For the second straight season, the South Dakota State Jackrabbits are going dancing. South Dakota State outlasted Nebraska-Omaha, 79-77, in a thrilling Summit League championship game on Tuesday night to punch its ticket to the big dance.
The Jackrabbits went on a 9-0 run late in the second half to take control of the game. Sophomore forward Mike Daum did it all in the victory. Daum entered the night as the nation’s second-leading scorer at 25 points per game, and he didn’t disappoint in the biggest game of the season. Daum went off for 37 points and 12 rebounds on 12-of-24 shooting from the field, and 5-of-9 shooting from three-point range.
Teammate Chris Howell was also huge for SDSU in the victory, scoring all 12 of his points during a big second half.
This will be the fourth NCAA tournament appearance in program history for the Jackrabbits. Last year, South Dakota State lost a tight game to Maryland, falling 79-74 in the opening round.
Junior forward Tre'Shawn Thurman carried Omaha all night, going off for 21 points and eight rebounds.
Neither team was supposed to be here. South Dakota State needed to upset top-seeded South Dakota in the semifinals, while third-seeded Omaha blew out No. 2 IUPUI.