Title Game Raises Pentagon’s Profile


Sioux Falls will be in the national sports spotlight this weekend when CBS airs the NCAA Division II men’s national basketball title game.  Northwest Missouri State and Fairmont State from West Virginia tip off at 2 p.m. Central Time Saturday in a game that airs on KELOLAND TV.  The winner will lay claim to a national championship, but it’s also a big win for the Pentagon.

The Sanford Pentagon is ready for its close-up.

“It helps build our brand; it helps get our name out there,” Sanford Pentagon Executive Director Jesse Smith said.

CBS Sports trucks have been at the Pentagon fine-tuning preparations for the game.

“We’ve been in constant communication with them for about a month just making sure everything’s right.  The preparations are right.  They’ve got the camera shots that they want; the angles that they want.  They get the interviews that they want, so it’s quite a lift to make them happy,” Smith said.

The Pentagon’s national exposure goes beyond court-side cosmetics.  The attention can give the facility more leverage in bringing other big games here.

“We’ll make a trip down to the Final Four next week and those teams, those coaches, administrators, they know who the Sanford Pentagon is.  They know we’re in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and it starts the dialogue to have them potentially come here and play a game,” Smith said.  

The Pentagon’s retro look has left a lasting impression on those coaching in Saturday’s championship game.

“It’s as cool a facility, honestly, that I’ve played in and we’ve played in a lot of them, I mean, it’s just really neat,” Northwest Missouri State Head Coach Ben McCollum said.

National cable sports networks have aired games from the Pentagon before.  But Saturday’s game is likely the first time ever a broadcast network has carried a game live from South Dakota.

“It never gets old seeing our floor and our facility showcased on TV,” Smith said.

Smith says a surge in ticket sales Friday morning could lead to a near sellout for Saturday’s game.  He says it’s important to have a full house during a nationally-broadcast game.

Tickets are still available.  You can order them through Ticketmaster or by calling the Sanford Pentagon.  

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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