The final stage has been set for the 2018 MCAC/NJCAA Region XIII men's basketball championship.
Anoka-Ramsey dispatched Vermilion Community College by a 86-69 count in the second semi-final of the day to advance to the title game on their home court in Coon Rapids. ARCC was led by Kevin Schramm with 29 points and a monster night in the paint with 17 rebounds. Justin Castro added 15 points while Malik El-Amin had eight assists. The Golden Rams are currently 18-10 overall and looking to make their second consecutive trip to the NJCAA Division III National Championship tournament.
Standing is their way is Minnesota West, the #4 seed in the south that has claimed two upsets so far this tournament and is looking to keep their momentum rolling in the championship. MnWest has already taken down a top-seed with a 84-79 victory over Rainy River Community College in the quarterfinal round and beat perennial power RCTC today by a 85-80 scoreline.
ARCC and MnWest split their regular season contests, each winning at home. ARCC lost to MnWest 87-67 on January 24 in Worthington; the Golden Rams defeated the Blue Jays 99-95 on February 17 in Coon Rapids.
In addition to the Championship Game and bid to the NJCAA Division III National Tournament, RCTC and Vermilion will face off in the third-place game at 1pm. Both squads have already eclipsed the 20-win threshold in 2018, with RCTC sitting at 23-6 and VCC at 21-8, and each is looking to send their sophomores out with a "W". RCTC was led by Jumah'Ri Turner who had a tournament-high 43 points in his team's loss today while Vermilion had Demetrice Mitchell score 23 points against ARCC and his teammate, Denario Jackson, had 14 points on the day.
Live Steam video for both contests is available by CLICKING HERE.