Setting Up The Court To Hoarding Coffee: Sioux Falls Preps For Two NCAA Tournaments

The madness that March brings continues in Sioux Falls. The city is hosting both the NCAA Women’s Division I and II Elite Eights this week.

The NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Elite 8 will be held at the Sanford Pentagon with the Quarterfinals on Tuesday and the semifinals on Wednesday. Starting Friday, the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center will host the D-I Women’s Basketball Regional. Number 1 South Carolina will take on Syracuse and number 3 Ohio State will face off against Tennessee. The winner of those games will play at the Denny on Sunday. The Sioux Falls Sports Authority, who was instrumental in getting the tournaments here, says there’s a lot a preparation that goes into putting on these games.

At the Sanford Pentagon, when one practice ends, another 50 minute session begins as Division II Women’s teams prepare for battle.

“From Texas, from out east. From Alaska, I mean they’re from all over the country literally,” said Sioux Falls Sports Authority Executive Director Bryan Miller.

It’s the Sioux Falls Sports Authority’s job to make sure they’re on schedule. From practices and lining up timers to flights and hotel stays, they’ve got to have it all covered.

Miller said, “Everyday we’ve been working on one of the tournaments.”

When the eight teams are whittled down to two and they head to Indianapolis for the championship, across town, the Division I Women’s Regional will begin at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. The sports authority is taking care of that too.

“There will be a lot of people coming to Sioux Falls that have never been to South Dakota or Sioux Falls, so we’re excited about that,” said Miller.

In fact, the floor, shipped to Sioux Falls by the NCAA, is already being put in. They’re also doing stuff like laundry and making sure teams have all the amenities.
   
“They’re washing the towels currently for me for the Division I tournament over there,” said Miller. “I’ve just heard coffee. Just a lot of coffee. So that’s what we’ve been trying the hardest to supply.”

While it may seem little, the Sports Authority says the small details make a big difference when it comes to hosting big time events.

“We heard nothing but great comments from the wrestling championships so hopefully that will happen with the next two events here with the one at the Pentagon and again at the Premier Center this weekend.”

Three weeks ago, before we even knew what teams were coming, Sioux Falls sold around $2,500 All-Session tickets for the Division I games. That’s second out of the four regions. There are tickets still available for both tournaments.