ABERDEEN, S.D. – Northern State University has a unique opportunity to host two statewide high school basketball tournaments this spring – a benefit to the city and the university.
The South Dakota Girls State B Basketball Tournament will be held in NSU’s Barnett Center March 8-10, and the State B Boys Tournament will be held there March 15-17. While the boys’ tournament is held at NSU every year, the girls’ tournament is not typically held at Northern. Northern was presented with the opportunity to host the girls’ state tournament a year ago, something Northern agreed to because of its importance to the community.
“There’s an excitement all over the community when the State Bs come to town, and we feel that on campus as well,” said NSU President Tim Downs.
Downs said NSU is happy to host both tournaments this year because they have such a great economic benefit for Aberdeen – and they are also wonderful recruitment tools for the university.
“Anytime we get to showcase our campus to high school students and their families, it’s a wonderful opportunity,” Downs said. “It’s an added bonus that the tournaments are so beneficial to our community partner, the city of Aberdeen.”
Downs said the tournaments are exactly the type of high school event Northern hopes to hold in its proposed new regional sports complex, part of the Educational Impact Campaign.
“When we talk about working to enhance the student experience, this is the perfect example,” he said. “With the Educational Impact Campaign and other upcoming additions to campus, the benefits to NSU and the entire region will be even greater.”
The NCAA Regional Men’s Basketball Tournament is set for the same weekend as the Girls State B Tournament. The NCAA allows for institutions that are ranked in each region to submit a bid to host the regional tournament, with the final No. 1 seed in each region getting the first opportunity to host. With the NSU men’s basketball team currently ranked No. 2 in the Central Region, the opportunity to place a bid to host the region tournament was a reality; however, the Barnett Center was unavailable due to the Girls State B Tournament.
NSU Director of Athletics Josh Moon said the university made the decision to prioritize the high school tournament, as the Regional Tournament bid selection is not known until early March – one week prior to the start of the Girls B tournament.
“We’re proud of our Wolves men’s and women’s teams, and we know our fans are excited, too,” Moon said. “But we felt it was important to honor our commitment and keep the State B Tournament on the NSU campus – especially when it has such a big economic impact on the region.”
For more information about upcoming additions to the Northern campus, visit the NSU Campus Master Plan Webpage.
About Northern State University
Northern State University is a regional university that offers outstanding academics and exceptional extracurricular activities at an affordable price on a safe, welcoming campus. Northern State recently announced its Educational Impact Campaign, with a goal of raising $45 million for a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, new athletic and recreation fields, and an on-campus regional sports complex. Once the campaign is complete, NSU will be the recipient of more than $100 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.