NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAM PROFILES
THESE TEAMS ARE NOT LOCKS FOR THE NCAA TOURNAMENT. ONLY THE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT WINNERS ARE LOCKS. THESE TEAMS ARE ON THE BUBBLE.
CONNECTICUT: The Huskies have 4 players averaging 11.6 points per game or higher. Seton Hall transfer G Sterling Gibbs (12pts, 2.5ast) has added stability to the back-court. 6’7″ SG/SF Daniel Hamilton (11.6pts, 8.7reb, 4.8ast) can do a little bit of everything on the court and is their most important player.
ST. BONAVENTURE: The Bonnies have been a huge surprise and are on a roll right now. G Marcus Posley (19.3pts, 3.3reb, 3.6ast) and fellow G Jaylen Adams (18.2pts, 3.6reb, 5ast) form a lethal back-court. They are one of the hottest teams entering the tournament.
SYRACUSE: Jim Boeheim doesn’t have much of a bench, however the players who start are pretty good. Senior F Michael Gbinije is the star and G Trevor Clooney (12.9pts, 2.5reb, 2.4ast) has made big shots his entire career. The X-factor for Syracuse is their vaunted zone defense, which can cause problems in the NCAA tournament when there is not a lot of time to prepare.
OREGON STATE: The Beavers have been a pleasant surprise in the PAC-12 this season. G Gary Payton II and F Tres Tinkle (13.1pts, 5.4reb) lead Oregon State in scoring. Payton II s one of the better guards in the country and a pleasure to watch. The Beavers are one of the most improved teams in america.
COLORADO: The Buffaloes have been very competitive in the tough PAC-12 Conference. F Josh Scott (16.5pts, 8.7) is their top player. He receives help from G George King (13.3pts, 4.8reb) and G Josh Fortune (10.4pts, 3.9,2.4ast). Colorado is battle tested playing in the PAC-12.
SAINT JOSEPH’S: Head Coach Phil Martelli’s team is led by the duo of F Isaiah Miles (18pts, 8.1reb) and 6’6″ F DeAndre Bembry (17pts, 7.8reb, 4.5ast). Only a junior, Bembry is one of the best players in the A-10 conference and a legitimate NBA prospect. The last time Saint Josephs was in the NCAA’s they lost in the first round to UCONN in OT (2014). UCONN went onto win the national championship.
TEMPLE: Senior G Quentin DeCosey (15.7pts, 5.9reb, 2.6ast) is a really good player. The Owls have 4 other players who average 8 or more points per game. This is a well-balanced team who plays very good defense.
WICHITA STATE: It was 2 years ago that the Shockers were the talk of the entire college basketball world. It was 4 years ago that Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet (12pts, 3.1reb, 5.7ast) stepped onto Wichita State’s campus. They will leave as 2 of the greatest players to ever play at the school. Do they have one last big NCAA tournament run in them?
SUMMIT LEAGUE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT WINNER
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE: SD State beat rival North Dakota State in the conference tournament final. The 26-win Jackrabbits are led by 6’9″ freshmen F Mike Daum (15.2pts, 6.1reb). G George Marshall (14.9, 3.5reb, 2.7ast) and G Deondre Parks ( 14.7pts, 4.7reb, 1.5ast) form a very talented back-court. Any team that wins 26 games in a season must be taken seriously come NCAA tournament time.
HORIZON LEAGUE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT WINNER
GREEN BAY: The Phoenix enter the NCAA’s having won 23 games on the season. G Carrington Love ( 17.7pts, 2.8reb, 3.5ast) leads the way for the Horizon League champions. Fellow back-court mate G Jordan Fouse (12.8pts, 8.4reb, 3.3ast) provides assistance.
NEC CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT WINNER
FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON: What a difference from last year when FDU won under 10 games. This year is a whole different story. Balance is key with this team. 5 players average 9.8 points per game or more. Sophomore G Marques Townes (11.5pts, 4reb, 2.6ast), a high school teammate of 2015 #1 overall pick Karl Anthony-Towns has had a nice season. Earl Potts Jr. is the teams go to player.
PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT WINNER
HOLY CROSS: The Crusaders entered the conference tournament with just 10 wins. 4 days and 4 wins later they are headed to the Big Dance. They shocked Lehigh 59-6 in the championship. Junior F Malachi Richardson (12pts, 5.5 reb) had a great game against Lehigh. Freshmen G/F Karl Charles (10.8pts, 4.3reb, 2.5ast) made the All-Rookie Team in the Patriot League. He was a top 150 prospect before a torn ACL his junior year of high school and Bill Carmody stole him from bigger name schools.