As we get ready to tip off the 2018-19 college basketball season, the South Dakota State and South Dakota men's basketball teams are getting some high praise from Sports Illustrated.

The national publication has the Jackrabbits ranked among the top 20 percent of all 353 programs at the Division I level.

SDSU's number-69 ranking has them ahead of big name schools like Creighton, Northwestern, Utah, Oklahoma, and UConn.

The Jackrabbits enter the season as the prohibitive favorites to repeat as Summit League champions, collecting 34 of 36 first-place votes in the pre-season polling. Player of the Year Mike Daum is entering his senior season for a team that went 28-7 overall and 13-1 in the conference last season. Sophomore guard David Jenkins Jr. joins Daum on the Summit League's pre-season first-team.

Trey Burch-Manning - South Dakota
Dave Eggen/Inertia

South Dakota, a number-two pre-season pick in the Summit is number-105 in the SI rankings. The Coyotes finished ahead of programs like Stanford, Memphis, and Georgia Tech.

USD returns pre-season All-Summit League selection Trey Burch-Manning for his senior season under new head coach Todd Lee.

Sports Illustrated College Basketball Rankings (Summit League teams)

  • South Dakota State (69)
  • South Dakota (105)
  • Denver (169)
  • North Dakota State (177)
  • Purdue Fort Wayne (178)
  • North Dakota (213)
  • Oral Roberts (249)
  • Western Illinois (268)
  • Omaha (269)