This week, 24 teams will make their way to America’s Heartland for this year’s NJCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The tournament will tip-off on Sunday and continue throughout the week with all the games taking place at Hutchinson Sports Arena in Hutchinson, Kan.

The championship will be at 1 p.m. March 30.

Making their fourth consecutive appearance (and 13th total) are the Odessa College Wranglers.

Coached by Kris Baumann, the Wranglers (24-8) enter the tournament as the No. 13 seed and will face No. 20 seed Trinidad State (25-7) at 7:15 p.m. Sunday.

The Wranglers are hoping to win their first ever national championship, but they know they’ll have plenty of tough competition to face at the biggest stage in junior college basketball.

The winner of the Odessa College-Trinidad State game will go on to face No. 4 seed Vincennes in the second round at 12 p.m. Tuesday.

Vincennes (30-3) is another big-name school in JUCO basketball as the Trailblazers have been regulars in the NJCAA Tournament, making their 10th appearance since 2013 and winning a national championship in 2019.

The No. 1 seed in the tournament is Barton College (32-1) which is also on the Wranglers’ side of the bracket.

“I’ve looked at the teams in the tournament and on our side of the bracket is Vincennes and they’ve had a great year,” Odessa College head coach Kris Baumann said. “Barton has had a great year and so has Northwest Florida. Those are all household names in junior college.”

Indian Hills (27-5), which knocked Odessa College out in the quarterfinals of last year’s tournament, is also back, entering at the No. 5 seed.

The defending national runner-up Northwest Florida Raiders (28-5) are also on the Wranglers’ side of the bracket, as the No. 8 seed.

The Raiders have made two-consecutive appearances in the national championship game, winning the title in 2022.

That’s just on one side of the bracket.

The other side will feature another team from the Western Junior College Athletic Conference with the South Plains College Texans (31-2) as the No. 2 seed.

The Texans have won three national championships since 2008 with their most recent title coming in 2018.

Odessa College has played South Plains College three times this season and has come up short each time, losing 67-66 on Feb. 1 at the OC sports Center, 63-60 on March 4 at the Texan Dome in Levelland and 63-53 in the Region V semifinal on March 15 at the Betty Jo Graber Athletic Center in Weatherford.

The Texans have a first-round bye and will face the winner of Panola and Jones College in the second round at 7:15 p.m. Monday.

Also on that side of the bracket are No. 6 seed Chipola College (29-4) and No. 3 seed Salt Lake Community College (30-3).

Salt Lake Community College has made four appearances in the national championship game since 2008, winning the title in 2009 and 2016. The team finished runner-up in 2022.

Trinity Valley (26-7) will also be in this year’s tournament, coming in as the No. 10 seed and will face Georgia Highlands (19-14) at No. 23.

“South Plains College is on the other side and Trinity Valley and Chipola,” Baumann said. “I think it’s all the big names in junior college. I think this is the best tournament they’ve had as far as all the best teams in the country that have qualified through their regions or gotten at-large bids. I think this is going to be a tough tournament and the games are going to be entertaining.”

One key name missing from this year’s tournament is defending national champion John Logan College as the team went 15-16 this year.

The tournament will officially begin with No. 16 seed Daytona State facing No. 17 seed Walters State at 10 a.m. Sunday.

The Wranglers will have the second-to-last game on Sunday.

This year’s tournament will also be live-streamed on ESPN+.