The #21 North Platte Community College Knights (29-5) menís basketball team received their draw and seeding for the NJCAA DI Basketball National Championship on Monday. The Knights received the No. 16 seed and will wear home white against the No. 17 seeded Mineral Area College (26-4). The Knights will play in the first game of the tournament at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 18.
The Knights won the Region IX Championship by winning four games in five days and defeating Otero Junior College 51-46 in the championship game.
The Knights knocked off Dawson Community 71-42 in the opening round, Gillette College 81-67 in the quarterfinals and Northeast Junior College 84-59 in the semifinals.
Mineral Area College advanced to the National Championship by winning the District 4 Championship where they defeated Region IV Champion Malcolm X College 100-87.
Mineral Area advanced to the District 4 Final by winning the Region XVI Championship by defeating Moberly Area Community College 77-70.
The Knights will enter the tournament with four players in double figures led by Ethan Montalvo who averages 15.4 points per game. Reath Jiect (11.3 ppg), Damon Brown (10.6 ppg) and Ben Wilson (10.1 ppg) round out the Knights double figure scorers.
Montalvo also leads the Knights in rebounding at 4.9 per game. Brown leads the Knights in assists (5.5 apg) and steals (3.2 spg).
Mineral Area is led by Jay Raulston who averages 17.9 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game. Shaquilla Boga (13.1 ppg) and Leon Watkins (10.2 ppg) also score in double figures for Mineral Area.
The winner of the opening round game will advance to face #1 seeded Iowa Western Community College (31-2) in Game 9 of the tournament on Tuesday March 19 at 2 p.m.