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NCAA Profile: South Dakota State Jackrabbits

The Jackrabbits are riding a successful season - and some good games against strong mid-majors - into the NCAA Tournament.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Team: South Dakota State Jackrabbits

Conference: Summit League

Coach: Scott Nagy

Record: 26-7 overall, 12-4 in conference

KenPom Rank: 80

Good wins: at TCU, at Florida Gulf Coast.

Impact Players: Freshman Mike Daum averaged 15 points and six rebounds, showing a touch from beyond the arc (he hit 45% of his infrequent threes) and carried a scoring load. Senior George Marshall - a transfer from Wisconsin - added scoring and rebounding along with Deondre Parks. Both averaged just under 15 points per game.

How did they get in?: The Jackrabbits held off Oral Roberts and Denver in the first two rounds of the conference tournament by a combined four points, then dispatched North Dakota State by eight in the final. The games were held an hour from their regular arena. SDSU is one of the better rebounding teams in the NCAA, with some good height to complement guards Marshall and Parks. And Daum was supposed to be good, but he has been a star.

How far can this team go in the NCAA Tournament?: The Jackrabbits have six straight years of winning seasons, and this is the third NCAA Tournament berth in that period. Daum is a very good player, and can compete against some of the best. They tried to schedule good games, but Minnesota (who they defeated) fell on hard times, as did TCU. Here's a list of solid programs they scheduled in non-conference play:

  • Weber State (twice, won one, lost one on the road)
  • Illinois State
  • Texas Christian
  • Minnesota
  • UC-Santa Barbara
  • Texas Tech
  • Florida Gulf Coast
  • Middle Tennessee

It's hard to say how good they are, but they are intriguing facing a Maryland team that has lost five of their last eight.

Last time in the NCAA Tournament: 2013, where they lost in the first round to Michigan.