South Dakota’s March Madness success elicits statewide pride

Ncaa South Dakota Baylor Basketball

The South Dakota bench cheers during the second half of a college basketball game against Baylor in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Waco, Texas, Sunday, March 20, 2022. . (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The South Dakota women’s basketball team’s run to the NCAA Sweet 16 has elicited pride border to border in the state.

Many fans are expected in Wichita, Kansas, for the game between the 10th-seeded Coyotes and No. 3 seed Michigan on Saturday. South Dakota has an enrollment of just under 11,000, and its campus is in the small town of Vermillion in the state’s southeast corner.

University president Sheila Gestring said the success has created buzz in the tight-knit Coyote Nation.

“They play basketball the right way, and they’re just a solid team,” said Gestring, a South Dakota native who played basketball at Sioux Falls College and went to graduate school at USD. “On campus, everybody is excited, and so is the alumni, the community and the state. The buzz has been really, really fun.”

Four players are from the state and eight others are from Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa.

Categories: College, South Dakota News