11 Minnesotans to watch in the NCAA Tournament - Bring Me The News

11 Minnesotans to watch in the NCAA Tournament


The NCAA Tournament begins Tuesday night and despite very few marquee names from Minnesota, our state is represented by 10 former Minnesota high school stars and one familiar coach.

Ex-Gophers head coach Tubby Smith was the Big 12 Coach of the Year and the Sporting News National Coach of the Year leading Texas Tech to an 8-seed in the tourney.

Former Lakeville North shooting guard J.P. Macura leads the list of players from Minnesota. Here's the rest.

Xavier - 1

  • J.P. Macura: sophomore guard from Lakeville North was the Big East Sixth Man of the Year while scoring 9.6 points per game. He's best known in Minnesota for hitting a wild buzzer beater in the state tournament.


Fresno State - 1

  • Cullen Russo: former Bloomington Kennedy standout is a 6-foot-9 starting forward averaging 8 points and 6.2 rebounds while shooting 42 percent from the field. He plays about 26 minutes per game.

Wisconsin - 2

  • Jordan Smith: senior guard from Orono rarely plays.
  • Alex Illikainen: freshman forward from Grand Rapids doesn't see a lot of action and averages 2.3 points off the bench.

South Dakota State - 2

  • Logan Doyle: sophomore forward from Alexandria has played in only six games this season.
  • Ian Thiesen: sophomore forward from Osseo is averaging 6.2 points and 3.5 rebounds while playing 15-20 minutes a game. Theisen hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer to give Osseo a state championship over Lakeville North during his senior year of high school.


Tulsa - 1

  • Marquel Curtis: senior guard from Robbinsdale Armstrong is averaging 6.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists while averaging 25 minutes per game off the bench.

Cincinnati - 1

  • Kyle Washington: former Champlin Park forward sat out after transferring from North Carolina State. He averaged 6.8 points and shot 46.7 percent from the field last season.

Northern Iowa - 1

  • Justin Dahl: 2015 grad from Holy Family Catholic but hasn't played yet this season.

Oklahoma - 1

  • Akolda Manyang: former Duluth East sat out after transferring from Indian Hills Community College in Iowa.

Next Up