The Tyler Junior College Apache Ladies, ranked No. 11 in the nation, received the No. 11 seed for the NJCAA Women’s National Basketball Tournament, the NJCAA announced from Colorado Springs, Colo., on Monday.
The tournament begins March 17 in Salina, Kan.
TJC (28-5) received a bid by finishing second in Region XIV. The conference was awarded two automatic berths this season.
The Apache Ladies, who are competing at nationals for the first time since 2007, will open the tournament against No. 22 Southwestern Illinois (23-5) at noon Tuesday, March 18. Ironically, TJC won its 2000 national championship over SW Illinois.
Defending national champion and No. 1-ranked Trinity Valley (32-1) was tabbed with the No. 1 seed. The top eight seeds get a bye in the first round and the Lady Cardinals will not play until Tuesday.
Blinn (26-6) earned an at-large bid. The Buccaneers are ranked No. 12, but received the No. 13 seed.
The bracket will be announced Tuesday.
If the NJCAA follows the pattern of last year, TVCC will play at 2 p.m. Tuesday against either No. 16 State Fair (Mo.) or No. 17 Western Nebraska.
Blinn should be playing at 2 p.m. Monday against No. 20 seed Baton Rouge (La.).
The tournament is single elimination.
If the Apache Ladies win on Tuesday, they would play at 8 p.m. Wednesday against No. 6 seed Southern Idaho (29-3).