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With the National Tourney around the Corner, At-Large Bids are up for Grabs

02/15/2017, 3:00pm EST
By Brendan Walker
#1 South Plains is only undefeated team in the country

#1 South Plains is only undefeated team in the country


As the regular season winds down, each game can impact a team’s chance of making the NJCAA D1 National Tournament.  There are four true at-large bids for teams who don’t get one of the 16 automatic bids or one of four rotating zone qualifying bids. 

The zone qualifying bids this year belong to the following Regions:

Region 2 – Oklahoma

Region 7 – Tennessee

Region 10 – North Carolina, South Carolina

Region 14 – East Texas

There are only a few weeks left of the regular season.  Here’s an in-depth look at the top 10 teams from this week’s NJCAA Top 25 Poll.

1) South Plains (24-0) – South Plains is the only undefeated team left in the country.  They recently beat #18 Odessa on the road and then a very talented New Mexico JC team Monday night.  They have 4 more games left on their schedule including Western Texas who took them to OT the first time they played.  Jordan Brangers (Texas Tech) is leading the Texans in scoring at 21.5 per game. 

2) Hutchinson (24-1) – Hutchinson is coming off wins against Butler and Garden City.  They have 5 games remaining on their schedule.  They play a dangerous Barton team tonight at 8:30 EST for a chance to clinch the conference championship.  Hutch is led by the combination of PG Samajae Haynes-Jones (Wichita State) and F Shakur Juiston. 

3) San Jacinto (24-1) – San Jacinto won both of their games last week as well.  They won on the road at Jacksonville and at home against Blinn.  They have 5 games remaining on their schedule including a game against Angelina who gave them their only loss of the year.  They are led by the guard combination of Jorden Duffy (19.4 per game) and Corey Davis (17.2 per game).

4) Northwest Florida State (22-2) – NW Florida won their two games last week which were against Chipola and #13 Tallahassee.  They are currently 8-0 in the Panhandle Conference and have 4 games remaining including another game against #13 Tallahassee.  The Raiders are led by Jared Wilson-Frame (Pitt) at 14.3 per game. 

5) Vincennes (23-1) – Vincennes is coming off a win against John A Logan on Monday night to get redemption for their one loss earlier in the year.  They have 6 games remaining on their schedule.  The Trailblazers are led by PG Chris Darrington who is averaging 20.3 points per game and 5 assists per game. 

6) Georgia Highlands (23-1) – Georgia Highlands lost their first game of the season this past week against a very good Gordon State team on the road 67-65.  They have 6 games remaining on their schedule.  6’8 F Kyvon Davenport leads the team in scoring at 17.1 per game, followed closely by 6’1 G Ty Cockfield at 17.0 per game.  

7) Mineral Area (25-1) – Mineral Area suffered their first loss of the year to #14 Moberly Area on February 4th but got back in the winning column in their next game.  They have 4 games remaining on their schedule.  The sophomore heavy team is led by Zach Cuthbertson (UNC-Wilmington), Devin Thomas (Indiana State), and Lamar Morgan (Coppin State). 

8) McLennan (25-1) – McLennan suffered their first loss of the year to Ranger on February 8th but got back in the winning column against Weatherford on February 11th. They have 4 games remaining before the Region tournament.  They are led by sophomore guards Shannon Bogues (Stephen F Austin) and Isaiah Gurley. 

9) Jones County (19-1) – Jones County won all their games this past week, including a win Monday night against Southwest Mississippi, the only team to beat Jones this year.  They have 3 games remaining before they host the Mississippi State JUCO Tourney.  F Bruce Stevens leads the team in scoring (17 per game) and rebounding (12.2 per game).

10) North Dakota SCS (26-1) – North Dakota SCS won all 3 of their games last week.  They have won 18 games in a row and have 3 games remaining.  They are led by 6’1 G James Batemon III who is averaging 21.6 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game, and 5.9 assists per game. 

Here’s the rest of the top 25:

11) Gillette (24-2)

12) Trinity Valley (21-4) – Region 14*

13) Tallahassee (24-4)

14) Moberly Area (22-3)

15) Eastern Florida State (23-4)

16) Indian Hills (23-4)

17) Tyler (19-3)

18) Odessa (20-4)

19) Snow (22-4)

20) Spartanburg Methodist (22-3) – Region 10*

21) Palm Beach State (23-4)

22) Motlow State (22-4) – Region 7*

23) Daytona State (22-5)

24) Southern Idaho (21-5)

25) Cochise (21-4)

*Zone Qualifying Region 


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