Record Breaking Crowd For USD, SDSU Showdown

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – It’s not often that two teams playing each other both have home court advantage.

But that was the case for USD and SDSU men’s basketball in the Summit League semi-finals hosted right here in South Dakota.

Fans of the two rivals showed up in droves at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.

There were two seas of color in the Denny Sanford Premier Center.

One red and one blue.

And all were loud.

This is exactly what the tournament organizers were anticipating.

“I think we’re on the way to beat the old attendance record of 10,300 for the men’s games,” says Bryan Miller, the executive director for Sioux Falls Sports Authority.

And it did.

The Summit League announced 11,235 people attended the game, which is the all-time single-session record.

“It just shows team spirit, whichever team you’re supporting they need you’re backing, it’s good,” says Jeanne Carda from Sioux Falls.

“South Dakotans are more dedicated to their schools and like to cheer them on,” adds Cassie Beisch also from Sioux Falls.

Fans say the big crowds and loud cheers is the reason why they buy Summit League tournament tickets.

Even for the students who are currently on Spring Break, they say nothing beats this atmosphere.

“It’s fun, there’s nothing really else to do if you don’t go anywhere for Spring Break so it’s fun to just come out here and hang out with everybody,” says SDSU junior Jason Vonbergen.

Many agree the rivalry between the two South Dakota teams is friendly.

“I went to the doctor this morning and he happened to be a ‘yote fan and of course I’m dressed in my [SDSU] garb and he says ‘well I hope you have a good day, but not a good night’,” laughs Carda.

But that doesn’t mean all coyotes will be supporting the jacks after Monday night’s loss.

“I will probably not root for them,” laughs USD junior Kristen Pickner. “I love SDSU but you got to be a coyote.”

“I won’t,” agrees Beisch. “I will cry.”

The Summit League Tournament continues tomorrow with the women’s and men’s championship games.

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