With the NCAA Tournament only two weeks away, teams across America are racing to claim the 68 available places in the legendary competition. But will there be any British players involved?


London-born forward Patrick Nyeko looks the most likely candidate. His Nevada team will almost certainly be the No. 1 seed in the WAC tournament, and playing in their home state, they’ll be heavy favourites to win the tournament and book a place in the Big Dance.

Aaron Geramipoor took a big step towards the tournament on Tuesday as Seton Hall defeated Georgetown, the eighth-ranked team in the country. But the inconsistent Pirates then took a step back on Saturday, losing at home to a mediocre Rutgers side. Seton Hall is in position to claim one of the ‘at-large’ NCAA Tournament bids given to the 37 best teams which don’t win their league, but a loss to lowly DePaul on Saturday would likely change that.

Alex Marcotullio’s Northwestern are another team Lunardi reckons are good for an at-large spot, but only just. A win over Penn State on Saturday – including 12 points from Marcotullio – kept them in the hunt, and now a win over Iowa this weekend is essential.

Teddy Okereafor’s VCU team are also hoping for an at-large bid, but Lunardi has them just outside the 68-team field right now. Winning the Colonial Athletic Association tournament (they finished second in the league in the regular season) would put them in automatically.

Will Neighbour and UALR completed their regular season with an overtime loss to North Texas – Neighbour had eight points and seven rebounds – and a victory over Arkansas State (10 boards from Neighbour). That makes them the second seed in this weekend’s Sun Belt tournament. Nothing less than winning the tournament will be enough for UALR to make the Big Dance, but No. 1 seed Middle Tennessee is the overwhelming favourite.

It’s a similar situation in the NEC, where Ben Mockford’s St Francis will need to go through a very strong No. 1 seed in Long Island. St Francis lost both their games this week and dropped to the No. 4 seed, but Mockford scored in double figures in both contests.

Shane Walker’s Loyola Maryland clinched the No. 2 seed for their conference tournament after beating Manhattan on Sunday, with Walker scoring six points and grabbing five rebounds.

In the America East conference tournament, two Brits will be fighting it out for the conference’s automatic NCAA bid. Danny Carter’s Stony Brook won two games this week to clinch the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Carter had five points and four rebounds against Maine, whose Falkirk-born big man Alasdair Fraser had 12 points and 10 boards. Fraser and Maine face an uphill battle in the tournament, as they will face No. 2 seed Vermont in the first round.

Ashley Hamilton and Loyola Marymount arguably have an even tougher battle. If they win their first-round matchup in the WCC tournament, they’ll likely need to replicate the loss they handed No. 1 seed St Mary’s a couple of weeks ago, and defeat either Gonzaga or BYU in the final. LMU aren’t exactly in form at the moment, either – they lost to San Diego and barely beat Santa Clara, two of the weaker teams in the WCC, this week. Hamilton had 15 points in the former game, and eight points and seven boards in the latter.

Andrew Lawrence’s Charleston Cougars team will also have a tough path in their conference tournament. They need three victories to reach final the final, where No. 1 seed Davidson would probably await, though the Wildcats’ Scottish forward Ali Mackay is unlikely to feature – he’s played just 19 minutes all year.

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