It’s one of the most exciting times of the year in sports: March Madness. On Sunday, the bracket for the men’s college basketball tournament was revealed, and on Monday the women’s field was set.
Not surprisingly, a few members of the Golden State Warriors have alma maters who are dancing this college basketball season. Let’s check in on who has an investment in the two tournaments.
The big winner: Damion Lee
For most players, a good year constitutes having their school play in both the men’s and women’s tourneys. But Warriors wing Damion Lee is taking it to another level.
Lee has two alma maters, and they’ve combined to put three teams in the tourneys. Lee spent parts of four seasons at Drexel, which is putting a team in both tourneys. With that said, they’re both long shots. On the women’s side, the Dragons are a No. 14 seed, tasked with playing No. 3 Georgia. It’s even grimmer in the men’s bracket, where Drexel is seeded No. 16, and has a date with No. 1 Illinois.
But Lee played his final college season at Louisville, and that’s where he looks primed for a deep run. The Cardinals are a No. 2 seed in the women’s bracket, and should have an easy first round game against No. 15 Marist. However, making the Final Four will be a hard task, as they’re in the same region as the No. 1 overall seed, Stanford.
The rivals: Draymond Green and Kevon Looney
Draymond Green and Kevon Looney both attended schools with rich basketball history: Michigan State and UCLA, respectively. That rich history is on a bit of a hiatus, as both men’s teams had disappointing seasons, and are currently far from the powerhouses that they once were.
But they do get to do something exciting, which is play each other. Which can only mean one thing: Green and Looney will be exchanging some money this week. It’s just a matter of who gets richer.
Michigan State and UCLA are both No. 11 seeds in the men’s tourney, and will face each other in one of the four play-in games. The winner will get a date with No. 6 BYU in the first round.
Green’s alma mater is the No. 10 seed in the women’s bracket, with a game against No. 7 Iowa State, while Looney’s looking a bit better in that regard. The Bruins earned a No. 3 seed in the women’s tourney, and have a favorable matchup against No. 14 Wyoming.
The favorite: Jordan Poole
The Warriors only have one player this year from a school with a No. 1 seed: Jordan Poole. Poole’s alma mater, Michigan, earned one of the four top seeds in the men’s bracket, and will be favored to make the Final Four. Their main competition in their region is No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Texas, and No. 4 Florida State.
Poole is one of four Warriors — along with Lee, Green, and Looney — to have at least two teams in the tourney, as Michigan is also a No. 6 seed in the women’s tournament, and starts things off against No. 11 Florida Gulf Coast.
The other No. 1 seeds this year are Illinois, Baylor, and Gonzaga on the men’s side, and Stanford, Connecticut, South Carolina, and North Carolina State on the women’s side.
The strong competitors: Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre Jr., Nico Mannion, Mychal Mulder, Damion Lee, and Kevon Looney
Poole may be the only Dub representing a No. 1 seed in a tourney, but there are a few breathing down his neck. As previously mentioned, Lee’s Louisville Cardinals are a No. 2 seed in the women’s tourney, while Looney’s UCLA Bruins are a No. 3 seed on the women’s side.
The Warriors have a few others in the top four. Nico Mannion (and Steve Kerr) will be representing Arizona, who earned a No. 3 seed in the women’s tourney, and a first-round contest against No. 14 Stony Brook. Over on the men’s side, Kansas — the alma mater of the Warriors starting wings, Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr. — is also a No. 3 seed, and will face No. 14 Eastern Washington in the first round.
Finally, Mychal Mulder’s Kentucky squad is no longer the powerhouse that it used to be in men’s basketball, and failed to make the tournament (there’s no Kentucky or Duke this year on the men’s side, which feels weird). But the women’s team is a No. 4 seed, and will face No. 13 Idaho State in round one.
The rest of the field: Eric Paschall, Klay Thompson, and Juan Toscano-Anderson
Three other Warriors players have teams in the tournament. Eric Paschall’s Villanova squad is the No. 5 seed in the men’s tourney, with a first-round date against No. 12 Winthrop. Klay Thompson is repping Washington State, which earned the No. 9 seed in the women’s tournament, and a contest against No. 8 South Florida. And Juan Toscano-Anderson — a Marquette product — will watch the Golden Eagles women’s team pit their No. 10 seed against No. 7 Virginia Tech.
Missing out on the fun: everyone else
There’s no dancing this year for Steph Curry (Davidson), Kent Bazemore (Old Dominion), Brad Wanamaker (Pitt), James Wiseman (Memphis), or Marquese Chriss (Memphis). Or for Alen Smailagić, since he didn’t go to college.
Good luck to all the Warriors alma maters, and good luck to yours if they’re in one of the tourneys.