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Rapid City to Host Jacks, Bears Next Season

RAPID CITY, S.D. –The Rapid City Sports Commission announced on Wednesday that The Monument will host a Division I men’s basketball game in Summit Arena during the 2024-25 season. Reigning Summit League regular season and tournament champion South Dakota State will face Northern Colorado on Thursday, Nov. 14, in a non-conference matchup.   

The contest pits a pair of opponents that will meet geographically in the mid-point between each of their campuses. South Dakota State sits nearly 400 miles east of Rapid City in Brookings, while the Northern Colorado campus in Greeley is approximately located 350 miles south of the Black Hills region. 

Information including start time, tickets and more will be released at a later date. 

South Dakota State earned its ninth Summit League regular season championship, tying for the most in the conference’s history, by finishing the conference slate with a 12-4 record. The Jackrabbits went on to claim the league’s tournament title and made their seventh NCAA Tournament appearance, finishing the 2023-24 season with a 22-13 overall record. 

“We’re extremely excited to be bring our program across the state to compete in a tremendous facility in The Monument,” said South Dakota State head coach Eric Henderson. “The game will not only be a great addition to our non-conference schedule, but also gives our players an opportunity to experience a different part of the state they represent.” 

Northern Colorado recently completed a strong 2023-24 season. The Bears went 19-13 overall and 12-6 in Big Sky Conference play.  

“Events like this game happen when multiple groups come together to make it happen,” said Rapid City Sports Commission executive director Domico Rodriguez.” The Sports Commission and teams from SDSU and The Monument have been working on this idea for several months and we are excited to see it come to fruition. The goal now is to make this event a big success that it opens the door for additional opportunities in the future.” 

The contest between the Bears and Jackrabbits also re-ignites a series for a pair of former conference North Central Conference foes. Both institutions transitioned to the Division I level in the mid-2000s. The two teams last met in a regular season game in 2005, though their annual series within the conference ended in 2003. South Dakota State owns a 37-19 all-time record over Northern Colorado. 

“We’re thrilled to partner with the Rapid City Sports Commission and want to thank The Monument staff on making this game a reality for our West River fanbase.” said SDSU Deputy Athletic Director Slade Larscheid. “Additionally, this regional matchup provides a great opportunity to showcase SDSU and Jackrabbit Basketball in a location with one of our strongest alumni chapters, the West River Jacks.” 

The meeting also will be a historical one for each in the region. Both teams haven’t played in the Black Hills since their Division II days. SDSU last played a game in Rapid City in 1999 when the program played South Dakota Mines. Northern Colorado last competed in the region in 1973 when the Bears played in Spearfish in a contest versus Black Hills State. 

“Collegiate athletics was one of the many events we had hoped to attract with Summit Arena and we are happy to see those hopes coming to fruition,” said The Monument executive director Craig Baltzer. “We are thrilled to be hosting the Jacks this fall and want to thank for the Sports Commission for all their help in securing this event.” 

The Monument is the entertainment mecca for the Black Hills Region, serving South Dakota, Southwest North Dakota, Northwest Nebraska, and Eastern Wyoming. The facility is home to many large annual events, including the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo & Rodeo Rapid City, Lakota Nation Invitational, South Dakota High School Activities Association Tournaments, Black Hills Powwow, Rapid City Marshals AFL indoor football team, and the Rapid City Rush ECHL hockey team. 

Rapid City Sports Commission

Rapid City Sports Commission

Rapid City, SD

Domico J Rodriguez

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