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Jeff Kolpack, Published July 28 2010

NDSU athletics: Bison, Jayhawks to clash over and over

North Dakota State is getting familiar with the University of Kansas. The women’s basketball team this fall will be the third Bison program to play the Jayhawks in the last two years.

NDSU was selected to play in the Basketball Travelers Tip-Off Classic in November with KU, University of Memphis and Fordham University (N.Y.). The men’s basketball team played the Jayhawks in the 2009 NCAA basketball tournament and the football team will open at KU on Sept. 4.

“And now we’re headed that way,” said NDSU head women’s basketball coach Carolyn DeHoff.

The Bison are also getting familiar with Basketball Travelers Inc. out of Seattle, a company that specializes in basketball tournaments and tours including putting on the KU event. The NDSU men will play at BTI’s Basketball Travelers Classic at the University of Oregon on Nov. 12-14 along with the host Ducks, UC Santa Barbara and the University of Denver.

“It’s a good experience to test ourselves against three good teams,” said NDSU head coach Saul Phillips.

Oregon plays in the Pac-Ten Conference, UCSB returns all five starters from an NCAA tournament team and Denver employs a unique style orchestrated by the former head coach at Princeton.

Also, Phillips said it’s a chance to play in the home state of redshirt freshman Taylor Braun, a 6-foot-7 guard from Newberg, Ore.

“When we recruited him, I committed to try and play a game in his home state,” Phillips said.

The Bison will also play at Minnesota, Fresno State and Wisconsin-Green Bay. UC Davis is coming to the Bison Sports Arena and the NDSU and University of North Dakota matchup is looking more and more like it will be in the Fargodome.

Among the obstacles are logistical factors like converting priority seating at the BSA to the dome. Phillips said he expects to release the Bison schedule sometime in the first half of August.

The Bison women, who also have not officially released their schedule, will host New Mexico State Nov. 12 and Utah State Nov. 15 to open the season. They’ll be traveling to Iowa State, Creighton and Northern Arizona.

NCAA rules allow a team playing in one multi-team tournament like the KU event to schedule 30 games instead of the allotted 29, which NDSU is doing.

The NDSU men are not, choosing to stay at 29.

“There wasn’t a spot in the schedule to fit it,” Phillips said.

Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the WDAY Golf Show, 10-11 a.m.

on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia