With just a few days left in February, there’s an all-too-familiar buzz in the air. No, it’s not another cold front sweeping through the area; it’s time for the busiest month in basketball. The Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is hosting men’s and women’s basketball teams from the NSIC and NAIA, all fighting for the chance to be crowned a champion.
The Sanford Pentagon will host 46 professional or college basketball games on Heritage Court over the span of just 12 days. At the end of 12 days, three teams will walk away as champions.
“March is a huge month for us,” said Jesse Smith, director of operations at the Sanford Pentagon. “The Pentagon was made for this time of the year, and we are excited to be in the middle of the action.”
12 days of madness
The madness kicks off March 1 when the Sioux Falls Skyforce take on Grand Rapids Drive. The following day, the NSIC Sanford Health Tournament begins. This is the sixth year the Pentagon will host the NSIC’s postseason basketball tournaments.
Last year, the Augustana University women came out victorious, never trailing in their championship victory over Winona State. On the men’s side of the action, the Northern State Wolves took home the conference championship, holding off Southwest Minnesota State to claim the title.
“The Pentagon is a special place to play. It’s fun to see the excitement of the players and fans alike,” Smith said.
The action continues March 6-12 when 32 of the best teams in the NAIA compete for a chance at history. After being held for 18 years in Branson, Missouri, this is the second year in a row that the Sanford Pentagon will host the NAIA DII Men’s Basketball Championship.
In 2018 Indiana Wesleyan defeated Saint Francis (Indiana) 84 to 71 to hoist the trophy and claim the top spot of the NAIA.
“We look forward to ‘March Madness’ every year,” Smith said. “This is a culmination of the basketball season, and it’s fun to be a part of.”
- Pentagon switches from NSIC to NAIA in less than 12 hours
- Sanford Pentagon was abuzz with 12 days of basketball