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UW men's basketball heads to South Dakota to start season

Published On: Dec 24 2013 01:49:09 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 05 2013 08:10:14 AM CST

MADISON, Wis. -

The Badgers will have its regular season opener this Friday against St. John's and the game's going to be in Sioux Falls, S.D. at the new Sanford Pentagon Arena.

It's the same arena the Milwaukee Bucks played an exhibition game a month ago against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

It has a distinctive floor and scoreboards. They're trying to capture the feeling of old-time basketball. 

Bo Ryan says going to South Dakota to play a pretty good St. John's team is good for all concerned.

"It's like a tournament game," said Ryan. "You're going to get fans who are interested in basketball. You're going to get fans that really want to see the facility. You're going to have graduates-- probably more graduates of Wisconsin in the Dakotas than maybe St. John's-- whaddya think?"

You may know former Badger Joe Krabbenhoft is from Sioux Falls, and his dad, Kelby, is an executive with Sanford Health. The company bought the naming rights to the $19 million facility, that seats a more than 3,200 fans. Ryan admitted playing the game in South Dakota is also helping out a friend of the program.

"Kelby wanted to showcase the building," said Ryan. "They will pay us and we'll play a quality opponent so it works out for everybody."

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