Wisconsin, Saint Mary’s to play at Sanford Pentagon

Badgers also played in the first DI college basketball game at the Pentagon

Badgers basketball coach Greg Gard kneels during a game in front of players on the bench.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The Sanford Pentagon will host Wisconsin and Saint Mary’s in a regular-season men’s college basketball game Nov. 5.

Tickets go on sale July 11. Television coverage will determine a start time.

The contest will be Wisconsin’s second trip to the Pentagon, which has hosted 25 NCAA Division I men’s college basketball games since opening in 2013. The Badgers defeated St. John’s 86-75 on Nov. 8, 2013, in the first Division I college basketball game played at the Pentagon. This will be Saint Mary’s first visit to the Pentagon.

“Hosting two more NCAA Tournament teams in Wisconsin and Saint Mary’s at the Sanford Pentagon delivers on our promise to provide first-class, championship-quality basketball programs to Sioux Falls,” said Kevin Lampe, president of Sanford Sports. “It will be fun to see the Badgers back on Heritage Court six years after their first game here, and it will be exciting to welcome the Gaels to the Pentagon. This will be a fantastic matchup for our fans and an incredible way to start the college basketball season.”

A member of the Big Ten, Wisconsin is coming off a 23-11 season, finishing fourth in the conference with a 14-6 record. The Badgers fell to Oregon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Coaches look forward to visit

“When we put together our nonconference schedule each season, we have a lot of factors in mind, and playing Saint Mary’s at the Sanford Pentagon checks a lot of those boxes,” said Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard. “We get to play a difficult opponent in a world-class facility that will no doubt prepare us for Big Ten play. We were honored to play in the first NCAA Division I game at the Pentagon in 2013, and we were impressed with the entire experience. We look forward to the opportunity to return.”

Saint Mary’s, a WCC program, finished the 2018-19 season with a 22-12 record, defeating No. 1 Gonzaga to win the WCC Championship. The Gaels lost to the defending national champions, Villanova, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

“We’re looking forward to opening the season in a historic venue like the Sanford Pentagon and for a chance to play a quality opponent in Wisconsin,” said Saint Mary’s head coach Randy Bennett. “The arena is a similar size to our gym in Moraga, so hopefully that will help our players feel more at home and easily adjust despite being far from California.”

This will be the third meeting between Wisconsin and Saint Mary’s, with the series tied at 1-1. The last time the teams played was in 1976 at Wisconsin.

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