Minneapolis is hosting this year's NCAA men's basketball Final Four, and there's a chance it'll be a homecoming for a few players.
Tre Jones (Apple Valley), a freshman point guard at Duke, gets most of the attention as a Minnesota graduate playing for one of the best teams in college basketball, but a couple of studs just across the border in Wisconsin are also key players on a top-10 team.
No, we're not talking about Brad Davison (Maple Grove) and Nathan Reuvers (Lakeville) of the Wisconsin Badgers. We're talking about Theo John and Sacar Anim and the Marquette Golden Eagles.
Could Wisconsin make a run? Sure, but Marquette is 19-3 and ranked 10th in the country, and John and Anim are playing big roles as starters for the Golden Eagles.
Anim, a redshirt junior from who won multiple state championships at DeLaSalle, starts at small forward. He had 12 points in Marquette's road win over Butler on Wednesday night.
"Sacar is an unbelievable player,” Golden Eagles leading scorer Markus Howard told the Marquette Wire after the game. “He is, in my opinion, one of the best two-way players in our conference."
John is a massive human. He's 6-foot-9 and has turned what was a muscular frame as an All-State player at Champlin Park into an even more intimidating presence as a sophomore in college.
"He’s a rim protector, he’s physical, he rebounds, he covers a lot of our mistakes. That’s a big-time thing," said Marquette head coach Scott Wojciechowski earlier this week, via the Marquette Wire.
John isn't asked to do much scoring (6.4 points per game), but he leads the Big East with 2.3 blocks per game. He had a monster game with 16 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks against DePaul recently, and earlier this season blocked seven shots in a win over 14th-ranked Buffalo.
Marquette is projected as a 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament in the latest bracketology from ESPN's Joe Lunardi. If they do wind up with a high seed, they'll be among the favorites to make a deep run in the tourney, which ends with the Final Four at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.