NBA D-Leaguers Make Their NCAA Tournament Predictions

Jawad Williams won an NCAA title at North Carolina.
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Iowa's Denham Brown (Connecticut):

"When we won it all in 2004, the UConn women did the same. It's time for a repeat performance with both the men and women winning it all in 2009."

Iowa's Jackie Manuel (North Carolina):

"Carolina’s going all the way! The team goes as Ty Lawson goes – If he has a strong tournament, they have a real chance.”

Rio Grande Valley's Jawad Williams (North Carolina)

“I'm pretty sure they'll make it to the Final Four. The thing after that is if they still have their legs and the will power to go in and win the whole thing. They definitely have the talent and team depth to do so.”


Austin's DeMarcus Nelson (Duke)

“This year we have become a championship team in winning the ACC Tournament. I look forward to the guys continuing that mindset straight to the Final Four and onto a National Championship.”

Los Angeles' Earl Barron (Memphis)

“We should have won last year. One shot, one play would have made a big difference. We would have been National Champs. We have a good team, almost as good as last year. They’re running good, pretty hot, and it’s the right time of year to go into the tournament. People can say what they want about Conference USA, but they are a good team and they’re going to give some teams a run for their money.”

Chris Ellis will be rooting for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
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Bakersfield's Mateen Cleaves (Michigan State)

“I think Michigan State has a really good chance of getting to the Final Four this year. They’re solid, they play hard and being in the Midwest bracket has advantages for the Spartans. I’ve been speaking to Coach Izzo over the past few weeks…he’s extremely busy, but he’s excited to see how his guys perform.”

Bakersfield's Terrell Everrett (Oklahoma):

“The Sooners have the best player in college in Blake Griffin, and if they can get past my home-state (SC) Clemson Tigers in the second round, then the only team keeping them from the Final Four is North Carolina – which will be a great game between Griffin and last year’s best player, (Tyler) Hansbrough. If we get past the Tar Heels there’s no stopping the Sooners.”

Tulsa's Keith Clark (Oklahoma)

"Oklahoma’s going to win the whole thing. I have a lot of faith in my fellas. Boomer Sooner!"


Colorado's Billy Thomas (Kansas):

“We’re still the champions until someone knocks us off! I like our chances with a young, energetic team. In this tournament, anything can happen – it’s a crapshoot.”


Sioux Falls' Chris Ellis (Wake Forest)

"If Wake plays solid defense they have the potential to do well in the Tournament – they have all the pieces.”

Rio Grande Valley's Trent Strickland (Wake Forest)

“I have some really high expectations. I know they're young, but they're really talented - probably one of the most talented teams in basketball, so hopefully they can go out and win it.”

Austin's Stanley Burrell (Xavier)

“I’m hoping my team can repeat what we did last season (Elite Eight), but with the NCAA Tourney you never know what can happen. I’m definitely wishing them the best and I’ll be following them as close as I can.”

Will Conroy is looking for a good showing from his Washington Huskies.
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Albuquerque's Will Conroy (Washington)

"As you know, Washington just won the PAC-10 conference championship. With our seeding, we will be playing in Portland, Oregon which essentially is a home game for us. I believe UW will make it out of the region and head into the Sweet 16. UW is very well coached and has both a great freshman in Isaiah Thomas and a great senior in Jon Brockman."


Sioux Falls' Michael Joiner (Florida State):

"I’m glad to see my alma mater in the Tournament. I know it has been a long time coming for the program and those guys have worked hard to get there – I’ll be watching and cheering for the Seminoles!”


Austin's Serge Angounou (Arizona State)

“ASU definitely has a chance to get to the Elite Eight or Final Four because we have the best shooting guard in the country, James Harden. He is unselfish and can score. By his side, we have a very smart point guard (Glasser) and a powerful center (Pendergraph) who can shoot, jump, and play some good defense. Coach Herb Sendeck is a very smart coach.”


