Minnesota West CTC men's basketball coach Aaron Poor-Bear and his BlueJay squad will travel to Loch Sheldrake, New York to compete in the 2018 NJCAA Division III Men's Basketball National Tournament on March 15-17.
MnWest will face #1 seed Brookdale in the opening round. Minnesota West has made it a habit to overcome the top seeds in tournament play, as the Blue Jays defeated #1 North seed Rainy River Community College as well as #1 South seed Anoka-Ramsey Community College during their run to the 2018 MCAC / NJCAA Region XIII Championship. Minnesota West has won three straight contests and head into the National Tournament with the chance to make history (again) on the national stage; the last men's basketball Division III national champion from the Minnesota College Athletic Conference was M State Fergus Falls, who hoisted the hardware in 1998, with a championship game victory over Monroe (NY). Rochester CTC played it's way to the chamionship game as recently as 2016, where they finished as national runner-up to Rock Valley (IL) College.
Alex Brown has been a catalyst for Minnesota West, and he sits fifth in the Conference in points per game (20.8) and seventh overall in total points on the season (478). Brown heads into the national tournament having hit for 29, 32 and 20 points in his last three outings. Learn more about Brown in this interview, produced and distributed by KWOA Radio, the local media home of Minnesota West athletics.
Joining Brown at the forefront of the BlueJay success is Kuol Chol, who grabs 9.9 boards a contest, good for third in the MCAC. Chol also blocks nearly two shots a contest, while teammate DeShawn Pickford will likely have the ball in his hands, should MnWest have a lead late in games at the National tournament. Pickford has hit 115-of-158 free throws he has attempted this season, also good for third place in the league.
For additional local coverage of MnWest men's basketball, head to Worthington-based KWOA Radio and the Daily Globe Sports pages, with in-depth and insightful stories on Minnesota West athletics and the Blue Jay season.
2018 NJCAA Division III Men's Basketball National Tournament Website: http://www.njcaa.org/sports/mbkb/2017-18/div3/national_championship/index
Minnesota West CTC Athletics: http://www.mnwestathletics.com/landing/index
This release sponsored in part by Gopher Sport.
Gopher Sport, based in Owatonna, is an industry leader in Physical Education, sports and fitness equipment. Gopher Sport is dedicated to providing programs and departments with the products to improve fitness, develop skills, create fun and reach a high standard of learning and living. Gopher Sport has diligently served teachers, coaches and athletic directors around the world for over 65 years.
About the Minnesota College Athletic Conference
The Minnesota College Athletic Conference is the organizational body for NJCAA-affiliated two-year technical and community college athletic programs in the Minnesota State system. 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.