Shelton State Community College men’s and women’s basketball teams found out their fates for the National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament on Monday.
The women received the top overall seed in the bracket after earning an automatic bid by winning the Alabama Community College Conference Tournament. The team will receive a first-round bye.
The Lady Buccaneers went undefeated this season and held the No. 1 rankings since January. That was partly due to a victory over back-to-back defending champion Gulf Coast State, who will be the No. 2 seed in the tournament.
“We are happy being the No. 1 seed and have a lot of respect in that,” women’s coach Madonna Thompson said. “We have a lot of tough teams on our side of the bracket.”
Shelton State could face a rematch with Odessa, who the Lady Bucs beat in the second round of last year’s tournament. The winner of Harford and Odessa will face Shelton State in the second round on March 20 at 2 p.m. CT in Lubbock, Texas.
Shelton will not find out its opponent until Monday at 10 a.m. CT.
“We have access to film, so we will prepare for both teams,” Thompson said. “We will watch the game on Monday and use that afternoon to prepare. We can kind of get ahead of the game.”
Shelton State’s seeding is a step up from the 2016-17 tournament. The Lady Bucs were the No. 10 seed in last year’s bracket, but still ran the table and made the final four.
The team feels like it is more locked in than it was last season. Most of the team’s rotation helped make that final four run. This season, those players want to take the next step.
“The sophomores want it bad,” Thompson said. “They were there last year and tasted all of that success of getting so close to playing in the championship game. So, I think they’re hungry.”
The men’s team failed to make the NJCAA Tournament. The Bucs were hoping for one of eight at-large bids after losing in the semifinals of the ACCC Tournament to Coastal Alabama-North. Snead State earned the automatic bid from Alabama.
This season, coach Joe Eatmon’s team went 27-5 and were a staple in the top 25. Eatmon knew his team was a long shot for receiving an at-large bid after losing in the ACCC Tournament, but felt his team had a good season.
“At the end of the day, it’s about winning championships,” Eatmon said. “We weren’t able to achieve that ultimate goal, but we look forward to getting back to work and preparing for next season.”