THIS WEEK: Dakota State women's basketball team kicks off the 2012 State Farm Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) National Qualifying Tournament on Friday night at DSU Fieldhouse. The three-day post-season event continues with the semifinals on Saturday afternoon (1 p.m. and 3 p.m.) and championship game on Sunday at 4 p.m.
PAIRINGS: Jamestown is the tournament's top seed. The tournament begins with a first-round game between the host-team and No. 5 seed Dakota State and No. 4 seed Valley City State (17-13). The winner of the first-round game will face the Jimmies in the semifinals on Saturday at 3 p.m. The other semifinal game will feature No. 3 seed Cal State San Marcos (16-14) and No. 2 seed Indiana Northwest (19-11).
AUTOMATIC QUALIFIERS: There are two automatic bids for the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa on March 7-13. The two teams that advanced to the championship game will earn an automatic berth for the national tournament. The at-large bids are determined by using the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball national poll 'Top 25' after all the conference championships are completed on Feb. 28. The final national poll will be released on Feb. 29.
ABOUT DAKOTA STATE: Under the guidance of fourth-year head coach Joe Reints, the Trojans concluded their regular-season with a 7-21 overall record. Reints recorded his 100th career collegiate win in a 78-62 victory over Trinity Bible (N.D.) on Jan. 27, 2012 at DSU Fieldhouse. Dakota State owns a 6-8 record at home this season.
ABOUT CAL STATE SAN MARCOS: Sheri Jennum is in her first year head coach as the Cougars and completed their regular-season with a 16-14 for a No. 3 tournament's seed. CSU San Marcos received vote recognition in the latest NAIA Division II Women's Basketball national poll on Feb. 20. The Cougars had won five games in the last six games before heading in the post-season tournament.
ABOUT INDIANA NORTHWEST: After starting the season with a 3-11 overall record, fifth-year head coach Ryan Shelton and his Red Hawks had turned around by recording 16 straight wins to gain a No. 2 seed in the post-season tournament.. During that winning streak, Indiana Northwest recorded their first ever win (78-77) over NCAA Division I Chicago State on Feb. 1, 2012 with a clutch free-throw with 3.8 seconds left in the game. The Red Hawks had won the last two A.I.I. post-season tournaments. Indiana Northwest went to the NAIA national tournament in the last two seasons.
ABOUT JAMESTOWN: Jamestown, under the leadership of second-year head coach Greg Ulland (47-11 career record), won the final Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC) pre-season tournament and regular-season championship this season. The Jimmies had won 12 consecutive games before heading in the A.I.I. post-season play this weekend. Jamestown had been in the NAIA 'Top 25' rankings during the season and currently ranks seventh in the nation with an overall record of 26-3, including the tournament's top seed.
ABOUT VALLEY CITY STATE: Jill DeVries is her 13th season as head coach for Valley City State. The Vikings made an appearance to the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Tournament for the first time in program history a season ago after capturing the DAC Post-season Tournament. VCSU owns a 17-13 record after recording two wins in the final week of regular-season play, defeating Dickinson State 77-61 on Feb. 15 and at Mayville State 88-72 in a pivotal final game on Feb. 18.
TOURNAMENT WEBSITE: The 2012 State Farm Tournament A.I.I. National Qualifying Tournament has a tournament website. It is on www.dsuathletics.com/aii-tourney. Live stats and live video/audio links will be available both on the tournament page and DSU Athletics home page (www.dsuathletics.com).
TELEVISION: Midco Sports Network will be carrying a tape-delayed broadcast of the 2012 State Farm A.I.I. Basketball Championship game. More information on when it will be display the championship game on television on a later date.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Dakota State women's basketball and athletics all season long at www.twitter.com/DaSUAthletics.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director