The first-ever 2019-20 NJCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship Selection Show revealed the NJCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship At-Large teams, as well as team seeding and bracket information released Thursday, March 5. With the announcement, it was revealed that two programs within the Minnesota College Athletic Conference will begin their pursuit of a national championship.
The Rochester Community & Technical College Yellowjackets (20-5 overall) captured the automatic bid for the championship tournament last weekend, winning the 2019-20 NJCAA North Plains District Tournament, held at Anoka-Ramsey Community College.
RCTC and head coach Brian LaPlante won three games in three days, including victories over nationally-ranked Central Lakes College in the semi-final in a close 83-80 contest and top-seed St. Cloud Technical & Community College by a 82-62 scoreline in the championship.
RCTC's Kong Kong was instrumental in the three-win weekend for the Yellowjackets and will likely be a factor on the boards for Rochester next weekend, as the sophomore from Mankato, Minnesota is averaging 10.8 rebounds a contest.
The Yellowjackets were tabbed as the No. 4 seed and received a first-round bye. RCTC will face the winner of No. 12 Community College of Rhode Island and No. 5 Richland (TX) College.
New in 2019-20, the NJCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship features a 12-team field with four at-large teams. With the expanded opportunity, St. Cloud Technical & Community College punched their ticket through an At-Large bid, and the 25-3 Cyclones will join Rochester CTC in the touranment. SCTCC was granted the No. 11 seed and take on No. 6 Hostos (26-6) in the opening round in Rochester on March 11.
SCTCC won the MCAC Southern Division outright in 2019-20, and had important wins over ranked teams throughout the year, including two victories over MCAC Northern Division champion Central Lakes College. Head coach Andy Cone - the MCAC Southern Division Coach-of-the-Year - saw sophomore Eric Racine eclipse the 1,000 point career scoring mark midway through the season, but the Cyclones boast a balanced offense with Racine, Paul Coleman and Daniel Gardner all among Divisional leaders in points-per-game or 3-point field goal percentage.
To watch the 2019-20 NJCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship Selection Show, please click here or visit: https://njcaachampstv.com/landing/index
For complete information for the 2019-20 NJCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship, held in Rochester, Minnesota on March 11-14, please click here or go to: https://www.njcaa.org/sports/mbkb/2019-20/div3/national_championship/index
For more on MCAC Men's Basketball, please go to: https://www.mcacsports.org/sports/wbkb/index
NJCAA Basketball information, including the NJCAA National Top 15 Poll and Player-of-the-Week releases can be found at: https://www.njcaa.org/sports/mbkb/2019-20/div3/national_championship/index
The Minnesota College Athletic Conference is the organizational body for NJCAA-affiliated two-year technical and community college athletic programs in the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, as well as select member colleges in North Dakota and Wisconsin. The mission of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference is to advance intercollegiate athletics by providing an engaging and supportive environment for success of our student athletes and competition among member institutions. The MCAC is committed to the guiding principles of encouraging the development and success of student athletes, promoting the integrity, honesty and loyalty to member schools as well as upholding the sustainability of conference athletic programs.
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