The NCAA Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments are now upon us and there are a couple of story lines in each tournament that can be directly related to Minnesota State athletics.
In the men’s tournament, Wake Forest earned the #9 in the East Region and play #8 seed, Texas tonight (Thursday) at 8:35. Former Maverick athletic director Ron Wellman is the current AD at Wake Forest.
The University of Northern Iowa men’s program is the #9 seed in the Midwest Bracket and opens the tournament against the #8 seed UNLV, tonight (Thursday) at 6:10. The Panther’s point guard, Kwadzo Ahelegbe is the younger brother of former Maverick player and current Maverick assistant coach Gameli.
On the women’s side, there are also two connections to the Mavericks. Minnesota State head men’s basketball coach Matt Margenthaler’s younger brother, Ty, serves as an assistant coach for the University of Wisconsin. The Badgers – who are in the tournament for the first time since the 2002 season – are the #7 seed in the Kansas City Regional and take on the #10 seed, Vermont Sunday at 11 a.m., in South Bend, Ind.
Minnesota State assistant women’s basketball coach Megan Vogel was a four-year standout and an assistant coach for former North Central Conference member South Dakota State who won the Summit League and advanced to the tournament for the second straight year. The Jackrabbits, are the #14 seed and will play 3rd-seeded Oklahoma Sunday in the Norman, Okla.
Are there more connections that I am forgetting? If so, post them in the comments.