Possible Bracketbuster Matchup For USD

Next week is National Signing Day, and while football will dominate the talk, there’s also a forthcoming basketball announcement.

Next Monday, Jan. 30, ESPN will release the matchups for its annual men’s Bracketbusters event. Local fans will be following the games, as both the University of South Dakota and South Dakota State will host games.

First, some background: ESPN Bracketbuster is a 3-day event that pits potential NCAA Tournament teams against each other. There will be 142 teams across six leagues represented, and 13 of those games will be televised nationally.

Matchups will be based on the latest RPI rankings.

In the case of the USD, let’s examine some potential opponents for the Coyotes, who will host their game Feb. 18. (Note: Pairings are geographically based whenever possible, especially in the lower-tier matchups, as will be the case with USD).

Right now, the USD men have an RPI ranking of 278.

Bracketbusters teams that will play road games in the event and have an RPI slightly higher than the Coyotes include:
** Marist (276)
** Presbyterian (270)
** Southeast Missouri State (268)
** Winthrop (266)
** Central Arkansas (265)

Teams that have an RPI slightly lower than USD include:
** San Jose State (280)
** Idaho State (282)
** Toledo (287)
** Illinois Chicago (291)
** Loyola Chicago (294)
** High Point (298)

If you’re talking about a bus trip for this game, the Coyotes will likely see one of the Midwest-based schools.

With two games between now and next Monday, it’s unlikely that USD would slide up or down significantly. So as it stands right now, the 268 range is about where the Coyotes will find themselves when the pairings are announced.

Either way, it’s a neat opportunity for USD and its fans to see an opponent they probably will never see again.

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