NDSU to play possible men’s basketball No. 1 Indiana on Nov. 12FARGO – North Dakota State could be playing the top-ranked men’s basketball team in the nation come November.
By: Eric Peterson, Forum Communications
FARGO – North Dakota State could be playing the top-ranked men’s basketball team in the nation come November.
The Bison will play the Indiana Hoosiers on Nov. 12 in Bloomington as part of the 12-team Legends Classic tournament.
Many college experts have picked the Hoosiers to be the preseason No. 1 team in NCAA Division I.
“It’s certainly ground breaking for our program,” said NDSU head coach Saul Phillips. “It’s a great opportunity.”
If the Hoosiers have that top ranking in mid-November, they would be the highest ranked D-I men’s basketball team NDSU has ever played.
The Bison have played a team ranked as high as No. 8 in the nation. NDSU won that game, scoring a 64-60 victory at Marquette on Dec. 2, 2006.
Coincidentally, current Indiana head coach Tom Crean was head coach at Marquette for that 2006 game.
“It’s exactly where I want this group to be,” said Phillips. “I want them to understand what it takes to be up there with the best. … I certainly think they are talented enough to compete with a lot of teams. Whether we’re ready for Indiana or not is to be seen.”
NDSU will also play Youngstown State (Nov. 19), Duquesne (Nov. 20) and James Madison (Nov. 21) as part of the Legends Classic. Those three games are scheduled to be played at the Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh, the home arena for Duquesne.
The Bison have a 2-1 record against ranked teams since moving to Division I. They earned a 62-55 win at No. 13 Wisconsin on Jan. 21, 2006. NDSU lost to No. 13 Kansas in the first round of the 2009 NCAA tournament.
“I know our guys are all really excited,” Phillips said. “I grew up watching (former Indiana coach) Bob Knight. I grew up watching Indiana. For me personally, this will be huge. … I guess we will get a pretty good idea of where we are going right from there.”