It's beginning to look like South Dakota State's fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last six seasons might be getting off to an earlier start than their other post season visits.

Despite grabbing the Summit League's automatic qualifying spot by winning the conference tournament, SDSU's overall 18-16 record wasn't likely to earn the Jackrabbits anything higher than a 16 seed in the 2017 NCAA Tourney.

Three different 'bracketology' websites have South Dakota State playing in one of the First Four games in Dayton, Ohio, either next Tuesday (March 14) or Wednesday (March 15). The winners of those games advance to the field of 64.

Here are some of the early predictions:

  • ESPN.com has SDSU battling Mount St. Mary's (MD) for the right to grab the 16th seed in the East Region. That projected bracket would pit the First Four winner against top-seed, and defending National Champion, Villanova in round one, in Buffalo, New York.
  • USA Today's bracket has the Jacks squaring off with Jacksonville State in Dayton for the right to play Villanova.
  • SBNation.com has South Dakota State battling Jacksonville State in Dayton, with the winner heading to the South Region to battle top-seed North Carolina in Greenville, South Carolina, in round one.
  • CBSSports.com has the Jackrabbits facing off with New Orleans in the First Four, with the winner moving on to the Midwest Region and a date with top seed Kansas, in Tulsa.

The speculation ends when the official bracket is announced during the NCAA Tournament selection show, Sunday (March 12), at 4:30 PM CT, on CBS.

In three previous trips to the NCAA Tournament, South Dakota State has been a 12 seed (2016), a 13 seed (2013), and a 14 seed (2012).