ALBUQUERQUE, NM - MARCH 15: Chad White #25 of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits shoots over Quincy Miller #30 of the Baylor Bears in the first half during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at The Pit on March 15, 2012 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

NCAA Tournament 2012: South Dakota State Falls Short In Opening Round Loss

The 2012 NCAA Tournament schedule begins Thursday for the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, and 31 other teams, as they look to advance through the March Madness brackets.

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NCAA Tournament Odds Stacked Against South Dakota State Jackrabbits

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits will have their hands full when they play the Baylor Bears on Thursday night. If the No. 3 seed taking on the 14 seed wasn't enough of an indicator, the team from Brookings, S.D., is the underdogs in the 2012 NCAA Tournament odds as well.

The Jackrabbits are projected to lose by about eight points according to most of the betting sites on the internet, according to the database over at SB Nation partner Odds Shark. That's not great news for St. Cloud, Minn., native Nate Wolters and company, but anything could happen.

In fact, the Jackrabbits would have rather not even heard about the upset talk when the NCAA bracket predictions were being made.

"Well, Seth didn't help us there," Nagy said. "It was nice of him to say, but that doesn't help us, and Baylor doesn't need any extra incentive to stick it to us."...

"All the predictions and things like that really don't mean anything anyways. It's just fun banter for people to talk about."

For more on the Jackrabbits, visit our team page. For more coverage of South Dakota State in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit our 2012 NCAA Tournament StoryStream. Oh, and here's a link to both the men's and women's printable NCAA Tournament bracket.

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NCAA March Madness, Baylor Vs. South Dakota State: Tough Matchups All Around For Jackrabbits

The South Dakota St. Jackrabbits have a big game on Thursday night, bigger than any game in state history. The team they're facing has some big players too, though, meaning the matchups won't be easy against the Baylor Bears.

South Dakota State won't alter its gameplan all that much, however, according to the quotes the team gave to the Sioux Falls' Argus Leader. It won't be easy, but there's not much the team can do to overcome the inevitable issues down low.

How can SDSU overcome its size disadvantage?

"I think just effort," said forward Jordan Dykstra, the Jacks' tallest starter at 6-8. "You've got to out-work them. You're not going to out-athletic them by any means. Just out-working them and try and be a little more physical."

Coach Scott Nagy agreed, too, saying the matchup problems won't alter anything they do on the offensive end.

"We're going to have to run to get some good shots," said Jacks coach Scott Nagy, who last coached in a national tournament in the D-II version eight years ago. "We're not going to try to slow the basketball game down just because they're more athletic."

For more on the Jackrabbits, visit our team page. For more coverage of South Dakota State in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit our 2012 NCAA Tournament StoryStream. Oh, and here's a link to both the men's and women's printable NCAA Tournament bracket.

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South Dakota State: Jackrabbits Face Baylor On Thursday In First Round

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits will make their first-ever Div. I NCAA Tournament appearance Thursday night against the Baylor Bears. South Dakota State, the No. 14-seed, is scheduled to tip-off against No. 3 Baylor at 7:27 ET on truTV.

The winner will play the winner of the UNLV Runnin' Rebels and Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday.

The Jackrabbits, which moved from D-II to D-I in 2006, compiled a 27-7 record this season. They are in the Big Dance by virtue of their 52-50 overtime win over Western Illinois in the Summit League championship.

Baylor is also 27-7 and went 12-6 in the Big 12. The Bears, who lost to Missouri in the Big 12 title game, have plenty of top-flight talent to throw at SDSU. Sophomore Perry Jones III is projected as a lottery pick, while freshman Quincy Miller also figures to be playing in the NBA before long. Junior point guard Pierre Jackson is rock-solid with 13.3 points and 5.8 assists per game.

For the Jackrabbits to keep up, St. Cloud, Minn. native Nate Wolters is going to have to have a big game. The 6-4 guard is averaging 21.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and an even six assists on the season. He had 14 points in the Summit League title game.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher. You can also learn more about college basketball around the nation at SB Nation's College Basketball hub.

