They practice in a warehouse. They lift weights in an abandoned grocery store, where the signs "fresh produce" and "dairy" still hang.

"It's been a fun and interesting year," North Dakota State coach David Richman said, as his 15th-seeded Bison prepared to play Gonzaga in the South Region on Friday in Seattle.

It was supposed to be a rebuilding year, a time to catch their breath and rebound from the loss of three starters and the coach who came to the tournament last year as a No. 12 seed, charmed the pants off everyone and knocked off Oklahoma.

The seniors graduated. Coach Saul Phillips left for Ohio.

Meanwhile, their home was slowly being demolished, making way for a $50 million renovation of the athletic facilities now underway on the campus in Fargo.

"The construction crew was forcing us out," Richman said. "We needed to make some quick decisions."

With the coaching offices moved to an industrial park, practices relocated to, among other locales, a nearby warehouse with 20-foot-high ceilings, and with the weight room in the produce section, the Bison won the Summit League and posted their third consecutive 20-win season.


• Virginia's Justin Anderson said his left pinkie is feeling better, and he expects to be more of a contributor this week. The physical junior guard failed to score in two games last week after returning from an eight-game absence due to the broken finger followed by an appendectomy.

• The health of Georgia second-leading scorer Kenny Gaines (11.6 points) remains in question. He had his sprained left foot bundled in a heating pad and warm towels Thursday.