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Sanford Pentagon Showcase bringing four DI men’s basketball teams to Sioux Falls in November

11/21/2016, 4:00pm CST
By Sanford Pentagon

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Four NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams will visit the Sanford Pentagon for an early season event in November. South Dakota State University; the University of California, Irvine; East Tennessee State University; and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, all 20-win teams last season, are part of the Sanford Pentagon Showcase Nov. 25-27.

The three-day event uses a round-robin format with two games each day.

“The Pentagon Showcase provides a chance for quality mid-major teams to play each other in an exceptional facility with great fans,” said Eric Larsen, general manager of the Sanford Sports Complex. “There was a need in Division I men’s basketball to bring these types of teams together, and Sioux Falls and the Pentagon are the right combination for a positive fan and student-athlete experience.”

The Pentagon has hosted eight Division I men’s basketball games since opening in 2013. Programs like Wisconsin, St. John’s, UNLV, Iowa State and Minnesota have played in the venue in front of national TV audiences on ESPN and the Big Ten Network.

South Dakota State (26-8 in 2015-16) made the NCAA tournament last season after sharing the Summit League regular-season title and winning the conference tournament. It was the Jackrabbits’ third NCAA tournament appearance in five years. T.J. Otzelberger, a former Iowa State assistant whose team played at the Pentagon last season, is South Dakota State’s new head coach.

Big West Conference member UC Irvine (28-10 in 2015-16) was the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) runner-up last season. Head coach Russell Turner and the Anteaters won a school-record 28 games en route to a share of the Big West Conference title. UC Irvine has been to the postseason each of the last four seasons (2013 CIT, 2014 NIT, 2015 NCAA and 2016 CIT), winning a total of 93 games in that span.

East Tennessee State (24-12 in 2015-16) made it to the Southern Conference Tournament title game a year ago before receiving a berth to the Vegas 16 postseason tournament. Head coach Steve Forbes also coached in the Pentagon as an assistant with Wichita State in 2014.

A member of the Horizon League, Milwaukee (20-13 in 2015-16) finished fifth in the conference regular-season standings. The Panthers logged wins at Wisconsin and Minnesota in December. Milwaukee’s new head coach for 2016-17 is LaVall Jordan.

Ticket information will be announced at a later date.

SDSU and UC Irvine also are scheduled to play an opening round game of the Sanford Pentagon Showcase on Nov. 14 in Irvine, California. NCAA rules allow programs to count multi-team events as only two games toward their regular season total of 29, even if MTEs include as many as four games and all games are played within a 14-day window. The remaining schools also have the option of adding a fourth game.

Sanford Pentagon Showcase Schedule

Friday, Nov. 11 - Campus Game
7 p.m. - MSOE at Milwaukee

Monday, Nov. 14 - Campus Game
7 p.m. - 
South Dakota State at UC Irvine

Friday, Nov. 25 - Sanford Pentagon
5:30 p.m. - East Tennessee State vs. Milwaukee
8 p.m. - South Dakota State vs. UC Irvine

Saturday, Nov. 26 - Sanford Pentagon
2 p.m. - UC Irvine vs. Milwaukee
4:30 p.m. - South Dakota State vs. East Tennessee State

Sunday, Nov. 27 - Sanford Pentagon
11:30 AM - East Tennessee State vs. UC Irvine
2:30 p.m. - South Dakota State vs. Milwaukee

Thursday, Dec. 1 - Campus Game
7 p.m. - Lees-McRae College vs East Tennessee State

What the head coaches are saying about the Sanford Pentagon…

TJ Otzelberger, South Dakota State:  “The Pentagon and staff provided an unparalleled experience for Iowa State last season in our game against the University of Colorado.  The Pentagon provided a first-class experience from the locker room, team gear and Pentagon staff hospitality. I’m excited to bring the Jackrabbits to the Pentagon as a head coach and have our athletes experience all the Pentagon has to offer.”

Russell Turner, UC Irvine:  “My team and I are excited about coming to Sioux Falls and competing in the Sanford Pentagon.  For many of us, it will be our first trip to South Dakota, and we appreciate the Jackrabbits’ invitation.  We look forward to interacting with the friendly folks in the Rushmore state.”

Steve Forbes, East Tennessee State:  “We are excited to be competing in the Sanford Pentagon Showcase in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, this November. We are looking forward to playing a very challenging field in a great venue. This will be a good early season test for our team."

LaVall Jordan, Milwaukee:  “We’re excited to play at the Sanford Pentagon.  We’ve heard great things about the arena and are impressed with what the Sanford Pentagon has done for college basketball.  It will be a competitive event for our program and we look forward to playing there this season.” 

Division I Men’s Basketball Games at the Sanford Pentagon

Date Game
Nov. 8, 2013 Wisconsin 86, St. John's 75
Nov. 18, 2014 Wichita State 71, Memphis 56
Nov. 30, 2014 Florida Gulf Coast 71, South Dakota State 58
Dec. 13 2014 UNLV 75, South Dakota 61
Nov. 13, 2015 Iowa State 68, Colorado 62
Dec. 12, 2015 Oklahoma State 62, Minnesota 60
Dec. 27, 2015 South Dakota State 65, Middle Tennessee 61
Dec. 28, 2015 South Dakota 89, Florida Gulf Coast 81
Nov. 25, 2016 East Tennessee State vs. Milwaukee
Nov. 25, 2016 South Dakota State vs. UC Irvine
Nov. 26, 2016 UC Irvine vs. Milwaukee
Nov. 26, 2016 South Dakota State vs. East Tennessee State
Nov. 27, 2016 East Tennessee State vs. UC Irvine
Nov. 27, 2016 South Dakota State vs. Milwaukee

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