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NCAA Bracket 2012: March Madness Schedule Begins With 16 Games On Thursday

The 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket was finalized on Wednesday night when the final game of the First Four was completed, meaning March Madness will begin in earnest on Thursday morning. The game that should be most important to readers in Minnesota will happen a little bit later when the South Dakota State Jackrabbits take on the Baylor Bears, but college basketball fans will probably enjoy every second of Thursday's Big Dance coverage.

The Jackrabbits enter the tournament as the No. 14 seed so their matchup with the Bears isn't going to be an easy one, especially when considering the higher seed in a bit more athletic than St. Cloud, Minn., native Nate Wolters and the rest of his Jackrabbits teammates. Whoever wins that game will advance to play the winner of Thursday evening's matchup between the Colorado Buffaloes and UNLV Runnin' Rebels.

Earlier this week, we posted where to find printable brackets for both the men's and women's 2012 NCAA Tournament.

The full schedule for Thursday, separated by location, is included below. All times are Eastern

Louisville (West Region)
12:15 p.m.: No. 6 Murray State vs. No. 11 Colorado State, CBS
2:45 p.m.: No. 3 Marquette vs. No. 14 BYU, CBS
6:50 p.m.: No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 16 Western Kentucky, TBS
9:20 p.m.: No. 8 Iowa State vs. No. 9 Connecticut, TBS

Pittsburgh (East Region)
12:40 p.m.: No. 8 Kansas State vs. No. 9 Southern Miss, truTV
3: 10 p.m.: No. 1 Syracuse vs. No. 16 UNC-Asheville, truTV
7:20 p.m.: No. 7 Gonzaga vs. No. 10 West Virginia, TNT
9:50 p.m.: No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 15 Loyola Maryland, TNT

Portland (West Region)
1:40 p.m: No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 13 Davidson, TBS
4:10 p.m.: No. 5 New Mexico vs. No. 12 Long Beach St., TBS
7:15 p.m.: No. 5 Wichita State vs. No. 12 VCU, CBS
9:45 p.m.: No. 4 Indiana vs. No. 13 New Mexico State, CBS

Albuquerque (East Region)
2:10 p.m.: No. 4 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 Montana, TNT
4:40 p.m.: No. 5 Vanderbilt vs. No. 12 Harvard, TNT
7:27 p.m.: No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 14 South Dakota State, truTV
9:57 p.m.: No. 6 UNLV vs. No. 11 Colorado, truTV

For more on the Jackrabbits, visit our team page. For more coverage of South Dakota State in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit our 2012 NCAA Tournament StoryStream. Oh, and here's a link to both the men's and women's printable NCAA Tournament bracket.

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South Dakota State Jackrabbits Could Be NCAA Bracket's South Region Cinderella

The 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket isn't ripe for as many upsets as is usually expected, but there are still some Cinderella teams in the mix. The South Dakota State Jackrabbits are one such team playing basketball while looking for their other shoe (or whatever it is that causes the Cinderella moniker).

Nate Wolters, a native of St. Cloud, got some good publicity on Tuesday morning when SB Nation's Bill Connelly wrote about the South region of the March Madness tourney. Connelly isn't high on anyone coming out of the South, but if there's an upset to be had, he chose the Jackrabbits.

I made a point yesterday to mention how Baylor lost only two games all season to teams outside of Pomeroy's Top 10, which makes the Jackrabbits an unlikely Cinderella pick. But the road isn't any easier for teams like New Mexico State, Colorado or last year's Cinderella VCU. If SDSU can somehow take Baylor out, they would face a semi-friendly matchup in the Round of 32. VCU, meanwhile, must take out the second- and third-best teams in the region (according to Pomeroy) to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.


Related: Printable Brackets For Both Men's And Women's 2012 NCAA Tournament

Connelly also gave credit to Wolters by listing him as the player most likely to single-handedly take down region heavyweight writing the following about the South Dakota State star:

Nate Wolters, South Dakota State. Quite simply, the 6-foot-4 junior is SDSU's offense. He takes one-third of the Jackrabbits' shots when he is on the court (16.5 field goal attempts per game), he gets to the line (7.1 free throw attempts per game), and when he isn't shooting, he's either setting up a shooter (6.0 assists per game) or grabbing a rebound (5.2 boards per game). He isn't much of a 3-point shooter (24 percent), but he gets hot on occasion, and when he does, look out. For the season, Wolters averaged almost as many points (21.3) as SDSU's No. 2 and No. 3 scorers combined (22.0).

