ARKANSAS CITY -- Fort Scott Community College's basketball teams will be playing in a new division beginning next season under a realignment plan approved by Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference presidents recently.
The 19 members of the KJCCC will be split into three divisions: West, East and a new division called -- at least tentatively -- East Division II.
This setup puts the conference's four Division II basketball schools into their own division. Joining Fort Scott in this division will be Johnson County, Highland and Kansas City. FSCC and KCKCC moved to Division II this season.
The 15 Division I schools will play in the other two divisions. Remaining in the West will be Barton, Cloud County, Colby, Dodge City, Garden City, Hutchinson, Pratt and Seward County. Butler will move into the East to join Allen, Coffeyville, Cowley, Independence, Labette and Neosho County.
The Division I post-season tournament will continue to have 16 teams as Northwest Kansas Tech, a school in Goodland which started playing basketball this season, will be seeded as the No. 8 team on the East side of the bracket beginning next season. NWKT is an independent school.
The Division II post-season tournament includes the four KJCCC D-II teams and independents Brown Mackie and Hesston.
For this season, with only 15 KJCCC Division I teams and just six of those in the East, the Division I bracket will be filled out by putting NWKT in as the No. 7 East seed and the ninth-place finisher in the West in as the No. 8 East seed. That means that this season, for the first time since the Division I tournament was expanded to 16 teams, every Kansas junior college will participate in post-season play.
The realignment plan does not affect other KJCCC sports. In baseball, 18 of the 19 schools are Division I with Dodge City the lone Division II school. All Division I volleyball and softball schools play in the West while all the Division II teams play in the East.
* -- Division II basketball schools.