It’s been 20 years since West Texas A&M has hosted an NCAA Division II regional men’s basketball tournament.
But that’s the case today as the 2018 NCAA South Central Regional Tournament opens in the First United Bank Center on the West Texas A&M campus.
Four games are set today starting at noon with Regis meeting Dallas Baptist at noon.
No. 11-ranked West Texas plays at 6 p.m. in what should be a good one against Colorado School of Mines.
The semifinals are Sunday and the championship game is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday night.
I know things are busy for around here with everybody on spring break and all, but let me give you five reasons you should attend this regional.
1. West Texas has earned your attention
This Buffs basketball team is obviously talented or their record wouldn’t be 28-3.
But this team is much, much more than a 28-3 number.
These Buffs are a joy to watch, an up-tempo team with several standout shooters who don’t mind firing up the three (991 to be exact) led by senior guard Jordan Evan’s and his 115 made 3-pointers.
When you watch this team it’s a reflection of coach Tom Brown and his staff working hard for four years to bring in a group who enjoy each others company and can flat out play the game.
Don’t expect Brown and his players to be at the front door shaking your hands for attending, but a big crowd in “The Fub” would mean the world to them.
“You mean the best player in Division II?” as WT junior Ryan Quiad likes to say about WT senior guard David Chavlovich.
This WT team is not about one player, the coaches and players will be the first to tell you that and they mean it.
But the home career of sweet-shooting senior David Chavlovich will come to a close at this regional.
“Chav” as he is known by his teammates is the all-time leading scorer in WT history and nine points shy of becoming the all-time scorer in the Lone Star Conference.
We are talking a 5-foot-11 guard, with incredible shooting range, owner of a release quicker than a hiccup, who can electrify a game in an instant.
3. Home, sweet, home
If you need a team to root for when the Buffs aren’t playing, No 7-seeded Arkansas-Fort Smith is a good one.
One of Fort Smith’s players is a familiar face in freshman Adam Rivera.
Rivera starred at Amarillo High and has put together quite a true freshman season playing in all 29 games for 24-5 Fort Smith. Rivera started 10 games and averaged 7.7 points and 4.1 rebounds.
Fort Smith pulled off a cool one Friday morning talking with some second grade kids at Sleepy Hollow Elementary about hoops and life.
This was the class taught by Adam’s mom, Nan.
4. Talent galore
No future NBA lottery picks will be in this regional, but plenty of talented players will be on hand.
Five ranked teams in the latest NABC Yop 25 will make the eight led by WT at No. 11, Dallas Baptist at No. 16, UT Permian Basin at No. 19, Regis is ranked No. 22 and Fort Smith comes in at No. 23.
Should No. 1 seed WT and No. 2 seed UT-Permian Basin reach Tuesday’s final, this would make the fourth time the two played this year.
5. Why not
Hey, what else you have to do over the next four days? Remember, that last time a regional arrived in Canyon was 20 years ago. If that holds true the next one wont be until 2038.