BLUE DRAGONS HOOPS RANKED NUMBER ONE IN THE NJCAA

By Steve Carpenter

HCC Sports Information Director

For the first time in 18 years, the Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team is ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Rankings.

The NJCAA released the first poll of 2011 on Tuesday and the Blue Dragons (14-0) assume the top spot after previous No. 1 North Idaho College suffered a pair of losses in Salt Lake City on Dec. 10 and 11.

The last time that Hutchinson was ranked No. 1 in a regular season poll was on Jan. 7, 1992. The Blue Dragons started that season 15-0 and spent one week in the nation’s top spot before getting bumped off. That team finished 22-7 and was Region VI runner-up.

The latest No. 1 national ranking is only the third NJCAA No. 1 ranking since 1975.

The 1974-75 Blue Dragons, coached by Dick Gisel, started their season 24-0. That Blue Dragon team finished 32-3, won the Jayhawk West and Region VI crowns and finished eighth in the 1975 NJCAA Tournament. When Hutchinson won its national championships in 1988 and 1994, the Blue Dragons were ranked fifth and 10th, respectively, going into the NJCAA Tournament

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