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DWU men's basketball team to play exhibition game against SDSU

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The Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball team and new coach Matt Wilber will start their 2013-14 season against the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits.

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In what will be an exhibition game, the Tigers will travel to play SDSU -- an NCAA Division I member -- on Nov. 1.

An early news release said the game will be held at the Swiftel Center, but SDSU Athletic Director Justin Sell confirmed the game will be held in Frost Arena -- the Jackrabbits’ main basketball arena. The time of the game is yet to be determined.

“The history and tradition of both schools and fan bases are familiar with what’s going on over at SDSU,” Wilber said. “Our guys have seen that and that just adds to the excitement.”

The matchup will be the first game for Wilber, who was hired in June as the 19th coach on DWU men’s history. Wilber was an assistant coach at SDSU for two seasons from 2004 to 2006 during the Jackrabbits’ transition to entering NCAA Division I.

Wilber said he and SDSU coach Scott Nagy discussed the possibility during the summer and each team had an extra game to play and date to fill.

Since becoming a Division I team, the SDSU men have made the NCAA national tournament twice. Each of the past two years, the Jackrabbits claimed the Summit League postseason tournament title to qualify for the NCAA national tournament, where they’ve lost in the first round each year.

“You can’t underestimate the level of play of the Jackrabbits,” Wilber said. “But I think our guys are really excited and to play someone who is that established will be an exciting challenge for us.”

Tickets for the exhibition game go on sale Oct. 21 and can be purchased online at jackrabbittickets.com or by calling 1-866-GoJacks from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cost will be $12 for adults and $6 for children in kindergarten through 12 grade.

Dakota Wesleyan University and SDSU have matched up 23 times in men’s basketball. The Jackrabbits have won 19 of the meetings, with the most recent game was Dec. 18, 2003, in Brookings. The Jackrabbits won the contest 85-61.

The last time the teams met in the Corn Palace was Dec. 7, 1995, when SDSU won 84-71.

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Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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