March Madness Round 64 Preview

South Dakota State vs. Ohio State

Ohio State owns the higher seed and the more recognizable name, but South Dakota State has more recent NCAA Tournament experience on its ledger entering their first-round West Regional matchup Thursday. That’s the challenge awaiting the fifth-seeded Buckeyes as they take on the 12th-seeded Jackrabbits in Boise, Idaho.

A No. 12 seed has beaten a No. 5 seed in nine of the last 10 NCAA Tournaments, and 12s have won 11 of the last 24 such first-round matchups overall. The Buckeyes, who earned an at-large bid out of the Big Ten, are making their 28th Big Dance appearance overall but their first since 2015 under former coach Thad Matta. South Dakota State, meanwhile, captured an automatic NCAA bid by winning the Summit League championship and also finished first in the conference with a 13-1 league record during the regular season. It will be the third straight NCAA Tournament appearance for the Jackrabbits and fifth in the last seven seasons for the program which moved up to the Division I level in 2005.

TV: 4 p.m. ET, TNT

ABOUT SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (28-6): The Jackrabbits, guided by second-year coach T.J. Otzelberger, won their 11th straight game with a 97-87 victory over South Dakota in the Summit League championship game, and also notched wins over the Big Ten’s Iowa (80-72) and the SEC’s Ole Miss (99-97) during non-conference play. South Dakota State does boast a national-headline name in 6-9 junior forward Mike Daum who paced the Summit League in scoring (23.8 points per game) and rebounding (10.4) while connecting on a team-most 91 pointers on 216 attempts (42.1 percent). Guards David Jenkins Jr. (16.1 points) and Reed Tellinghuisen (12.1) also average double figures for South Dakota State, which ranks sixth nationally with 84.9 points per game and shoots 40.3 percent as a team from 3-point range (12th nationally).

ABOUT OHIO STATE (24-8): The Buckeyes have had a stronger-than-expected season under new coach Chris Holtmann, finishing in a tie for second in the Big Ten at 15-3 before getting upended by Penn State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament. That 69-68 loss March 2 in New York was the third defeat in five games for Ohio State, which boasts four double-digit scorers, led by 6-7 junior forward Keita Bates-Diop, the Big Ten’s Player of the Year who averages 19.4 points and 8.8 rebounds. Forward Jae’Sean Tate (12.5 points), guard C.J. Jackson (12.2) and freshman forward Kaleb Wesson (10.8) also average double digits for the Buckeyes, who finished fourth in the conference by averaging 75.8 points per outing.

TIP-INS

1. The Ohio State roster only features seven combined games of NCAA Tournament experience and two combined starts, both by Tate, but Holtmann guided Butler to the Big Dance in each of his three seasons as the Bulldogs’ coach.

2. South Dakota State is 0-4 all-time in NCAA Tournament play after suffering first-round losses to Gonzaga (66-46) and Maryland (79-74) as a 16th and 12th seeds, respectively, the last two seasons.

3. Daum has posted a double-double in five straight games and 12 of his last 13 contests and has averaged 16.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in his previous two NCAA tourney games.

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Posted in CBB

South Dakota State Jackrabbits

Summit (18-16, 8-8)

 by Joel Welser

At one point South Dakota State was sitting at 8-13 overall and 1-5 in Summit League play. Since that time, the Jackrabbits have gone 10-3, including three wins in the conference tournament that clinched their spot in the NCAA Tournament. This is the Jackrabbits’ second straight NCAA Tournament appearance and sixth straight postseason appearance. Last year the Jackrabbits nearly upset Maryland, but fell 79-74.

Big Wins: 12/31 South Dakota (73-72), 3/6 vs South Dakota (74-71), 3/7 vs Omaha (79-77)

Bad Losses: 1/4 at Western Illinois (74-82), 1/12 at Oral Roberts (88-94), 1/18 at IUPUI (83-85)

Coach: T.J. Otzelberger

Why They Can Surprise:

This team is all about Mike Daum. The 6-9 sophomore had another huge year, averaging 25.3 points and 8.2 rebounds. He is extremely difficult to defend since he is just as comfortable shooting a three-pointer as he is battling in the paint. Daum connected on 41.6 percent of his 185 attempts from beyond the arc. He also led the nation in free-throw attempts and free-throws made, going to the line an amazing 287 times and hitting 87.1 percent of his attempts. Often fouling him is the opposition’s only way to stop him, but that usually does not work out. The other key component to Coach T.J. Otzelberger’s team is 6-7 wing Reed Tellinghuisen. The 6-7 junior averages 11.9 points and 4.7 rebounds and has turned into a solid secondary scorer behind Daum.

Why They Can Disappoint:

The Jackrabbits have tried out a lot of different players to compliment Daum and Tellinghuisen. Michael Orris is a capable point guard, A.J. Hess adds some more size on the wing and Chris Howell has helped keep South Dakota State in the positive in rebounding margin, but to win an NCAA Tournament game somebody has to step up and turn into an effective and dangerous third scoring threat. In the conference tournament it was Howell, a 6-5 sophomore, who stepped up and scored in double digits in all three games. In the upset over top seed South Dakota, Orris went 7-for-12 from the floor and scored 20 points. This team may be all about Daum, but if others can score, South Dakota State could make things very interesting.

Probable Starters:

Michael Orris, Senior, Guard, 8.3 ppg, 4.0 apg

Lane Severyn, Junior, Guard, 2.9 ppg

Chris Howell, Sophomore, Guard, 7.7 ppg, 1.5 apg, 4.2 rpg

Reed Tellinghuisen, Junior, Guard, 11.9 ppg, 1.8 apg, 4.7 rpg

Mike Daum, Sophomore, Forward, 25.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg

Key Role Players:

Tevin King, Sophomore, Guard, 4.4 ppg, 1.8 apg

Skyler Flatten, Junior, Guard, 5.4 ppg

A.J. Hess, Senior, Forward, 9.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg

Ian Theisen, Junior, Forward, 5.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 77.6 (79th in nation, 5th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 77.6 (294, 5)

Field-Goal Percentage: 45.9 (96, 3)

Field-Goal Defense: 45.2 (245, 6)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.4 (28, 2)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.9 (87, 6)

Free-Throw Percentage: 77.2 (11, 1)

Rebound Margin: 0.6 (173, 4)

Assists Per Game: 13.5 (168, 6)

Turnovers Per Game: 12.8 (133, 5)

Recent Postseason Appearances:

2016    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Maryland

2015    NIT     First Round win over Colorado State

2015    NIT     Second Round loss to Vanderbilt

2014    CBI     First Round loss to Old Dominion

2013    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Michigan

2012    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Baylor

*all team stats through 3/5

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Posted in CBB