One day after earning an at-large bid to the 2017 NJCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, the Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team learned on Monday it had earned a top four national seed.
The Blue Dragons will be the No. 4 overall seed for the national tournament, which starts on Monday at the Sports Arena.
Hutchinson will not play until Day 3 of the tournament on March 22. The fourth-seeded Blue Dragons will take on the winner of No. 13 St. Petersburg and No. 20 Highland (Ill.). That game will be played at Noon on Wednesday. You can hear the broadcast live locally on Country102.9 fm/KWBW 1450 am & 98.5 fm. St. Petersburg and Highland will play at 9:30 p.m., the final game of Day 1.
The No. 4 overall seed is the highest for the Blue Dragons since the men’s tournament started seeding when it went to the 24-team single-elimination field. The Dragons were also top-eight national seeds in 2013, 2015 and 2016. The Dragons were the No. 7 national seed last season when they advanced all the way to the national championship game.
The Blue Dragons are in the same quarter-bracket as No. 5 Odessa College. Odessa will play either No. 12 Gillette College or No. 21 Walters State.
San Jacinto will be the tournament’s No. 1 seed. The Ravens benefitted the most from No. 1 South Plains, No. 2 Hutchinson and No. 3 Northwest Florida State were all defeated in their respective regional tournaments.
South Plains in the No. 2 overall seed and Georgia Highlands is the No. 3 seed.
Coffeyville, which upset the Blue Dragons 91-88 in overtime in the Region VI Tournament championship last Wednesday, is the 19th seed. The Red Ravens will play No. 14 Motlow State at 10 a.m. on Tuesday in the opening round.
Hutchinson will play in the NJCAA Tournament for the 20th time in program history. The Blue Dragons earned their third-straight trip to the NJCAA Tournament. The only other time the Dragons made three-straight national tournaments was 1971, 1972 and 1973.
The 2017 Blue Dragons are 31-2 and won the Jayhawk Conference championship for the second-straight year and. The Blue Dragons were ranked No. 2 on two different stints this season.