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Introducing Cinderella: The East Tennessee State Buccaneers are headed to the NCAA tournament

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Conference: Southern

Coach: Steve Forbes

Record: 27-7 (14-4 T-1)

Ratings and Rankings:

Kenpom: 66
RPI: 60
AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding: Coming out of the Southern likely means the Buccaneers are likely headed for somewhere in the 12- or 13-seed range.

Names you need to know: There’s one here that stands above the rest: T.J. Cromer. The 6-foot-3 guard is the type of player that can engineer an upset by himself on the right March day. The senior is averaging 19.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He’s shooting 40.7 percent on 3-pointers (putting up over 230 attempts) and 51.2 percent on 2s while chucking a ton of shots. He’s also an 80.8 percent free-throw shooter. Other players to keep an eye on are Desonta Bradford, Tevin Glass, A.J. Merriweather and Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Indiana transfer), who all average at least 8 points per game.

Stats you need to know: The Bucs can shoot the heck out of the ball, ranking 13th nationally with an effective field goal percentage of 56.1, but their problem is the possessions where they don’t shoot as one of the country’s most prone to turnovers offenses. Cromer is one of the highest-volume shooters in the nation, hoisting up nearly a third of his team’s shots while he’s on the floor. On the defensive end, East Tennessee State is an extremely opportunistic defense as they swarm for steals and blocks.

Big wins, bad losses: The Bucs’ best win came in December when they knocked off Mississippi State, 67-65, in Starkville. They got swept in the regular season by Southern co-champ UNC Greensboro while also losing to Wofford on the road.

How’d they get here?: East Tennessee State avenged those two losses to the Spartans by building a 12-point second-half lead and then surviving a Greensboro comeback attempt that featured a potential game-tying 3-pointer with 5 seconds left in a game in which the Bucs shot 52.8 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3. That title game victory came after East Tennessee State dispatched Mercer and Samford without much issue in the earlier rounds.

Outlook: East Tennessee State is likely to get a tough draw, so it’s hard to see them advancing unless Cromer goes nuts. That’s certainly a possibility. Cromer has six games of 25-or-more points, and he exploded for 41 in the Southern semifinals in which he drilled nine 3s. If he gets hot, high seeds should look out.

How do I know you?: East Tennessee State coach Steve Forbes is probably the most recognizable person in the program, and he’s probably best known for being on Bruce Pearl’s staff that was fired at Tennessee amid the infamous Aaron Craft cookout photo “scandal.” Forbes got hit with a one-year show-cause penalty, went to junior college purgatory where he had major success – appearing in two national title games – before resurfacing back in Division I at Wichita State under Gregg Marshall before getting his first head coaching shot in Johnson City, where’ he’s won 51 games in two years. It’s quite the comeback story, and one that could send Forbes even higher up the coaching ladder.

VIDEO: Jay-Z’s nephew posterizes nation’s No. 1 recruit Marvin Bagley III

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Nahziah Carter is an unsigned 6-foot-6 wing in the Class of 2017.

He’s also Jay-Z’s nephew, and he just so happened to posterize Marvin Bagley III — the clearcut No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2018 — while Hova was in the stands watching him.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.