. We're the highest ranked we've ever been in the RPI, both men's and women's programs. It should be a very hotly contested tournament," Summit League Commissioner Tom Douple said.
The Summit League saw three men's basketball teams post at least ten wins, led by NDSU. On the women's side, two teams tallied at least eleven wins, including five-time defending tournament champion, SDSU.
"They rebuild and reload every single year. They'll be competitive in the future. It's just a fun program to watch. Aaron has done a great job with it. Their fans are passionate about their program, and that really adds to the excitement," Douple said.
The USD Women finished 7-7 in Summit League play, while the Men were 6-8, and Douple is pleased with the progress the Coyotes, and the conference, have made.
"Having them in the league with North Dakota State and South Dakota State, it has really been positive for us. It really gives us a foundation on which we're able to build. Now, bringing in Omaha has just added to that. So, you can just get on I-29, and go up and down and see great basketball," Douple said.
The Sioux Falls Arena will host the Summit League tournament one last time, starting Saturday at 2:00, with IUPUI playing NDSU in Women's Basketball. The event will move to the new Denny Sanford Premier Center next March.