Woodside, NDSU Dancing After Winning Summit League in 1st Year Of Eligibility

Shawn DerbyContributor IMarch 12, 2009

For those of you who don't know who NDSU is, It stands for North Dakota State University. Yes that's right, NORTH DAKOTA. In what could very well be the first time ever, a basketball team from North Dakota will be dancing somewhere in this month's Madness, starting on the 19th.

The No. 1 seed and the champions of the Summit League, NDSU won a hard-fought comeback victory against Oakland University two nights ago.

After being down by as many as 14, NDSU put together a late rally to knock off the third-seeded Golden Grizzlies with a leaning jumper by Ben Woodside.

NDSU clinched an NCAA Tourney Birth when Woodside received the in-bounds pass with eleven seconds left, dribbled down the court, went left off of a Lucas Moorman screen, and drilled a leaning jumper from the left side of the free-throw line.

Oakland's Johnathon Jones took the ball downcourt with three seconds left and lofted a desperation three point shot that went hard off the back of the rim as time expired. Jones could've gotten a better shot, but was anxious to get the ball away before time expired.

When time did expire, crazed fans wearing green and gold, stormed the court and Woodside to celebrate and congratulate the victory and their superstar, respectively.

Ben Woodside is a five year veteran and this years Summit League Player of the Year. He averaged 23 points a game and was the leader of a veteran Bison team ranked 1st in the Summit League with a 26-6 overall record and a 14-2 conference record. 

Woodside is an explosive offensive playmaker and is capable of going off for huge chunks of points in any game. Earlier in the year, Woodside exploded for SIXTY points against Stephen F. Austin in a thrilling triple-overtime battle in which NDSU lost by one point.

ESPN and CBS are projecting NDSU as a thirteen seed in the tournament. Which will likely have them slated against either Missouri or Wake Forest.

In their first year of eligibility, the North Dakota State University Bison Men's Basketball team clinched an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

This is quite an achievement considering it hasn't happened since 1970, when Long Beach State achieved the same feat under head coach, Jerry Tarkanian.

It is a fitting end to this article to quote Ben Woodside himself in saying, "We're goin' dancin' baby, we're goin' dancin', that's all that matters!"

Good Luck green and gold, make some noise for North Dakota in the NCAA Tourney.