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Introducing Cinderella: Meet the South Dakota State Jackrabbits

Summit N Dakota St S Dakota St Basketball

North Dakota State’s Dexter Werner (40) looks around South Dakota State’s Mike Daum (24) on his way to the net during an NCAA college basketball game for the Summit League men’s tournament championship, Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Sioux Falls, S.D. (Elisha Page/The Argus Leader via AP)


Conference: Summit League

Coach: Scott Nagy

Record: 26-7, 12-4

Ratings and Rankings

Kenpom: 78
RPI: 37
AP/USA Today: Not ranked

Seeding: The Jackrabbits are currently projected to be a No. 14 seed in our latest bracket. With the strength of their RPI, there’s a chance they can climb higher.

Names you need to know: The Jacks have a big three. George Marshall, who began his career at Wisconsin, is the point guard, Deondre Parks is the scorer and Mike Daum is the workhorse in the paint. Daum may be the best sixth-man in the country, averaging 15.1 points and 6.0 boards in just 20 minutes.

Stats you need to know: Other than the fact that the 6-foot-9, 230 pound redshirt freshman Daum averages 15.1 points and 6.0 boards off the bench?

Big wins, bad losses: SDSU did beat TCU and Minnesota this season, although neither of those wins are all that impressive this year. They also picked off FGCU, who advanced to the NCAA tournament out of the Atlantic Sun.

How’d they get here?: The Jackrabbits won a share of the league’s regular season title before storming through the Summit League tournament. They beat North Dakota State in the title game.

Outlook: SDSU is a good team with a terrific mid-major back court and a big man that has been a perfect replacement for Cody Larson. They’re good for a mid-major and certainly won’t be an easy out for anyone in the first round. Good enough to pick off a No. 3 or a No. 4 seed? I’m not sure about that.

How do I know you?: Former mid-major star Nate Wolters is an alumnus of SDSU.