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Introducing Cinderella: The Iona Gaels are headed to the NCAA tournament

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Conference: Metro Atlantic Athletic

Coach: Tim Cluess

Record: 22-12 (12-8 T-3)

Ratings and Rankings:

Kenpom: 119
RPI: 100
AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding: With an RPI hovering around the triple-digits, look for the Gaels to be seeded 14th or 15th.

Names you need to know: Jordan Washington has helped fill the void left play star A.J. English, by putting up 17.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. He’s shooting better than 50 percent from the field and gets to the line a ton. Jon Severe is the Gaels’ sharpshooter, converting 43.9 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. Sam Cassell, Jr. and Rickey McGill are both double-figure scorers.

Stats you need to know: Few teams center their offense around a player like Iona does around Washington. He’s scored more than a fifth of the team’s overall points and shoots 36.1 percent of the team’s shots when he’s on the floor, which ranks fifth in the country, per KenPom.

Big wins, bad losses: The Gaels bested Nevada on a neutral in November, but were bested by Delaware, Fairfield, Quinnipiac and Rider, who all are slotted outside the KenPom 200.

How’d they get here?: Iona rolled Rider in its first postseason game and then outlasted Saint Peter’s in the semis. The Gaels avoided MAAC top seed Monmouth after the Hawks lost to four-seed Siena. The title game was a classic with both Iona and Siena trading big shot after big shot before the Gaels came out on top in overtime, 87-86.

Outlook: This Gaels team doesn’t feel as dangerous as last year’s team that was a trendy upset pick that ultimately couldn’t escape the first round, but they do have a go-to player in Washington and a supporting cast capable of getting buckets. It’s hard to escape the 14 or 15 line, but Iona’s got some chops and Tim Cluess is coaching in his fourth NCAA tournament.

How do I know you?: The Gales were the team last year that denied the Monmouth bench mob from an NCAA tournament experience, besting the Hawks, 79-76, to earn their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2013.

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 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.