For the first time in more than 30 years, the DII Men’s and Women’s Elite Eight was held in the same venue. The Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D. will play host to six consecutive days of championship basketball by the conclusion of Saturday's men's championship game.
The work began almost a month ago for Jesse Smith, the Director of Operations at the Pentagon. That was when DII's Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament started in Sioux Falls, which led to the NAIA tournament and now the DII Elite Eight. When it is all said and done, Smith and his staff will have seen 59 games in 26 days.
NCAA.com talked to Smith and Paul Heinert, the Pentagon's media relations director, to get some more of the behind-the-scenes numbers.
9,175 – Miles traveled by the men’s teams to Sioux Falls. Barry (Miami Shores, Fl.) came the farthest, traveling 1,818.5. “Hometown” Northern State had to travel the least miles of anyone. Aberdeen, S.D. is just 204.3 miles from the Sanford Pentagon.
7,587.9 – Miles traveled by the women’s teams in the DII Elite Eight. Stonehill, located in Easton, Mass. came a long way, traveling 1,561.5 miles, while Central Missouri only had to travel 423.1 miles to Sioux Falls.
238-26 – Combined record of the women’s teams that made it this far in the season. Ashland, of course, was an unbelievable 34-0 entering the DII Women’s Elite Eight, while Montana State Billings surprised in the West, and made it to Sioux Falls with a 25-11 record.
236-34 – Combined record of the men’s teams at the start of the DII Elite Eight. No. 1 Ferris State had the best record at 35-1, while Barry had the lowest winning percentage behind a record of 23-8.
8,000 – The estimated amount Powerade cups that will be used during the DII Elite Eight.
5,500 – Towels used during the Elite Eight.
Through the NAIA tournament, the Sanford Pentagon has sold:
2,290 -- Bottles of water. That’s 50.8 per game, so if that pace keeps up through the end of the DII Elite Eight, it would break 3,000 (3,002 to be exact).
1,880 -- Popcorns, or 41.8 per game. The Pentagon should sell 2,465 by the end of the week.
1,515 -- Bottled soda, about 34 per game. That’s an estimated 1,986 bottles of bubbles.
1,480 -- Candies, or 33 per game. That’s an estimated 1,940 pieces of candy. There’s no telling how many individual M&Ms are circulating the Pentagon.
1,412 -- Hotdogs. That is 31 per game. The Pentagon should go through 1,851 dogs at that pace, making it a happy haven for Joey Chestnut.
1000/400 – The DII Elite Eight will require 1,000 staff members and 400 production members to pull off successfully.
1.2 million: Estimated CBS viewers who watched last season's NCAA Division II men’s basketball championship game from the Pentagon. The number is expected to rival that number this season. This year, of course, the Pentagon hopes to gain a million more viewers in Friday night's DII women's championship game.
18,820 – Minutes of game time the Pentagon will have hosted from the NSIC tournament to the end of the Elite Eight. That includes Thursday night's double overtime thriller between Northern State and Queens (NC). Should either the DII men's or women's championship game go into overtime, there will be even more minutes.
8,434 – Points scored from the start of the NSIC through the DII semifinals. That’s 147.9 points per game.
6,364 -- Number of fans that have watched the "local" Northern State Wolves' historic run in the Elite Eight tournament. To put that into perspective, the Pentagon holds 3,200 people, so the Wolves have been playing in front of sellout crowds. That shouldn't come as a surprise to the team who has led DII in attendance for the better part of a decade.