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NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheet: Get to know South Dakota State

Nate Wolters

South Dakota State’s Nate Wolters (3) drives the ball around Western Illinois’ Ceola Clark III during the Summit League NCAA college basketball championship game on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, in Sioux Falls, S.D. (AP Photo/Argus Leader, Jay Pickthorn)


Read through the rest of the NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheets here.

Conference: Summit

Coach: Scott Nagy

Record: 27-7, 15-3 (2nd)

Rankings and Ratings:

- Kenpom: 55
- RPI: 55
- AP/Coaches: Unranked

Seeding?: Depending on how some of the other conference tournaments turn out, the Jackrabbits are actually looking at a pretty good seed. Most projections have them somewhere around a 13 seed right now.

Names to know: Nate Wolters (21.3 ppg, 6.0 apg, 5.2 rpg), Jordan Dykstra (11.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 48.6% 3PT), Griffin Callahan (10.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg)

Stats to know: SDSU sits 26th in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency for two reasons: they shoot the ball as well as anyone in the country and they are the fourth-best nationally in turnover percentage. When you hit threes and don’t give away possessions, that’s an easy way to score a lot of points.

Tendencies: The Jackrabbits have a point guard named Nate Wolters, who is one of the best players in the country that you’ve never seen play, and Steve Nagy’s club relies on him very heavily. Generally speaking, their offense is essentially based around isolating Wolters at the top of the key, surrounding him with jumpshooters on the perimeter and allowing him to make a play.

Big wins, bad losses: SDSU had two really good wins this season -- they beat Washington by 19 at Washington and they beat Oral Roberts by 15 at home. Their worst loss was to in-state rival South Dakota or to North Dakota.

How’d they get here?: The Jacks were the No. 2 seed in the Summit League tournament, overcoming an 11 point deficit in the title game against Western Illinois, who knocked off Oral Roberts in the semifinals.

Outlook: SDSU can absolutely beat a four or a five seed in the NCAA Tournament. When you can shoot the ball the way that they do -- three starters make better than 46% of their threes -- all you need is a good night and anyone in the country can get knocked off. Wolters is not all that quick, however, so if they run into a team with a great on-ball defender on the perimeter, they could run into some trouble.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.