IHCC Gets 11 Seed in NJCAA Tournament, No Bye
By Jason Van Arkel, March 13, 2017
The Indian Hills basketball team had hoped to get a top-eight seed and a first-round bye at this year’s NJCAA National Tournament. Instead, the Warriors may make the trip to Hutchinson, Kansas with a chip on their shoulder.
After waiting until the very final portion of the NJCAA’s bracket reveal “show” on Twitter, IHCC received the #11 seed in next week’s national tournament. Instead of a bye, the Warriors will play in the final matchup of the opening round, taking on #22 seed Monroe College of New York at noon on Tuesday, March 21. The last time the two schools met, it was in the first round of the 2012 national tournament, a game IHCC lost 81-69.
What could have Indian Hills playing with extra motivation is how the Warriors were seeded in relation to the other teams in the field. IHCC was ranked 12th in the final Division I poll, and carries a 13-game winning streak into the tournament, but two teams sitting significantly behind the Warriors in the poll have higher seeds. Southern Idaho received the #10 seed, despite being ranked ten spots behind Indian Hills at 22. Odessa College of Texas got a #5 seed and a first-round bye, despite being ranked only 17th in the final poll, five spots behind IHCC.
To win its fourth national championship, Indian Hills will have to win five games in five days. If the Warriors beat Monroe in the opening round, they’ll face #6 seed Eastern Florida State in the second round on March 22nd at 8pm.
San Jacinto-Central of Texas earned the top seed in the tournament; they were ranked fourth in the final poll, but the three teams in front of them all lost their district finals. Top-ranked South Plains slipped to the #2 seed. Second-ranked Hutchinson, which gets to play in its home city, fell to the #4 seed. Third-ranked Northwest Florida State fell to the #8 seed. Odessa was the lowest-ranked team to receive a first-round bye.