Once again, Minnesotans won’t have the Gophers to cheer on in the NCAA tournament. But that doesn’t mean state fans won’t have local March angles. Here’s a list of 10 former Minnesota high school stars who have played key roles to get their teams into the 68-team field:
Tyus Jones (Apple Valley) Freshman, Duke
The highest-profile Minnesotan in the tournament will be Jones, who as a freshman point guard will be asked to direct his team — the No. 1 seed in the South Region — to another NCAA title. Don’t bet against him because he’s been at his best in big games; he’s averaging 11.6 points and 5.8 assists while shooting 38.3 percent from three-point range.
Marvin Singleton (Hopkins) Senior, Northern Iowa
He’s started all 33 games for the Panthers, who are a trendy mid-major pick to reach the Final Four after a 30-3 regular season. Singleton has averaged 5.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and shot 54 percent from the field.
J.P. Macura (Lakeville North) Freshman, Xavier
The 6-5 guard suffered a right ankle sprain and missed the Big East championship loss to Villanova. That could be a big loss for Xavier, because Macura is a key reserve, averaging 5.6 points and hitting 34.1 percent of his three-point attempts.
Kyle Washington (Benilde-St. Margaret’s)
Sophomore, NC State
The 6-9 forward spent three years at BSM before transferring to Brewster Academy for his final prep season. He’s started 18 games for the Wolfpack, averaging 6.7 points and 4.3 rebounds.
Zach Stahl (Hopkins) Junior, Northeastern
He played 38 minutes in the CAA championship game victory over William & Mary, leading his team in rebounds (10) and assists (five). Stahl has started 33 games, averaging 8.3 points and 5.9 rebounds.
Wheeler Baker (Osseo) Freshman, Albany
The former Osseo star is a top reserve for the Great Danes as a true freshman. The 6-2 shooting guard is averaging 5.6 points, shooting 37.4 percent from three-point range.
Seth Hinrichs (Clara City) Senior, Lafayette
The versatile 6-8 forward is second on his team in scoring (13.1) and rebounding (5.8). He’s effective inside and outside, hitting 51 of 130 three-point attempts (39.2 percent).
C.J. Neumann (Cretin-Derham Hall) Junior, Wofford
Neumann, 6-7, is a top reserve for Wofford, which is making its second consecutive tournament appearance. He’s averaging 20.4 minutes off the bench, with 4.1 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 52.8 percent from the field.
Siyani Chambers (Hopkins) Junior, Harvard
The 6-foot point guard drives the Crimson offense, averaging 9.8 points, 4.3 assists and 1.5 steals. He’s also shooting 34.2 percent from three-point range. He’s playing in his third NCAA tournament in a row.
Jonah Travis (DeLaSalle) Senior, Harvard
Travis will be playing in his fourth consecutive NCAA tournament at Harvard, which brings a 22-7 record into the tournament. The 6-6 forward averages 6.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and is shooting 53.8 percent from the field.