ESPN2 is airing the championship game for the Summit League conference tournament. It’s Oakland vs. North Dakota State at the Sioux Falls Arena, which is rarely the scene for a nationally televised sporting event.
Of course, by the first commercial break, there was two major offenses against Sioux Falls natives.
Gaffe No. 1 — Broadcaster Dick Barnett said North Dakota State’s Michael Tveidt was from “Pee-air” South Dakota. (The state capital, Pierre, is properly pronounced “Peer”.)
Gaffe No.2 — Just before the break, ESPN2 showed stock footage of Mount Rushmore. Mount Rushmore is 361 miles from Sioux Falls Arena. You know what’s closer to Sioux Falls? North Dakota State University by almost 100 miles.
Now this: Broadcaster Dick Barnett just mentioned this was the first nationally televised sporting event ever to take place in the state of South Dakota. Sure would be nice if a South Dakota team was in it. While the ESPN2 stat factory is churning out doozies like that one, I wonder if anyone can confirm South Dakota is the last state to have a nationally televised sporting event. Think about it: Alaska has the NCAA men’s basketball shootout early in the season. Rhode Island had Lamar Odom at University of Rhode Island in the ’90s. North Dakota has had University of North Dakota hockey games, I’m sure. Seriously, can anyone confirm South Dakota bestows this stupid honor?