It was noted here earlier today that Jordan Dykstra could also surprise the Bears, but Wolters would be the one to single-handedly destroy them.

For more on the Jackrabbits, visit our team page. For more coverage of South Dakota State in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit our 2012 NCAA Tournament StoryStream. Oh, and here's a link to both the men's and women's printable NCAA Tournament bracket.

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NCAA Tournament 2012 Predictions: Jordan Dykstra Could Cause Problems For Baylor Bears

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits aren't getting a lot of love the in the 2012 NCAA bracket predictions in their matchup against the Baylor Bears. All hope isn't lost in March Madness, however, as there are some out there that think the Jackrabbits might have the right pieces to pull off an upset.

St. Cloud, Minn., native Nate Wolters obviously gets the majority of the publicity, but there's a sleeper on the team that could create some havoc. Jordan Dykstra, the team's pick-and-pop power forward, could be a Giant Killer according to ESPN.

Nate Wolters gets all the pub with his 21.3 ppg and 6.0 apg, but Dykstra could be the difference-maker if the Jackrabbits justify the hype that's building around the program. Why? Because at 6-foot-8, he can pull opposing bigs away from the paint thanks to his 48.6 percent 3-point shooting.

Dykstra averaged 11.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game this season while making 51 of his 105 3-point attempts.

For more on the Jackrabbits, visit our team page. For more coverage of South Dakota State in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit our 2012 NCAA Tournament StoryStream. Oh, and here's a link to both the men's and women's printable NCAA Tournament bracket.

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Printable Brackets For Both Men's And Women's 2012 NCAA Tournament

The 2012 NCAA Tournament brackets have been released for both the men and women, meaning March Madness is officially in effect. While that means plenty of exciting basketball over the next month, the immediate concern should be finding enough printable brackets to fill out before ripping them up by Friday afternoon.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers weren't included in either version of the Big Dance -- though the men made the 2012 NIT Tournament bracket -- but our neighbors to the West are included as the South Dakota State Jackrabbits men's and women's teams both won the Summit League to earn automatic bids.


Related: NCAA Bracket Predictions: Which Upset Don't Most Experts See Coming?

Anyway, back to the brackets. SB Nation has everyone covered with a printable 2012 NCAA men's tournament bracket while a printable women's bracket is included on the NCAA's official site.

For more on the Jackrabbits, visit our team page. For more coverage of South Dakota State in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit SB Nation Minnesota's StoryStream.

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2012 NCAA Tournament Bracket: Upset Brewing For South Dakota State Against Baylor?

The 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket was released on Sunday night, and while the seeding seemed to be spot-on for the majority of college basketball's best teams, upsets are bound to occur. There might not be a matchup riper for that than Thursday night's game between the South Dakota St. Jackrabbits and Baylor Bears.

The Jackrabbits, led by St. Cloud, Minn., native Nate Wolters, have a 19 percent chance to pull out a first round victory using their role as "giant killers," according to ESPN. A "giant killer" seems like it might be a vague term, and 19 percent doesn't seem all that high, but ESPN apparently has their upset formula down to a science.

The basis of our research, then, relies on figuring out what characteristics differentiate those 71 teams from the squads who failed to pull off major upsets or the Giants who avoided an early exit. A number of similarities have emerged, and in a nutshell, successful Giant Killers tend to play a higher risk/reward game than their losing mid-major counterparts.

That means they tend to excel in at least one of a few key areas. They take a lot of 3-pointers and connect at a high percentage. They force a lot of turnovers and protect the ball when they have possession. They dominate the offensive glass and hold their own on the defensive boards. The best Giant Killers embody many of these qualities, and, when you think about it, it makes perfect sense that those strategies lead to upsets. When everything clicks, a team that plays this way generates a ton of extra possessions (and maximizes them with the 3-ball). And all it takes in the tourney is that one good day to move on to the next round.

It makes sense that ESPN thinks the Jackrabbits could be giant killers since that was already mentioned on the CBS Sports selection show, but is it really possible for South Dakota State to be a much more athletic team in the Baylore Bears?

