LEVELLAND—The South Plains College Texans earned a No. 2 national seed on Monday to the NJCAA Men's Basketball National Tournament and will face the winner of No. 15 Panola vs. No. 18 Shelton Sate on Tuesday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hutchinson Sports Arena in Hutchinson, Kansas.
Panola and Shelton State will play at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, March 20.
"We'll definitely spend as much time on both of those opponents as we will ourselves," South Plains head coach Steve Green said. "The film of the last two games that we've played we've kind of broken down and looked at that, and we're looking for some things that we think can help us on down the road against anybody that we would play."
South Plains enters the tournament with a 29-1 record and champions of the Western Junior College Athletic Conference. The Texans rank ninth in the NJCAA averaging 97.6 points per game and fourth with a 52.1 field goal percentage.
Jordan Brangers will lead the Texans' offensive attack as the sophomore from Radcliff, Kentucky is averaging 21.2 points per game and shooting 47.9 percent from the 3-point line. Brangers has knocked down a national best 136 3-pointers and ranks 11th with 635 total points scored.
South Plains' Roberto Gallinat and Jahlil Tripp will look to continue to create opportunities for the Texans' offense come Tuesday. Gallinat,, a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard from Atlanta is averaging 12.2 points per game and shooting 48.9 percent from the field. Tripp has shown the ability to knock down shots from the perimeter and establish himself as an interior presence, as the 6-foot-5 freshman from Brooklyn, NY averages 11.8 points per game and is shooting 53.9 percent from the floor.
"I think you have to have a couple of guys step up and play exceptionally well, Green said. "You have to make great plays, because you're going to play against good teams and they have good players, and sometimes you just have to break out of what you're doing and just make an unbelievable play. A great block, our hit a couple 3s in a row, or you make a couple of slips to the basket, I think you have to do something above and beyond something that any coach can script."
Panola enters the tournament as winners of 12 of their last 13 and finished the season with an overall record of 25-8 including a 15-4 record in conference play. The Ponies are led by sophomore Devyn Wilson who averages 13.3 points per game and is shooting 43.3 percent from the floor on the year. Panola also has three other players averaging double figures on the offensive end, as Tope Arikawe averages 11.6 points per game, while Eric Mcgill averages 11.4 and Marlon Taylor averages 10.9.
Shelton State enters their first-round matchup with a 27-5 record and winners of 10 of their last 11. Tra'Quan Knight leads the Buccaneers in scoring as the freshman guard is averaging 15.2 points per game. Christopher Dudley ranks second on the team with a 9.7 points per game average, while sophomore Marcus Anthony is averaging 9.2 points per game.
The complete tournament bracket can be found here: