- National Teams
March Madness is almost here and the NCAA D1 Men’s Basketball Tournament will feature no less than 8 Brits on the court, along with one assistant coach.
Montana State’s Jubrile Belo, Amin Adamu, Great Osobor and assistant coach Chris Haslam, along with Iowa’s Josh Ogundele and Jacksonville State’s Kayne Henry (due to the conference tournament winner being ineligible) were all automatic qualifiers with their respective schools after winning their respective conference tournaments, while Jeremy Sochan, Ndewedo Newbury, Nelson Boachie-Yiadom, all won at-large bids.
To keep on top of the Brits in March Madness, check out ESPN Player, who are sponsoring this post, as they will be showing 67 games from the tournament including Final Four and Championship Game and are offering a 15% discounted annual pass if you sign up during the March Madness period (£54.95 for 12 months) – March 15th to April 4th. All new subscriptions include a 7 day free trial up to the Elite Eight – sign up here!
Here’s a closer look at the Brits in the Big Dance:
Thursday 17th March, 6pm GMT
vs Norfolk State 
Jeremy Sochan and defending NCAA champions Baylor earned a top seed and will open the tournament against 16th-seeded Norfolk State (24-6) at a reasonable hour for UK fans. Sochan has won plaudits the season, helping the Bears to the Big 12 regular season title, while picking up Sixth Man of the Year averaging 8.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Sochan is a projected first round NBA draft pick in June, and a strong tournament run could see him move up the boards.
Baylor had a five-game winning streak snapped with a 72-67 loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals last Thursday.
Thursday 17th March, 1:40am GMT
vs Murray State 
Heading to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998, the University of San Francisco was officially selected as a ten seed in the East region, due to take on 7 seed Murray State in the first round.
Minutes have been hard to come by for the former Haringey Hawk, appearing in 11 games on the season averaging 1.7 points in 2.1 minutes per game. USF were dispatched in the West Coast Conference tournament semi-finals by Gonzaga.
Friday 18th March, 1:40am GMT
vs Michigan State 
Looking to finish his college career on a high Nelson Boachie-Yiadom and Davidson received an at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament, off the back of their Atlantic-10 regular season title.
The West Region’s 10th seed and take on seventh-seeded Michigan State on Friday, and 6’8″ Senior will be expected to feature, having averaged 17 minutes per game this year, averaging 2.3 points and 2.2 rebounds on 52.8% shooting.
The Wildcats are 27-6 overall, falling in the Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship on Sunday by just two, after giving up a 10-2 run in the final 1:22.
Thursday 17th March, 7:10pm GMT
vs Richmond 
Josh Ogundele and Iowa (26-9) punched their ticket to the NCAA tournament on Sunday after winning the Big Ten Tournament. They earned a No. 5 seed and will play Atlantic 10 Champions and 12th-seeded Richmond (23-12) on Thursday, at another reasonable tip off time for UK fans.
Ogundele appeared in 19 games in his sophomore year, averaging 1.5 points in 5.2 minutes. His season-best performance was a 7-point, 5-rebound effort against Purdue in December, while he added 5 points in the tournament title game.
Friday 18th March, 5:45pm GMT
vs Texas Tech 
The NCAA Division 1 programme with the biggest British contingent, Amin Adamu, Jubrile Belo, Great Osobor and Assistant Coach Chris Haslam will all be dancing for the first time, as the Bobcats booked their spot in the tournament for the first time since 1996.
Montana State (27-7) earned a No. 14 seed and will face No. 3 Texas Tech (25-9).
Friday 18th March, 4:40pm GMT
vs Auburn 
Kayne Henry and Jacksonville State were selected as the 15-seed in the Midwest Region and will face second-seeded Auburn on Friday afternoon
The ASUN Conference regular-season champions officially punched their ticket to the Big Dance last week when postseason-ineligible Bellarmine won the league’s tournament championship. The ASUN’s automatic qualifier reverted back to JSU, the outright regular-season champion at 13-3, who finished 3-0 against second and third-place teams, Liberty and Bellarmine.
Henry has been one of the Gamecocks top performers this season, starting every game and averaging 9.3 points and 5.6 rebounds on 49.% shooting. His top performance of the season was a 24 point outing against Bellarmine in January, while he had a 13-rebound game early in February against Jacksonville.
You can follow the Brits in action by watching the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on ESPN Player by clicking here.