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DSU men’s basketball starts post-season play Saturday in semifinals
February 23, 2012
THIS WEEK: Dakota State men's basketball team plays in the semifinals of the 2012 State Farm Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) National Qualifying Tournament Saturday evening at DSU Fieldhouse. The three-day post-season event starts with the first-round game on Friday night at 8 p.m. and championship game on Sunday at 6 p.m.
PAIRINGS: Jamestown (24-5 overall record) is the top seed for the post-season tournament. No. 3 seed and host-team Dakota State (16-12) faces No. 2 seed Valley City State (20-9) in the first men's semifinal game on Saturday evening at 5 p.m. No. 4 seed Dickinson State (11-17) takes on No. 5 seed Mayville State (13-14) in the first-round game on Friday night. The Friday's night winner will advance to the second semifinal game on Saturday night at 7 p.m. versus Jamestown.
AUTOMATIC QUALIFIERS: There are two automatic bids for the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament in Point Lookout, Mo. 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 Men'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: Dakota State, under the guidance of third-year head coach Gary Garner, recorded their 16th win for the first time since 1992 – the year when the Trojans reached the NAIA 'Final Four.' The Trojans recorded their first back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in more than 20 years. DSU had faced a nationally-ranked team from the NAIA seven times this year. Dakota State is 4-2 versus teams from NCAA Division II with wins over South Dakota Mines twice, University of Sioux Falls and Black Hills State.
ABOUT DICKINSON STATE: Fifth-year head coach Ty Orton and his Blue Hawks completed their regular-season with an 11-17 record and a No. 4 seed in the tournament. Dickinson State had recorded three wins in the last five games of the regular-season, including wins over Mayville State twice and nationally-ranked Valley City State. Dickinson State will be joining the Frontier Athletic Conference next year.
ABOUT JAMESTOWN: Jamestown, guided by second-year head coach Matt Murken, started the season with a 1-3 record. Then, the Jimmies reeled off 10 straight wins before losing to Morningside (Iowa) on Dec. 29, 2011. JC won the Dakota Athletic Conference pre-season tournament and won the final conference regular-season championship. The Jimmies had won 12 games in the last 13 games in the regular-season before heading in the post-season tournament.
ABOUT MAYVILLE STATE: Justin Johnson is in his fifth season as Mayville State Comets head coach. The Comets started their season with four straight wins before falling to Dakota State on Nov. 5, 2011. Mayville State ended their six-game losing drought with a 66-64 upset win over then-No. 19 Valley City State on Feb. 18, 2012 to gain a No. 5 spot in the A.I.I. post-season tournament.
ABOUT VALLEY CITY STATE: Valley City State, under the leadership of seventh-year head coach Jeff Kaminsky, finished their regular-season with a 20-9 overall record. The Vikings ended their season with a three-game losing streak and are seeded No. 2 in the tournament. VCSU is currently ranked No. 25 in the latest NAIA Division II Men's Basketball national poll and had been ranked as high as No. 17 during the season. The Vikings won the Wesmen Classic during the Christmas break in Winnipeg, Canada.
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