THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University men's basketball team (19-9 overall record) kicks off their postseason play this weekend in the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Division II Men's Basketball Conference Tournament. The six-team conference tournament takes place at the Civic Center in Jamestown, N.D. The tournament runs for three days, starting on Friday, Feb. 22 and ending on Sunday, Feb. 24 with the championship game slated for 4:30 p.m.
2013 A.I.I. TOURNAMENT & SEEDINGS: Dakota State is the third-seed in the A.I.I. Division II Men's Basketball Conference Tournament. The Trojans open their postseason play Friday evening, facing sixth-seed Northern New Mexico (11-17 overall record) at 5:30 p.m. (first-ever meeting in series history). The other first-round pairing on Friday features the host team and No. 5 seed Jamestown (N.D.) (13-17) taking on fourth-seed Ashford (Iowa) (19-11) at 7:30 p.m. Rochester (No. 1 seed) and Valley City State (N.D.) (No. 2 seed) received a bye in the first-round. On Saturday, Valley City State plays the winner of DSU-NNM game at 5:30 p.m. in the first semifinal game. Rochester takes on the winner of JC-AU game in the second semifinal at 7:30 p.m. The championship game is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 24 at 4:30 p.m. All games will be at the Civic Center.
AUTOMATIC BIDS: The Association of Independent Institutions have two automatic bids to the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament. Each winner in the Saturday's semifinal games will receive an automatic bid to the national tournament and a spot in the A.I.I. Division II Conference Tournament's championship game on Sunday. The NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament takes place in Point Lookout, Mo. on March 6-12 (hosted by College of the Ozarks).
TOURNAMENT COVERAGE LINKS: Jamestown will be providing live coverage of the A.I.I. Tournament this weekend. There will be a live paid video on http://www.b2tv.com/partner_members.asp?id=68. In addition, JC will provide the live stats/scoring of each game on http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Tournament/TournamentPage.aspx?association=10&sg=MBB&tour=1031. Jamestown have set up a tournament website on http://www.jimmieathletics.com/article/1279.php. NewsDakota.com will provide the live audio broadcast of the tournament on www.NewsDakota.com, under 'Listen Live.'
MOST VICTORIES: Dakota State recorded their 19th victory of the season on Feb. 13 with a 66-60 road victory at Jamestown (N.D.). DSU's 19 wins tied for the second most wins in DSU men's basketball record book. The Trojans' most wins in school history is 20 victories, which happened twice in program historyâ€”1990-91 and 1966-67.
ABOUT DAKOTA STATE (S.D.): Dakota State is 19-9 overall record and 5-3 A.I.I. conference record under the guidance of fourth-year head coach Gary Garner. The Trojans began their season with their best start at 7-1 for the first time since 1966-67 season (9-1 record). DSU qualified for the NAIA National Tournament last season after capturing the A.I.I. Division II Conference Tournament held in Madison, S.D.
ABOUT ASHFORD (IOWA): Oliver Drake is in his third season as head coach at Ashford (Iowa). The Saints are in the first year membership with the A.I.I. AU completed their regular-season schedule with an overall record of 19-11 and 3-0 A.I.I. conference record (defeated Indiana Northwest twice and Johnson & Wales, Colo.). The Saints, fourth-seed team in the A.I.I, were a former member of the Midwest Collegiate Conference last season.
ABOUT JAMESTOWN (N.D.): Jamestown is the fifth-seed team in the A.I.I. conference tournament under their guidance of first-year head coach Justin Wieck. The Jimmies recorded a 73-70 overtime road victory at Mayville State (N.D.) to complete a 13-17 overall regular-season and 4-6 in the A.I.I. Jamestown advanced to the 2012 A.I.I. Conference Tournament Championship game, losing to Dakota State. In addition, the Jimmies qualified for the national tournament last season.
ABOUT NORTHERN NEW MEXICO: Northern New Mexico, under third-year head coach Ryan Cordova, is the No. 6 seed in the A.I.I. Conference Tournament. The Eagles completed their 2012-13 regular-season with an overall record of 11-17 and 5-2 A.I.I. conference record. Northern New Mexico is located in Espanola, N.M.
ABOUT ROCHESTER (MICH.): Under the guidance of second-year head coach Klint Pleasant, A.I.I.'s top seed Rochester (Mich.) ranks as high as No. 9 in the national poll this season. RC is 20-3 overall record (4-0 A.I.I.), including a perfect 11-0 home record. During the regular-season, Rochester had recorded a road victory at Eastern Illinois by the score of 59-56. The Warriors are currently on a 15-game winning streak that started on Dec. 17 (last loss-Dec.14 vs. Texas-Pan American).
ABOUT VALLEY CITY STATE (N.D.): Valley City State (21-7 overall record, 8-4 A.I.I.) is the second seed team in the A.I.I. conference tournament. The Vikings, under eighth-year head coach Jeff Kaminsky, is currently ranked No. 20 in the latest NAIA Division II national poll. VCSU had appeared in the national ranking in every week this season.
DSU QUICK LEADERS: Tyrone Gordon, Jr. averages 13.8 points per game for the Trojans. He shoots 46.8 percent from the field. John Lamb is averaging 12.0 points per game and ranks 18th in the nation in 3-point field goals made per game (2.7). He leads the team with 48 steals (1.9 steals per gameâ€”49th in the nation). John Lamb averages 3.0 assists per game (79 total assists). Yusuf Vinson leads the A.I.I. with 213 rebounds this season (7.9 rebounds per game). He ranks 25th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (2.9). Vinson is 49th in total rebounds per game. Terrell Newton records 15 blocked shots this season (0.6 blocks per game).
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Dakota State Trojan men's basketball and athletics all season long on www.dsuathletics.com. The Trojans are also on Twitter, just log onto www.twitter.com/GoDaSUAthletics. The Dakota State University Athletics group page can be found on Facebook on https://www.facebook.com/DSUTrojanAthletics.
UP NEXT: The NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament is scheduled for March 6-12 in Point Lookout, Mo. The national tournament is hosted by the College of the Ozarks.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director