Top 5 Reasons Why March Has Been the Best Month of Basketball

5. Wrapping Up the NDSU Men’s Season

While the North Dakota State men’s team didn’t end up finishing its season as they would have wanted, it could find comfort knowing they completed a decent season.

Finishing with an overall record of 20-13, the team was put at the number No. 5 seed. After a season full of ups and downs, the Bison knew it had to be strong entering the Summit League Tournament.

With a close win against No. 1-seed Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne a day before, fans had faith that the team would be victorious again against a No. 2 South Dakota State team that the Herd had already faced twice that year.

Unfortunately, despite the efforts of some of the teams’ stars such as Paul Miller and Khy Kabellis, what was once a close game was chalked up as a loss for NDSU.

Despite some mid-season drama surrounding a decision to quit the team temporarily, junior guard Carlin Dupree had a decent tournament with 22 points in the semifinals and 19 points in the final game, earning him a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

 4. A Bright Spot to a Disappointing Ending

Thankfully, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The ongoing construction of the Sanford Health Athletic Complex is projected to be completed in October of this year.

As work inside the building continues to progress, we can only anticipate the new additions inside this facility. Expected renovations for athletes and fans to enjoy next season include new locker rooms, new basketball practice facilities and of course, an upgraded basketball arena among other things.

 3. Exciting Honors for Women’s Basketball Stars

Despite the disappointing loss to Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne in late February to end its season with a record of 7-22, two of the Bison’s most consistent players were rewarded for their season’s efforts.

Both senior guard Marena Whittle and sophomore guard Taylor Thunstedt were recognized for their play, being named to the All-Summit League First Team and honorable mention all-league, respectively.

Each of the girls showed consistency throughout the season, even in the final game where Thunstedt had 19 points for the team while Whittle had 14 points, wrapping up her career at NDSU.

While NDSU’s women’s team didn’t have as successful of a season as they may have hoped, they did dominate in one thing: academics.

Among a list of six women’s basketball players was sophomore Brooke Yaggie who, while competing for the Bison, also earned a 4.00 in nursing. With an average of 6.8 points per game this season, Yaggie was a success on and off the court.

 2. NDSU’s Dominates Academic All-League Team

Similar to Yaggie on the women’s team, NDSU’s men’s basketball team also saw success in the classroom. Three out of the five student athletes selected for the Summit League Academic All-League Team were Bison.

Two of the NDSU’s most promising players on the court are also impressing with their grades. Sophomores A.J. Jacobson and Paul Miller were recorded having a 3.99 GPA in zoology/pre-dentistry while also averaging 12.7 games in each of the 33 games he started in and a 3.82 in accounting while scoring 15.3 points per game, respectively.

Rounding up the group of scholars was senior Chris Kading who was awarded this honor for the third consecutive year. Kading holds a 3.82 in exercise science while also shooting 54 percent from the field. His final season helped him to finish his career at NDSU tied for the most wins as a Bison.

1. Obviously — March Madness

Finally, though the Bison weren’t involved in the tournament this year, most NDSU students were able to fill out a bracket and enjoy some sort of March Madness excitement, making this March one of the best months for all things basketball.

Villanova beating the University of North Carolina with a buzzer-beater for all the marbles may go down as the most dramatic ending to a basketball season, ever.

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