For more on the Jackrabbits, visit our team page. For more coverage of South Dakota State in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit SB Nation Minnesota's StoryStream. Here's the full 2012 NCAA bracket.

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NCAA Tournament Game Times: South Dakota State Plays Baylor On TruTV

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits were given a No. 14 seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, meaning a matchup with the fourth-seeded Baylor Bears will take place on Thursday. The March Madness game times weren't initially released with the bracket, but that changed late Sunday night.

The Jackrabbits will play the Bears in Albuquerque at 7:27 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday night, according to a press release from Turner Sports. The game will be televised on TruTV and Spero Dedes, Bob Wenzel and Jamie Maggio will have the announcing and play-by-play duties.

It's certainly worth tuning in to watch St. Cloud, Minn., native Nate Wolters and the rest of the Jackrabbits work for the upset, especially since CBS Sports analyst Seth Davis has already predicted an upset.

The biggest name predicting an upset this early is CBS analyst Seth Davis, and considering he did it during the Selection Sunday show, the Baylor coach Scott Drew took notice.

For more on the Jackrabbits, visit our team page. For more coverage of South Dakota State in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit SB Nation Minnesota's StoryStream. Here's the full 2012 NCAA bracket.

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NCAA Bracket Predictions: Could South Dakota State Upset Baylor?

The 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket was released Sunday evening with the South Dakota St. Jackrabbits receiving a No. 14 seed and an ensuing matchup with the Baylor Bears. The Jackrabbits certainly aren't a team many people were able to watch on a regular basis this season, but there are a few pundits already predicting an upset in Albuquerque for St. Cloud native Nate Wolters and his team.

The biggest name predicting an upset this early is CBS analyst Seth Davis, and considering he did it during the Selection Sunday show, the Baylor coach Scott Drew took notice.

Coach Scott Drew is used to his team being called underachievers. So he had to laugh when, seconds after the South Regional bracket was unveiled, CBS analyst Seth Davis said the third-seeded Bears (27-7) would lose to 13th-seeded South Dakota State (27-7) in their NCAA opener. "They barely had a chance to say our name before we're getting beat," Drew said.

If the Jackrabbits are able to defeat the Bears, they would play either the UNLV Runnin' Rebels or Colorado Buffaloes.

For more on the Jackrabbits, visit our team page. For more coverage of South Dakota State in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit SB Nation Minnesota's StoryStream. Here's the full 2012 NCAA bracket.

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NCAA Tournament 2012 Bracket Update: South Dakota State Is No. 14 Seed, Will Face Baylor On Thursday

The 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket was announced on Sunday afternoon with the South Dakota St. Jackrabbits receiving a 14 seed in the South Region. The Jackrabbits' first opponent will be the Baylor Bears, with that game scheduled to be played on Thursday in Albuquerque. If the Jackrabbits can pull the upset, they will face the winner of the game between the No. 6 seed UNLV and No. 11 Colorado on Saturday

The Jackrabbits earned the 14 seed after winning the 2012 Summit League Tournament. The Jackrabbits had to rally from a 12-point deficit, forcing overtime and eventually defeating the Western Illinois Leathernecks to win the crown. St. Cloud, Minn., native Nate Wolters averages nearly 24 points per game and is obviously the man to watch for those getting a late jump on the Jackrabbits bandwagon.

The Jackrabbits weren't expected to even make the NCAA Tournament, but making a run through the Summit League Tournament as the No. 2 seed earned them the automatic berth to the Big Dance. It'll be interesting to see how many upsets they're able to pull off.

Here is a complete look at the South Region:

No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 16 Mississippi Valley State/Western Kentucky (Thursday)

No. 8 Iowa State vs. No. 9 UConn (Thursday)

No. 5 Wichita State vs. No. 12 VCU (Thursday)

No. 4 Indiana vs. No. 13 New Mexico State (Thursday)

No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 Lehigh (Friday)

No. 7 Notre Dame vs. No. 10 Xavier (Friday)

No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 14 South Dakota State (Thursday)

No. 6 UNLV vs. No. 11 Colorado (Thursday)

For more on the Jackrabbits, visit our team page. For more coverage of South Dakota State in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit SB Nation Minnesota's StoryStream. Here's the full 2012 NCAA bracket.

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