Make way for the Final Four of the NJCAA Region VI postseason basketball tournament.
The Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference’s heavyweights — second-ranked Coffeyville vs. No. 9-ranked Hutchinson, along with Seward County vs. No. 24 Barton — play semifinal games tonight at Hartman Arena in Park City.
At 5:30, Barton (27-5) takes on the three-time defending West champion and defending regional champion Saints (25-7), followed by Coffeyville (31-1) and Hutchinson (29-3) at 7:30.
“Pound-for-pound, you’ve got the four teams that deserve to be there,” Barton head coach Craig Fletchall said. “All four teams are healthy, and it’s one of those Final Fours where anyone can win it.
“Coffeyville is ranked No. 2 in the nation, so they’re almost a lock to get in the national tournament.”
Coffeyville is the Beast of the East; Seward, Hutchinson and Barton are strongholds from the West.
The region champion gets an automatic seed for the national tourney, which takes place March 18-23 at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.
“Kansas is going to get two teams in and maybe three,” Fletchall said. “Hutch and Coffeyville will probably get into the national tournament, anyway, because of the at-large bids.
“I think, obviously, Seward or Barton has to win the region to get in.”