2015 NCAA Tournament Preview: UC Irvine Anteaters

The UC Irvine Anteaters clinched their first NCAA Tournament berth in school history with a win over Hawaii in the Big West title game.


Record – 21-12 (11-5 in Big West)

RPI – 90

Strength of Schedule – 158

Starting Lineup:

G Luke Nelson (So.) – 10.5 ppg, 4.0 apg

G Alex Young (Jr.) – 9.6 ppg, 3.6 apg

G Travis Souza (Sr.) – 7.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg

F Will Davis II (Sr.) – 12.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg

C Mamadou Ndiaye (So.) – 10.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg

Key Player:
Mamadou Ndiaye

Ndiaye is the biggest player in the country at 7'6" and 300 pounds, and that size makes him a presence every time he's on the court, particularly on the defensive end. His offensive game is still developing, but he averages 1.7 blocks per game, anchoring UC Irvine's defense.

Biggest Strength:

Shot Blocking

Ndiaye is obviously a big part of this, but the Anteaters rank in the top 25 in the country in blocks because they have several players who are lethal shot blockers. Will Davis and John Ryan also average over a block per game, giving UC Irvine a rotation of big men that are all great on the defensive end.

Biggest Weakness:

Creating Turnovers

For as good as UC Irvine is protecting the rim, they aren't as good on the perimeter. They rank just 232nd in steals per game, which limits the amount of transition baskets they get.


UC Irvine has the potential to put up a fight against a higher seed, but they'll still lose in the first round.

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