Los Angeles' Ryan Forehan-Kelly (California):

“We got a new coach, Coach Montgomery, so I’m excited to see what he can do with our new team; it’s a whole new look at Cal. We got the 7 seed, a tough first game against Maryland, but that’s why we play and why we work hard. Hopefully we’ll go deep in the Tournament”

Colorado's Vernon Hamilton (Clemson):

"I’m excited about Clemson’s chances. I know what we’re capable of doing and I expect Casey Rivers to really step up as a senior and have a breakout Tournament. I like our chances to go to the Sweet 16.”

Albuquerque's Steve Allen (Clemson):

"Clemson is all about pride and fighting until the end. Coach Purnell stresses never to give up and to fight hard. I think we can get to the Sweet 16 and as far as the Elite 8."

John Lucas is looking for a big tournament for the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
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Rio Grande Valley's Craig Winder (Texas):

“They gotta really have it at the end. Some of the guys have been stepping up recently. I'll give them the Elite 8 and a fighting chance to get to the Final Four. It was a little bit of a down year for us, but we always find a way to make it to the Sweet 16 and Elite 8.”


Iowa's JamesOn Curry (Oklahoma State):

"I love watching them play, its like the cowboys of old with their intensity and emotion. I love it, it gives me the chills every time I see them play! I wish the Cowboys as much success as they can get all the way to the Final Four... cinderella baby! The nation better watch out. Do it big boys! Good luck, Go Pokes! I am extremely proud of the Cowboys especially Obi (Muonelo), Terrel (Harris), and Byron (Eaton). I know what those guys have been through personally and that is true perseverance.”

Colorado's John Lucas III (Oklahoma State):

"I think they have a pretty good shot in the first two rounds – but you always have to see how the Tournament goes. If they come out and play hard, they have a good shot to make the Sweet 16.”

Erie's Ivan Harris (Ohio State):

"They have been fighting pretty hard all year. They’re a young team and they are really playing together as a team which is what it takes this time of year –I think they can go pretty far!”


Rio Grande Valley's Stanley Asumnu (Tennessee)

“After they get through the first game, they'll most likely play Pitt. That's a great opportunity for them. Hopefully they'll just take it one game at a time and take advantage of this great opportunity.”

Marcus Williams thinks the Arizona Wildcats could surprise in the tournament.
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Fort Wayne's Chris Hunter (Michigan)

“I’m very excited that the Wolverines are back in the Tournament this year. It’s been a while since we’ve been there. When I was there, we were on the bubble a few times but unfortunately we never made it, so it’s good to see that the new coaching staff has been able to build on what we tried to start. I’m looking forward to seeing the Wolverines make some noise in the Tournament – I will definitely be tuned in. Go Blue!”

Los Angeles' Lawrence McKenzie (Minnesota):

“I’m proud of the Minnesota guys. I called coach yesterday and a couple of my former teammates. I’m one year out so I know everyone on the team. I’m proud of those guys because two years ago some of them were on a team that went 9-22 and they finally get a chance to see the tournament.”

Rio Grande Valley's Jeff Trepagnier (USC):

“They had an up and down year this year. They put together some nice big wins this past week and hopefully they can keep it going and make a run in the NCAA Tournament.”


Iowa's Mark Tyndale (Temple):

"We have a great team and I like the match-up against Arizona State. I like our shooters against the ASU zone. Temple is on upset alert!"


Austin's Marcus Williams (Arizona)

“Arizona has a chance to surprise some people--they have a lot of young talent in Budinger and Hill, and with a new coach. People are saying they don’t deserve a bid so they have a lot to prove. I think if they play with a chip on their shoulder they can make it to Detroit.”


Dakota's Carlos English (Cleveland State):

“I really think they can make a run in the Tournament. They are one of the few teams in the country that plays solid team defense and everyone is identified to a role on the team and they follow there roles very well. That’s why they are Horizon League champions.”