Introducing Cinderella: Texas Southern heading to third tournament in four years

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Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference

Coach: Mike Davis (Texas Southern)

Record: 24-11 (16-2)

Ratings and Rankings:

Kenpom: 205
RPI: 120
AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding: With champions from the MEAC, Big Sky, Big West and Southland all with inferior RPIs compared to Texas Southern, it’s likely that the Tigers will avoid Dayton and the No. 16 line all together. Entering the day, NBC Sports latest bracket projected the Tigers to be a No. 15 seed, squaring off with Duke.

Names you need to know: Zach Lofton is the team’s leading scorer at 17.4 points per game. Demontrae Jefferson, the diminutive freshman floor general, is a human-highlight reel and 7-foot-1 Marvin Jones is the conference’s defensive player of the year.

Stats you need to know: The Tigers don’t shoot the ball well from deep. In fact, both of their top scorers are sub-30 percent shooters from distance. Texas Southern likes to get to the line where a quarter of its points comes from. As a team, the Tigers shoot at a 74 percent clip.

Big wins, bad losses: Best wins would technically be back-to-back road wins at Rice and La Salle in November. Assuming TCU hears its name called on Selection Sunday, the Tigers have lost to five NCAA Tournament teams (Arizona, Louisville, Cincinnati, TCU and Baylor) by an average margin of 30.8 points. Texas Southern also lost in overtime to Mississippi Valley State (7-25). It was the Tigers first of two conference loses to teams with losing records.

How’d they get here?: Aside from a few slip ups in conference play and a few close calls against Alcorn State, it was another impressive year in the SWAC for the Tigers. Texas Southern actually clinched its tournament berth after a semifinal win over Grambling State because Alcorn State, the other SWAC finalist, was ruled ineligible for the NCAA Tournament.

Outlook: Not great. If Texas Southern’s non-conference performance against a handful of tournament teams is any indication of what’s to come, Mike Davis and Co. will be one-and-done.

How do I know you?: Mike Davis, in his fifth season at Texas Southern, took Indiana to the 2002 national championship game. It’s the third time the Tigers have reached the NCAA Tournament during his tenure.

Also, Trae Jefferson YouTube mixtapes. Enjoy.

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.