The John A. Logan College Men’s Basketball team will enter the National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas, as the number one overall seed. The team began the season unranked, but under first-year Head Coach Tyler Smithpeters, the Vols have won 27 straight games and captured a fourth straight Region 24 title with a victory over arch-rival Vincennes. As the top seed, the Vols receive a first-round bye and will open play on Tuesday, March 21, at 2 PM against the winner of Monroe College/South Georgia State. The following rounds will be at 5 PM on Thursday, March 23 at Noon, Friday, March 24 at 5 PM, and the National Title Game at 1 PM on Saturday, March 26.
The College will air the games in the O’Neil Auditorium on the Carterville Campus. There is no admissions charge, and the viewing is open to the public. Doors will open at 1:30 PM on Tuesday and 30 minutes prior to the start of any additional game. The College will provide popcorn, soft drinks, and bottled water.
“We have had tremendous fan support this year, and we wanted to do something to allow our fans, students, and College staff to watch the game together,” said JALC President Dr. Kirk Overstreet. “This team has been so much fun to watch, and they have been outstanding representatives of the College both on and off the court. We have had tremendous crowds at our games, and we enjoy the sense of community we get from watching the game together.”
The Vols have not lost a game since November and survived a hard-fought Region 24 championship game. Smithpeters was named the Region Coach-Of-The-Year, and Curt Lewis was named Player-Of-The-Year in Region 24 and GRAC. In addition to Lewis, Quimari Peterson and Isaiah Stafford were named All-Region 24 and All-GRAC.
Smithpeters has known this team had the ability to be one of the top teams in the nation.
“We have known since they got on campus last summer that they had the ability to be good, and they have done just that,” said Smithpeters. “They enjoy playing together, and they are extremely selfless. They do not care who is the leading scorer or getting the accolades. They want to win.”
The team is currently accepting donations to help with travel, meals, and supplies for the trip to the National Tournament. To donate, you can visit https://magic.collectorsolutions.com/magic-ui/en-US/Pay/Process/CartInformation. The team is scheduled to leave on Sunday, March 19.