It is 10 years since North Dakota State's men's basketball team first qualified for the NCAA tournament. The Bison made the tournament two times since, but that first time was special.
It was the Bison's first year of eligibility after moving from Division II to Division I. The team was made up of a core of popular seniors like Ben Woodside, Lucas Moorman, Mike Nelson and Brett Winkelman. And the team was coached by the gregarious Saul Phillips, who had taken over from the gregarious Tim Miles a couple of years before.
NDSU won the Summit League regular-season title after an excellent regular season in which it won 18 of 19 games before a season-ending loss to Kansas in the first round of the NCAA. But even that game was special -- it was played at the Metrodome and perhaps 10,000 Bison fans made the trek. Woodside had a terrific game as the Bison gave the powerful Jayhawks a run for their money.
So, it's time to look back as this year's edition of the Bison nears the Summit League tournament and March Madness beckons.
Phillips, now at Ohio University, joins podcast host Mike McFeely for an hour-long trip down memory lane, recalling the 2008-09 season. It is an enjoyable conversation.