- National Teams
With March Madness underway with the NCAA Tournament, only one Brit remains as the rest complete their college seasons.
Gabe Olaseni is the last Brit standing in the NCAA Tournament as Iowa advanced to the Third Round. The senior centre contributed 6 points, 6 rebounds and three blocks in an 83-52 win over 10th seeds Davidson – with Ali Mackay coming on for the final minute. Olaseni was named Big-10 Sixth Man of the Year for his efforts from the bench throughout the season, and once again played an important role for the Hawkeyes as they move on to face 2nd seeds Gonzaga on Sunday.
Earlier on Friday, last summer’s GB under-20 back-court duo Luke Nelson and Alex Young suffered an agonising defeat with UC Irvine as they went down 57-55 against 4th seeds Louisville. Nelson – who finished with 10 points and 5 rebounds – put the Anteaters into the lead with just under a minute remaining, but they were forced to rue a crucial turnover on the final possession as they looked to force overtime. Young added six points and five assists.
UC Irvine had booked their spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in its history after winning the Big West Championship.
Charleston Southern earned a place in the National Invitational Tournament by virtue of winning the Big South regular season title. The Bucaneers lost their opening round game with Old Diminion claiming a 65-56 victory with senior forward Will Saunders adding 13 points and five rebounds in the loss.
Teddy Okereafor also had an extended season with Rider competing in the College Basketball Invitational, but the Broncos bowed out at the first hurdle; falling to a 62-59 defeat against Loyola Chicago. Okereafor had 13 points for Rider. Seattle also earned a place in the CBI and won their opening game with a 62-45 victory over Pepperdine with Jack Crook scoring nine points. The Redhawks missed out on a NCAA tourney berth after losing their Conference Championship game to New Mexico State last weekend.