The Butler Grizzlies were tabbed as the 15th seed in the 2020 NJCAA Women’s National Tournament on Monday morning.
The Grizzlies are in the National Tournament for the second straight year as they’ve won back-to-back Region VI Championships.
Butler’s season was built with trials and tribulations but when it all came to a head, the Grizzlies came out on top in what is considered the toughest JUCO conference in the nation. The NJCAA backed up this assertion with three teams from the KJCCC getting into the National Tournament.
Hutch (12th) and Seward County (17th) also head to Lubbock.
Lubbock Christian University is once again hosting the National Tournament after decades of it taking place in Salina, Kansas. The move has been lauded by many coaches due to the upgraded facilities of LCU.
Butler (25-8) rolled through the Region VI Tournament with impressive wins over Neosho County, Seward County and their Championship win over Barton. Mike Helmer’s Grizzlies led by double digits in all three games, trailing for only a combined few minutes in the tournament.
The Grizzlies will play the Bruins of Salt Lake Community College on Tuesday, March 17 in the first round. The Bruins are the Region XVIII automatic qualifier, winning the region over College of Southern Idaho 70-51 on Feb. 29, almost a week before Butler clinched.
The Bruins head into the tournament as the 18th seed with a record of 22-7 and are 7-3 in their last 10 games. Salt Lake started the season preseason No. 15 but fell out of the rankings by Thanksgiving. While they poked their head back in on occasions, the Bruins ultimately finished as the No. 1 seed in the Region XVIII tournament.
It is the seventh straight appearance at the National Tournament for Salt Lake. They have never won the thing during their seven-year run. They did reach the NJCAA Final Four in 2017, falling to eventual National Champion, Gulf Coast State.
It is the first time the two will have met in the National Tournament.
The winner gets get second-seeded South Plains in the second round. If Butler advances to play the Lady Texans, that game will tip-off at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18.
The NJCAA National Championship is set for Saturday, March 21 in Lubbock, Texas. That game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.