UND Basketball? Meet March Madness

Seven years.

That's how long it took the University of North Dakota men's basketball to reach the Promised Land that is the NCAA Tournament after making the transition to Division I. Now, some - especially those who live 70 miles south of Grand Forks - might ask "What took you so long?", but to put it in perspective, it took fellow March Madness debutants Northwestern 77 years to make the Big Dance. Seven years seems like a blink in comparison.

It's not easy to win a conference tournament title, the only March Madness lifeline for most mid-majors out there, but the Fighting Hawks did just that this season, becaming one of five debutants in the 2017 tourney after a pulse-pounding overtime win in Reno last week against long-time nemesis Weber State.

Their prize? A date with a 30-win Arizona team that won the Pac-12 regular season and tournament title.

But even if things don't go as hoped in UND's Round of 64 West Regional matchup with the Wildcats in Salt Lake City on Thursday night, no one can take away what this team and this program have accomplished this year, a feat that's been much, much longer than seven years in the making. 

In the MidcoSN Video Blog below, University of North Dakota men's basketball radio voice Paul Ralston joins me in Salt Lake to talk about the significance of UND's first ever NCAA Tournament appearance and to break down the Fighting Hawks' chances against two-seed Arizona.