SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, Va. — Richard Bland College has earned the No. 7 seed for the 2018 NJCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship, March 20-24, at Danville Area Community College in Danville, Illinois. The Statesmen of fifth-year head coach Chuck Moore have an overall record of 22-9, and will play No. 10 Highland (Kan.) (25-7) in the first round of the tournament on Tuesday night, March 20, at 9:30 p.m. ET. The game will be streamed live on njcaatv.com.
“Making it back to the national tournament is always a huge accomplishment for any program at any level, and it’s great to have the respect of the national committee in giving us the number seven ranking, even though we were not nationally-ranked at the end of the season,” said Moore, who is now 126-40 (.759) during his tenure at Richard Bland. “We have a tough opponent in Highland, who has beat some really good teams this year. Our plan, as usual, is to get out there and win a national championship.
“It’s going to be a great experience for my team. This year has been extremely challenging at times, but I am so proud of how my players have handled all of the adversity. I can’t thank them and Coach Beverly enough for getting us back out to the national tournament one last time while I’m here.”
Triton (Ill.) (29-4) is the top seed for the national tournament, a 16-team field which guarantees each team playing a minimum of two games, and will play No. 16 Ulster County (N.Y.) (18-9). Richard Bland was ranked third among the 16 teams in strength of schedule, which helped the Statesmen obtain the (higher) No. 7 seed.
Other first round games include No. 2 Pima (Ariz.) (28-4) against No. 15 Southern Maryland (19-12), No. 3 Cuyahoga (Ohio) (29-1) against No. 14 Arkansas State Mid-South (26-5), No. 4 Louisburg (N.C.) (28-4) against No. 13 Erie (N.Y.) (18-9), No. 5 Southwestern (Iowa) (26-7) against No. 12 Dakota County (Minn.) (22-8), No. 6 South Suburban (Ill.) (28-5) against No. 11 Delta (Mich.) (21-6) and No. 8 Danville Area (Ill.) (26-5) against No. 9 Grand Rapids (Mich.) (24-8).
If Richard Bland wins the opening round game, the Statesmen will play the winner of the Pima-Southern Maryland contest on Wednesday, March 21, at 9 p.m. ET. A loss on Tuesday would have Richard Bland playing on Thursday, March 22, at 12 p.m. ET.
Richard Bland is making its second consecutive and third National Tournament appearance in four years, after winning the 2015 NJCAA Division II National Championship. The Statesmen defeated John Wood (Ill.) Community College 64-53 on March 21, 2015 at the Mary Miller Gymnasium on the campus of DACC in Illinois. Richard Bland finished its most memorable storybook 2014-15 campaign with a school-record of 32-4, winning the national title in only its second year back in action following a 20-year hiatus from competitive sports at the College. The Statesmen advanced to the NJCAA Division II Final Four a year ago, as well, completing the 2016-17 season with a record of 30-6.
Please check rbcathletics.com and follow the Statesmen on social media via Twitter (@GoRBCStatesmen) and Facebook (rbcstatesmen) for tournament progress and game times next week.