Three Section II Players In NCAA’s
The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament gets underway on Thursday (well, really on Tuesday – but I’m not counting the “play-in” games) and the Capital Region will be well represented.
There will be 3 former Section II standouts playing in the NCAA Tourney this year.
BYU senior guard (and possible National Player of the Year) Jimmer Fredette and his Cougars are the 3rd seed in the Southeast Region. They will play 14th seeded Wofford on Thursday, March 17th in Denver. If BYU wins that game (and they will), they would then meet the winner of the #6 St. John’s/#11 Gonzaga game on Saturday, March 19th. Fredette (the Glens Falls graduate) leads the nation in scoring at 28.5 points per game. He also averages a team-leading 4.2 assists per game and 3.5 rebounds per game.
Talor Battle & Penn State earned their first trip to the NCAA’s since 2001 thanks to their play in the Big 10 Tournament this weekend. The Nitany Lions lost to Ohio State in the Championship game but their run to the finals put them in the Tourney. Penn State is the 10th seed in the West Region. They will face #7 Temple on Thursday in Tucson. If PSU wins that game, they would play the #2 San Diego State/#15 Northern Colorado winner on Saturday. Battle (Bishop Maginn HS graduate) averages 20 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3 assists per game.
Mark Lyons and Xavier also made the Dance as an at-large team. The Musketeers are the 6th seed in the East Region and will face #11 Marquette on Friday in Cleveland. If Xavier wins that game, they would then play the winner of #3 Syracuse/#14 Indiana State on Sunday. Lyons (Schenectady High School) was 2nd on the team in scoring – averaging 13.8 points. He also averages 3.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.
This is the first time since 2005 that either UAlbany or Siena didn’t make the NCAA Tournament.