Louisville, Kentucky – At the halfway point of the 69th National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament presented by ABC Medical, only two of the five divisions competing for a National Title have the top four seeds alive, setting up a challenger Saturday that should raise the roof at the Kentucky Exposition Center. The NWBA’s Adult Division-1 and Junior Division’s Varsity league will feature No. 1-4 seeds in the semi-finals, starting at 8 a.m. Eastern.
The defending Adult D-I defending champion Dallas Mavericks powered through the quarterfinals with a 77-53 victory. The No. 4 Sacramento Rollin’ Kings narrowly held on over the 2016 runner-ups Milwaukee Bucks, 64-56, and will square off with the Mavericks. This anticipated match up will tip at high noon at the Kentucky Exposition Center on court 3.
The other side of the D-I bracket will feature the No. 2 New York Rollin’ Knicks versus the No. 3 Rogue Valley Scorpions, in a much talked-about semi-final. The Knicks rolled past the RIC Hornets, 81-45, to advance. The Scorpions escaped a close game against the University of Arizona, 68-65.
The top four teams in the Adult D-I have battled throughout the season with the Knicks and Mavericks holding either No. 1 or No. 2 since the onset.
The No. 1 seed Dallas Junior Mavericks, No. 4 Mary Free Bed Junior Pacers, and No. 2 BlazeSports Junior Hawks could make their first National title game with a victory on Saturday morning. The No. 3 Courage Kenny Junior Rolling Timberwolves, with a win, could be in the championship game for the fourth consecutive year, winning a title in 2016 and 2014.
The Mavericks nearly doubled up the BORP Junior Road Warrios, 54-29 to advance, while the Mary Free Bed Junior Pacers rolled into the semi-finals by defeating the 2016 runner-ups TIRR Houston Hotwheels, 58-49.
The Timberwolves were pushed in the quarterfinals and escaped onto the semi-finals by holding off the RIC Racers, 50-49. The BlazeSports Hawks move forward with their win over the WASA Junior Bucks, 53-38.
The other semi-final contests will be:
Adult Division II – No. 9 Detroit Diehards vs. No. 5 Cleveland Wheelchair Cavs; and No. 3 DFW Freewheelers vs. No. 15 LA Clippers Chairmen
Adult Division III – No. 1 LWSRA Hawks vs. No. 5 Orlando Magic Wheels; and No. 3 Las Vegas Yuccas vs. No. 7 Oklahoma Rollin’ Trojans
Junior Division, Prep League – No. 9 LWSRA Hawks vs. No. 4 RHI Jr. Racers; and No. 6 WASA Junior Bucks vs. No. 10 Oklahoma Blaze
Junior NIT – Denver Rollin’ Nuggets vs. Michigan Rollin’ Pistons/Challengers; and Lakeshore Lakers vs. Peoria Wildcats
Friday was closed out with the Per4Max Shootout presented by Spinergy, which is a shooting contest for a member from the Junior Division's Varsity league, and was a crowd favorite as 16 Junior-aged athletes advanced to the championship finals set for Saturday at 4 p.m. Eastern,on court four.
The Top End Talent Identification Clinic was overwhelmingly received as more than 75 Junior-aged athletes were instructed on the various wheelchair basketball techniques, drills, and skills for two hours by the U.S. Men'sand Women's Coaching Staffs, and a group of Top End endorsed athletes who have won 48 Paralympic Games medals.
The 2017 NWBT presented by ABC Medical is the largest ever with 95 teams competing in two divisions (Adult and Junior) for National Championships in five classes and a title for the Varsity National Invitational Tournament. The NWBT features a total of 190 games on 12 courts, with Saturday featuring all placement games and bronze-medal games. Saturday will close with the Varsity National Invitational title game at 4 p.m. Eastern.
The semi-final winners will advance to the NWBT’s Championship Sunday with the Prep Division starting the day at 8 a.m., with Varsity following at 10:30, and the Adult D-I, D-II, and D-III following.
Individual tickets are available for the 2017 NWBT presented by ABC Medical. Event tickets sold at the Kentucky Exposition Center will be: $32 for adults for all sessions or $19.00 per day. Children 11-18 will be $12 for all sessions and $10 per day. Children 10 and under are free.
The brackets for the 2017 NWBT can be found by clicking on the appropriate link below: