SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Minnesota men’s basketball program returns to the Sanford Pentagon for the second-straight year Saturday to face Vanderbilt in a regular-season game at 7 p.m.
Seventh time around
Saturday’s contest is the seventh NCAA Division I men’s basketball game at the Pentagon this season and 15th since the facility opened in 2013 (a complete list of games is at the bottom of the page). Last weekend, South Dakota State, East Tennessee State, Milwaukee and UC Irvine played six games in the inaugural Sanford Pentagon Showcase. East Tennessee State left Sioux Falls with three wins.
The Big Ten’s Minnesota is off to a 6-1 start this season and only recently suffered its first loss of the year Monday against Florida State. The Gophers logged early season wins against St. John’s and Arkansas and are playing their first and only neutral site game--not including possible postseason games--of 2016-17 on Saturday. Amir Coffey leads an ensemble of four players averaging in double figures. His team-best 14.6 points per game is complimented by Nate Mason (12.7), Dupree McBrayer (11.4) and Jordan Murphy (10.1). Head coach Richard Pitino is in his fourth season and has a 57-52 record with the Gophers.
Vanderbilt is 4-3 and under the direction of first year head coach Bryce Drew, who joined the Commodores in the offseason after six seasons as the boss at Valparaiso. Members of the Southeastern Conference, Vanderbilt on Tuesday won its second straight game by defeating Tennessee State at home. Matthew Fisher-Davis and Luke Kornet are averaging 15.3 and 14 points per game, respectively, to pace the Commodores. Vanderbilt has played three neutral site games this season, winning one of them against Santa Clara.
Schools from more than a dozen different NCAA Division I men’s basketball conference have visited the Pentagon in its four-year history. The Big Ten, Big East, Big 12 and Pac 12 have all sent teams to Sioux Falls. Saturday’s stop by Vanderbilt, however, is the first time the Southeastern Conference will have a presence at the Pentagon.
Saturday’s game will be carried live by ESPN3.
You can follow live stats for each game at sidearmstats.com/pentagon/bball.
The cornerstone of the Sanford Sports Complex in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is the Sanford Pentagon, a 160,000-square-foot, five-sided facility featuring nine basketball courts, including the 1950s/1960s-inspired Heritage Court. The venue combines state-of-the-art amenities—including high-definition video boards and executive suites—with period-specific finishes that are a nod to the nostalgic days of basketball. The 3,200-seat Pentagon is home to Sanford POWER Basketball Academy, Sanford POWER Volleyball Academy, the NBA D-League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Women’s and Men’s Basketball Tournament and the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame.
Parking and accommodations
Parking at the Sanford Pentagon is available on the east, west and north side of the facility. Need to eat? The Pentagon includes full-service concession stands, and Beef O’Brady’s is a short walk across the street. Want to stay close to the arena? The Fairfield Inn & Suites is also across the street. The venue also has an official team store and several ATM stations.
The South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame calls the Sanford Pentagon home. Visitors can enjoy the free exhibit that includes historical photos, records and memorabilia. In fact, the entire facility is trek to a different era. The Pentagon took great care to include old photos, jerseys and mementos throughout the venue. One of this year’s new elements highlights former high school championship teams. That’s available for viewing on the second level.
|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 86, Milwaukee 62|
|Nov. 25, 2016||UC Irvine 63, South Dakota State 52|
|Nov. 26, 2016||Milwaukee 54, UC Irvine 37|
|Nov. 26, 2016||East Tennessee State 71, South Dakota State 59|
|Nov. 27, 2016||East Tennessee State 72, UC Irvine 66|
|Nov. 27, 2016||South Dakota State 81, Milwaukee 58|
|Dec. 3, 2016||Minnesota 56, Vanderbilt 52|
|Nov. 24, 2017||Northern Colorado 80, Youngstown State 67|
|Nov. 24, 2017||South Dakota 84, Southern Miss, 71|
|Nov. 25, 2017||Northern Colorado 63, South Dakota 62|
|Nov. 25, 2017||Southern Miss 71, Youngstown State 64|
|Nov. 26, 2017||Northern Colorado 77, Southern Miss, 63|
|Nov. 26, 2017||South Dakota 81, Youngstown State 53|
|Dec. 2, 2017||Missouri State 73, South Dakota State 53|
|Dec. 22, 2017||Iowa 80, Colorado 73|
|Dec. 16, 2018||Nebraska 79, Oklahoma State 56|
|Feb. 7, 2019||Omaha 107, South Dakota 102 (OT)|
|Nov. 5, 2019||Saint Mary's 65, Wisconsin 63 (OT)|
|Nov. 9, 2019||Oklahoma 71, Minnesota 62|
|Dec. 20, 2019||Northern Colorado 87, South Dakota 68|
|Dec. 13, 2020||Northern Iowa vs. New Mexico State|
|Dec. 22, 2020||Iowa vs. Oregon State|