No. 7 seeded Sandhills Community College (23-8) will meet No. 2 Herkimer CC (28-1) on Thursday at 3 p.m. (2 p.m. CDT) in the NJCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament to be held in Rochester, MN on March 14-16.
The Flyers became one of the eight teams qualifying for the national championship by defeating Prince George's CC 88-84 for the District 7 championship last Saturday. The team from upstate New York made the field with a 71-66 win over Mohawk Valley in the Region 3 title game.
This will be the Flyers' third appearance in the national tournament since 2012 when Coach Mike Apple's squad won the National Championship. In the only previous meeting between the two colleges, Herkimer defeated Sandhills 75-74 in overtime in the fifth place game of the 2015 national tournament.
Currently ranked second in the NJCAA Division III national poll, the Generals have won 25 consecutive games. Statistically they are ranked fourth in the nation in points allowed per game (68.6). They finished in fifth place in last year's national tournament.
The Region X Champion Flyers come in with eight wins in their last nine games. They are second in the nation in points scored per game (96.4).
All of the tournament games will be live streamed. Go to www.njcaatv.com for information. The cost is $4.99 per game and 14.99 for a championship pass.
Below is the schedule for Thursday's quarterfinal games (EDT) at Rochester Regional Sports Center.
Game 1: #6 Middlesex CC (NJ) 27-4 vs #3 Richland College (TX) 22-5 at 1 p.m.
Game 2: #7 Sandhills CC (NC) 23-8 vs #2 Herkimer College (NY) 28-1 at 3 p.m.
Game 3: #5 Rock Valley College (IL) 23-6 vs. #4 Bunker Hill CC (MA) 27-4 at 6 p.m.
Game 4: #8 Central Lakes (MN) 25-5 vs. #1 Suffolk County (NY) 27-0 at 8 p.m.
The tournament continues with semi-final and consolation games on Friday and the third, fifth and seventh place games, followed by the National Championship Game at 8 p.m. EDT on Saturday.
by Charlie Bergmann
photo by Donna Ford