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2016 NCAA tournament preview: South Dakota State Jackrabbits

South Dakota State Jackrabbits

Record: 26-7 (12-4 Summit League)

Head Coach: Scott Nagy (21st season)

Season Recap: The Jackrabbits punched their ticket to the Big Dance after beating North Dakota State 67-59 in the Summit League championship. It was miraculous that South Dakota State even made it to the title game, overcoming double-digit second-half deficits in both its quarterfinal and semifinal games—earning the nickname Cardiac Jacks in the process— to even get the chance to play the Bison. The victory gives the Jackrabbits their third NCAA tournament bid in the last five years.

The most dynamic player for South Dakota State is freshman forward Mike Daum. The 6-foot-9 big man plays just 20.5 minutes per game but leads the team with an average of 15.2 points per game and boasts a diverse skill set. Daum is capable of both putting the ball on the floor and stepping outside to showcase a great jumper, shooting 45 percent from downtown on the year. The Jackrabbits also get 14.9 points per game from Wisconsin transfer George Marshall, who brings some postseason experience to the squad.

How the make a run: Daum continues his hot shooting from the Summit League tournament—where he was named tournament MVP—and presents a matchup problem for opposing centers, and the rest of his teammates step up around him to keep the Cardiac Jacks dancing.

How they falter: Opponents lock down on Daum and the Jackrabbits do not have enough shooting around him to put up enough points to pull off an upset.


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