NCAA berth gives North Dakota chance to promote new brand

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) The University of North Dakota basketball team is providing a morale boost to a campus still smarting from a nickname controversy and reeling from budget cuts that put some athletic programs on the chopping block.

The school is making its first appearance in the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament, considered in most circles to be the premier event of college sports. While that might not be the prevailing opinion on a campus where hockey is king, the basketball team is showing fans what it means to be in the Big Dance.

The team is also putting the new Fighting Hawks logo on display. The moniker was rolled out this year after a three-year moratorium to let people cool off from a contentious battle over the now-retired Fighting Sioux nickname.

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