First have to start off with a hearty thank you to all of readers on the Bison Media Blog, we crossed over the 1 million page views mark earlier today, I know not everyone agrees with what Jeff and I post here, but we always appreciate the feedback, so thanks to everyone for reaching that milestone!
On to the news of the day, the Bison men’s basketball team will get another crack at a top level team. Two sources confirmed to me that NDSU will open next season in the Legends Classic taking on Georgetown either November 11th or 12th. The Legends Classic is a tournament put on by the Gazelle Group, same organization that also runs the CBI, the postseason tournament NDSU played in back in March. The field is pretty impressive, Georgetown, Georgia, UCLA and Sweet 16 team Indiana. Those four teams will advance (no matter what) to play in Brooklyn in the final four of the tournament November 19-20th. The remaining teams in the field; NDSU, Duquesne, James Madison, Liberty, UC Irvine (the Anteaters!) and Sam Houston State will play in a round-robin format on a neutral site. NDSU will play at Duquesne (which is in Pittsburgh), so they’ll play the Dukes and two other opponents in mid November. My choice would love to see the Bison play two of their football opponents from the title run, James Madison and Sam Houston State, JMU (12-20 last year) would be a good opponent out of a solid mid-major league in the Colonial. Duquesne (16-15, 7-9 in A-10) is a quality test for a team that will have some high expectations next season. The remainder of the field did not have good records last year:
- Liberty: 14-18 (9-9 Big South)
- UC Irvine: 12-20 (6-10 Big West; But they’re the Anteaters!)
- Sam Houston State: 13-19 (7-9 Southland)
CBS Sports has put together a site for all pre-season tournaments, SDSU, Oral Roberts and UMKC participating in some, take a look.
Couple of interesting women’s Summit League moves on Wednesday, first Oral Roberts head coach Jerry Finkbeiner is leaving ORU to take the head job at Utah State. Interesting move here, especially considering he has the best player in school history back for her senior season (Kevi Luper), I was about to write best player in the league, but I have to remember ORU will not be in the Summit next season. Also Candace Whitaker has left UMKC to take an assistant job at Oklahoma State. Whitaker really turned around the Kangaroos, they were a shot away from beating SDSU in the Women’s Championship Game this year, they hired Marsha Frese, former Ball State head coach and sister of current Maryland head coach Brenda Frese. Frese has served as recruiting coordinators at Minnesota and Northern Illinois, has plenty of midwest ties, the Roos had a terrific 2012, going 22-12 and making the women’s NIT. New video blog coming later this week, again, thanks for getting us to a million!!