HARRISON, Ark. – The second-ranked NIACC women’s basketball team gained the No. 2 seed for the NJCAA Division II national tournament.

The Lady Trojans (27-5) faces 15th seed Wayne County CC (Michigan) at 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 19 in their opening round game at the Pioneer Pavilion on the North Arkansas College campus.

NIACC advanced to the national tournament for the ninth time in school history with a 77-70 win over No. 4 Kirkwood Sunday in the NJCAA Region XI title game in the NIACC gym.

Wayne County CC (17-12) stopped Mott CC 66-60 in overtime on Saturday to punch its ticket to the national tournament.

The winner of the NIACC/Wayne County contest plays the winner of seventh seed Cape Fear CC (North Carolina)/10th seed Metropolitan CC (Missouri) at 8 p.m. on Wednesday in the quarterfinals. The NIACC/Wayne County and Cape Fear/Metropolitian losers meet at 9 a.m. Thursday.

No. 1 Illinois Central (31-1) is the top seed for the 16-team tournament. The Cougars face 16th seed North Platte (Neb.) in their tournament opener at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

NIACC and Illinois Central split a pair of contests this season. The Lady Trojans topped the Cougars 95-89 on Nov. 2 at the Konigsmark Klassic and Illinois Central stopped NIACC 84-77 in the semifinals of the Cougar Holiday Classic on Dec. 29.


— Both the Big Ten and Big 12 men’s basketball tournaments begin today:


== The Big Ten Tournament at the United Center in Chicago has two play-in games today. 11th-seed Illinois faces 14th-seed Northwestern in the 8 o’clock game tonight. The winner of that game will face Iowa tomorrow night at about 8:30. In tonight’s first game at 5:30, 13th-seed Nebraska faces 12th-seed Rutgers, with the winner playing 5th-seed Maryland tomorrow afternoon.


== The Big 12 Tournament takes place at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, with two play-in games starting the tournament tonight. At 6 o’clock tonight, 8th-seed TCU faces 9th-seed Oklahoma State, with the winner facing top-seed Kansas State tomorrow afternoon. The other play-in game has 7th-seed Oklahoma facing 10th-seed West Virginia, with the winner facing 2nd-seed Texas Tech. 5th-seed Iowa State opens play in tomorrow’s quarterfinal round facing 4th-seed Baylor at 11:30 AM.



DENVER (AP) — Jamal Murray scored 19 of his 30 points in the second half, Mason Plumlee dished out eight of Denver’s season-high 40 assists and the Nuggets cruised to a 133-107 win over the banged-up Minnesota Timberwolves. Called out by coach Michael Malone after a lackadaisical performance in Golden State last week, the Nuggets starting unit responded by playing with more intensity.



MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have kept the heart of their defense intact with a hefty commitment to four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Anthony Barr. According to a person with direct knowledge of the deal, Barr has agreed to re-sign with the Vikings on a five-year, $67.5 million contract with $33 million guaranteed. Barr was the first draft pick made by the Vikings under coach Mike Zimmer in 2014.