Mar 6, 2012; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; South Dakota State Jackrabbits guard Nate Wolters (3) was named most valuable player in the 2012 Summit League Tournament against the Western Illinois Leathernecks at Sioux Falls Arena. Jackrabbits won in overtime 52-50. Mandatory Credit: Greg Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Nate Wolters leads a South Dakota State team who is making their first NCAA tournament appearance.
If you were unfamiliar with the South Dakota State Jackrabbits before Selection Sunday, we'll forgive you. This is their first appearance in the NCAA tournament, following their victory in the Summit League conference tournament. They finished second in the conference behind Oral Roberts in the regular season and ahead of Oakland, who has gone to the NCAA tournament the last two years.
They are, unsurprisingly, not a team that is in possession of a lot of strong non-conference wins, but they do have one great win in particular on their resume. They upset the Washington Huskies away in Seattle, breaking the Huskies' 34-game home non-conference winning streak in the process. They lost to their three other major conference non-conference opponents: Minnesota, Nebraska and Georgia. In conference, they handed Oral Roberts their only Summit League loss.
Nate Wolters' performances both in-conference and against the Jackrabbits' four major conference opponents suggests that he can hold his own with anyone in the country. He leads the team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals. He's surrounded by a number of balanced players who are expected to defend big guys and rebound for South Dakota State, but who would probably be asked to play guard for any major D-I program.
South Dakota State earned a No. 14 seed in the South Region and will face Baylor in the second round.
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