East vs West, A New South Dakota College Basketball Extravaganza
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For the next four seasons of men’s college basketball, the state of South Dakota will host an East vs West challenge between Augustana University, Northern State, Black Hills State, and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
As reported earlier today by the Sanford Pentagon, Sanford Health is making this annual event possible.
“There is a lot of great basketball played on both sides of the state, and we’re excited to watch these four teams compete against each other,” said Jesse Smith, director of operations at the Sanford Sports Complex. “The atmosphere on Heritage Court will be electric which enhances the fan and player experience.”
The Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls will host the event in both 2018 and 2020. Black Hills State University in Spearfish will then host it in 2019 with Northern State University stepping into the hospitality role in 2021.
East vs West, something South Dakotans know all too well when it comes to friendly rivalries in sports. This one-of-a-kind extravaganza will allow two teams from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Black Hills State and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, to face-off against two of the best teams from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, Northern State University and Augustana University.
Augustana Univeristy men’s basketball coach Tom Billeter said this is a great opportunity for all four of the schools.
“We are excited to play two teams from within our state that represent another conference and region,” said Tom Billeter, Augustana men’s head basketball coach. “I know it will be an excellent tournament.”
Black Hills State Head Coach Ryan Thompson gave his thoughts as well.
“With the East vs. West Challenge, we get the opportunity to test ourselves early against two of the top DII programs in the nation with Augustana and Northern State,” said Ryan Thompson, Black Hills State head men’s basketball coach. “Our team and fans are excited to play against two in-state programs.”
Tickets for the 2018 East vs West Challenge, hosted at the Sanford Pentagon, go on sale at the end of August. Click here for more information.