COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Here at 270 Hoops, it’s important for us to track and monitor the success of former players at the next level.
For seven former area alums, they will have a chance to compete for a national championship starting Friday when March Madness kicks off.
Let’s take a look at which former 270 hoopers you can follow during the most exciting tournament in all of sports.
#13 Ohio University: Ben Roderick (Olentangy Liberty, ‘19), Sam Towns (Pickerington Central, ‘19)
First Round: vs #4 Virginia, Saturday 7:15pm Led behind second-year head coach Jeff Boals, the Bobcats are back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2012 when they nearly knocked off North Carolina in the Sweet 16. Ohio has strong momentum after a dominating performance en route to winning the MAC Tournament. Sophomore Ben Roderick has been a huge reason why. The former Liberty Patriot is a regular starter and averages over 12 points while shooting over 40% from three. Freshman Sam Towns has appeared in 15 games and averages just under eight minutes a game.
#8 North Carolina: Sterling Manley (Pickerington Central, ‘17)
First Round: vs #9 Wisconsin, Friday 7:10pm The former Pickerington Central star unfortunately has had his collegiate career plagued by injuries. After he missed all of the previous season, the redshirt junior made his season debut in the Tar Heel’s final regular season game versus Duke and also appeared against Notre Dame in the ACC tournament where he recorded a block in both contests.
#12 Winthrop: Josh Corbin (Gahanna, ‘19)
First Round: vs #12 Villanova, Friday 9:57pm The Eagles should be on your radar as a potential Cinderella team. Considered one of the tournament’s best mid-majors, Winthrop finished the season 23-1 and was dominant in the Big Sky tournament. Corbin, a redshirt freshman, appeared in every game this season and averaged over six points and shot over 40% on three-point attempts.
#3 Arkansas: Jalen Tate (Pickerington Central, ‘16)
First Round: vs #14 Colgate, Friday, 12:45pm After he transferred from Northern Kentucky to spend his graduate senior season at Arkansas, Tate has been a strong contributor for one of the best teams in the SEC. The former Tiger averages over 10 points and logs nearly 30 minutes per game. The Razorbacks look to make the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1996.
#2 Ohio State: Seth Towns (Northland, ‘16)
First Round: vs #15 Oral Roberts, Friday 3pm The Buckeyes are final four contenders with a talented and deep roster. The grad senior transfer Seth Towns, a former Ivy League Player of the Year, has been an excellent contributor off the bench after he missed his last two seasons at Harvard due to injuries. Towns averages 10 minutes a game and has shown flashes of his talented offensive ability that we saw at Northland and Harvard. The Buckeyes will need solid effort from players like Towns to fulfill its aspirations for a national title.
#8 Loyola Chicago: Braden Norris (Hilliard Bradley, ‘18)
First Round: vs #9 Georgia Tech, Friday 4pm The Ramblers finished the season ranked in the top 20 and considered one of the nation’s best mid-major teams. After Norris transferred from Oakland and sat out last season, Norris was a regular starter in his first eligible season with the Ramblers and shot 40% on three-point attempts. The former Jaguar lead guard had perhaps his best game of the season in the Missouri Valley tournament championship as he scored 20 points along with three assists. The Ramblers have a tough potential second-round match against Illinois, but are looking for March magic similar to their Final Four run in 2018.