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Navarro can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Region 14 men’s post-season tournament with a victory Saturday over Kilgore, and just everybody else is hoping to improve their position.
The Bulldogs’ potential prize is the greatest, because with the No. 1 seed goes not only a first-round bye into the tournament but an automatic berth in the NCJAA national tournament March 18-23 in Hutchinson, Kan.
But across the league, teams are jockeying for positions in the regional tournament scheduled from Tuesday, March 5, through Saturday, March 9, in the Region 14 tournament at UT-Tyler’s Herrington Patriot Center.
Paris goes into the weekend in 10th place. Depending on how various games come out the rest of the way, the Dragons could end up with anywhere from the No. 6 seed to the No, 11 seed. Paris will end its regular season at home against Panola on Wednesday.
The only teams now above the Dragons but assured of being seeded above them are Navarro, Kilgore, San Jacinto, Jacksonville and Lee.
Here are Saturday’s match-ups:
Only the 12 teams in the 14-team men’s league with the best records will qualify for the tournament.
Panola (8-19, 0-17) will be one of the two teams that won’t make it. The other hard-luck team will be Bossier (9-16, 2-14) or Blinn (11-17, 3-14).
If Bossier can pull even with Blinn, the Cavaliers would nose out Blinn for the No. 12 seed by virtue of having beaten Blinn in their inter-zone matchup back in late November.
The two teams in each zone with the best records get a first-round bye.
That figures to be Navarro (22-5, 14-2) and Kilgore (23-4, 13-4) in the North Zone, and San Jacinto (20-5, 11-5) and Jacksonville (20-7, 11-5) in the South Zone.
But a lot of things can change over the span of three game days.
A Navarro win over Kilgore not only would mathematically eliminate Kilgore, but Jacksonville.
The Jaguars’ hopes hinge on the Jaguars winning their last three games, Navarro losing its last three games, and Kilgore beating Navarro but losing to Tyler a week later. That would result in a 3-way tie among the teams – all with 14-5 records.
The 2-way tie in the North Zone would be resolved first, with the tie-breaker going to Kilgore because of a better record against the five other North Zone teams.
Then Jacksonville would win the tie-breaker against Kilgore because the Jaguars beat Kilgore in their heads-up match-up.
San Jacinto (20-5, 11-5) also could get to 14-5 by winning its last three games, and the Ravens have the tie-breaker over Navarro.
But it Navarro loses its last three games, one of them would be to Kilgore, which then would finish either 14-5 or 15-4. Either way works against San Jacinto, which lost to Kilgore in the regular season.
As in past years, the winner of the Region 14 tournament will go to Kansas. If the No. 1 seed goes on to win the tournament, the tournament runner-up will also go to the NJCAA meet.
With the parity throughout Region XIV, that could be just about anybody.
In the tournament, seeds 5 through 12 will play on Tuesday, March 5, with the winners advancing to the quarterfinals on Thursday, March 7, against the top four seeds.
The men’s quarterfinal will look like this:
The men’s semifinals will pair the winners of the first two quarterfinal matches at 6 p.m., followed at 8 p.m. by the winners of the third and fourth quarterfinals.
The championship games will be on Saturday, March 9, with the women’s game at 3 p.m. and the men’s game at 6 p.m.
By CHARLES RICHARDS