The University of South Dakota women's basketball team is on its way to its first ever NCAA tournament game. The team left for the first round game Thursday afternoon from the DakotaDome.
The women will square off on the hardwood against the second-seed Stanford Cardinal in Ames, Iowa Saturday night. And the women tell me they are excited for the game.
Fans cheer as the Coyote Women pack up for their first trip ever to the Division 1 NCAA Tournament. It comes after the USD team won the Summit Championship Tournament in Sioux Falls last week.
"I'm so excited," USD Point Guard Tia Hemiller said. "We've been waiting for this day forever and finally that we know who we play and we are excited to get down there and get comfortable."
Margaret McCloud says the team is overwhelmed by the fan support - not just in Vermillion - but across the state.
"It's incredible and it means so much and we are very thankful for them," McCloud said. "It just kind of makes it that much more exciting that they are supporting us and that they do care and are following our team."
Former Coyote Sen. John Thune is among the supporters wishing the women well.
"This is a hot team," Thune said. "They are playing really well. They've peaked at the right time. They play really well together. I, like a lot of South Dakotans, are really excited for Saturday."
And while the women are excited for their history-making game, they say they're staying focused.
"Just give it all you got because this could be our last game, but hopefully it's not," Hemiller said. "We are just going to give it our all."
KELOLAND Sports Director Travis Fossing is also making the trip. He'll bring you live coverage beginning at 6:00 Friday evening and throughout the weekend as the Coyote journey continues. You can also check out our USD Coyotes Tournament page.