South Dakota State finished off a perfect 2022-23 regular season and will be the No. 1 seed at the Summit League Women’s Basketball Championship for the third consecutive season. The journey for the tournament title in the ten-team field begins Friday, March 3 at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Jackrabbits (18-0, 25-5) locked in the top seed two weeks ago after securing sole possession of their third consecutive regular season crown with a win at in-state rival South Dakota on Feb. 11. With the expanded field, South Dakota State earned a first-round bye in the new format and will face the winner of the No. 8 St. Thomas and No. 9 Western Illinois matchup in Saturday’s opening quarterfinal at 12:30 p.m. CT.
The Jackrabbits ran the table in conference action for the second time since joining the League and is only the fourth team to do so in Summit League history. Their 18 wins are the most without a loss among the quartet of perfect finishers.
North Dakota State (18-10, 12-6 SL) claimed the No. 2 seed by winning its regular season finale at Western Illinois to finish a game ahead of No. 3 seed North Dakota (18-10, 11-7), who fell at St. Thomas Saturday.
The No. 2 seed is the highest ranking the Bison have had coming into the tournament since joining the Summit League back in 2007-08. The second-seeded Bison also clinched a first-round bye and will face the winner of No. 7 Denver and No. 10 Kansas City in Saturday’s second quarterfinal at 3 p.m. CT.
The eighth-seeded Tommies (12-16, 7-11 SL) and ninth-seeded Leathernecks (10-19, 5-13 SL) will open the five-day event in the first round on Friday at 12:30 p.m. The seventh-seeded Pioneers (12-17; 8-10 SL) and 10th-seeded Roos (7-22, 3-15 SL) will meet in the second game of the first round on Friday, March 3 at 3 p.m. CT.
Sunday’s quarterfinal session begins with No. 4 seed and reigning tournament champion South Dakota (14-15, 10-8 SL) against No. 5 seed Oral Roberts (11-18, 8-10) at 12:30 p.m. CT. The third-seeded Fighting Hawks will meet No. 6 seed Omaha (13-16, 8-10 SL) at 3 p.m. CT to close out the quarterfinal round. The No. 3 seed is also the highest for a UND program in its five-year history as a League member. The Fighting Hawks have seen a nice ascension since two years ago when it was the team that did not qualify for the tournament.
The Golden Eagles earned the No. 5 seed thanks to holding the tiebreaker among the trio of teams that finished with 8-10 conference records. ORU posted a 4-0 collective record against Omaha and Denver during the regular season to give them the edge. The Mavericks were 2-2 thanks to a sweep of the Pioneers to grant them the sixth seed, while DU was winless in those four contests and settled for the seventh seed.
Monday’s semifinals tip off with the winner of Saturday’s first quarterfinal (SDSU/G1 Winner) facing the winner of the South Dakota-Oral Roberts clash at 12:30 p.m. CT and will be followed up by the winner of Saturday’s second quarterfinal (NDSU/G2 Winner) playing the North Dakota-Omaha winner at 3 p.m. CT.
Both first-round games, all four quarterfinals and both semifinals will be aired on Midco Sports and streamed on Midco Sports Plus as well as ESPN+.
Tuesday’s championship game is set for 1 p.m. CT and will be televised live on ESPNU and available on WatchESPN.com or the ESPN app.
All men’s and women’s games at The Summit League Basketball Championships can be viewed live across multiple platforms ranging from cable television to handheld devices. The coverage by Midco Sports and ESPN platforms marks the 14th consecutive season that both the men’s and women’s tournaments are available in their entirety. Midco Sports’ involvement dates back to 2010 while the women’s title game will air on ESPNU for the 15th straight year.
For complete information on this year’s tournament, visit The Summit League’s Women’s Basketball Championship website.