VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) – The USD Women’s Basketball team is enjoying a couple days at home before hitting the road again for their Sweet 16 game in the NCAA tournament. The Coyotes will head to Wichita, Kansas next where they will take on Michigan this Saturday.

This may be the USD women’s first time in the Sweet 16, but for fans of the Coyotes, their advancement in the NCAA tournament comes as no surprise.

“Coach Dawn Plitzuweit puts her heart and soul in everything and it’s clear,” recent USD grad Sierra Prue said. “People will tell you straight up, all players, all friends of hers, all students will honestly say it was just a matter of time before it happened.”

“They are so talented and I’m glad that they’re finally getting the recognition that they deserve,” USD cheerleader Brooke Bollinger said.

“Watching them all season has been really, really cool to see how far they’ve come,” USD cheerleader Elizabeth Boysen said.

And watching the women give South Dakota basketball national recognition has been exciting too.

“Having South Dakota represented this way kind of just shows, you know, that we are dangerous in basketball,” freshman Joseph Donahue said. “Even though we may be a smaller program with less funding, we can still fight up to the competition and even outpace them in terms of our defense and offense and the way that Dawn Plitzuweit has ran the program.”

Whether in Kansas or at a watch party, USD fans are ready to cheer on their team.

“We’re really excited for them,” sophomore Jack Hagy said “We all have friends on the team and we’re rooting for them.”

“Super excited, it’s going to be awesome,” sophomore Tim Glaser

“It’s a once in a lifetime experience,” Bollinger said. “I don’t know if it will ever happen again, but it’s cool that it did right now.”

“And we love our girls’ team too so we are so excited to see them compete. It’s awesome,” Boysen said.

USD is asking Coyote fans to come join the women’s basketball team in Wichita, Kansas for the NCAA Sweet 16. You can buy tickets for the U-S-D section through the Go Yotes website. The university says seats are not allocated and will be assigned later this week.

USD will take on Michigan Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

We will have KELOLAND team coverage for the game in Wichita on Saturday with live coverage and fan interviews.