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March 14, 2023 — Nine teams from Jesuit colleges and universities — five on the women’s side, four on the men’s — will take the court in this year NCAA Division I basketball tournaments. Read on to find out:

  • Which women’s program is heading to the Big Dance for the first time
  • Which men’s player won the Big East Conference Player of the Year
  • Which women’s player is led by a star from Dublin, Ireland, and which men’s team gets huge contributions from a native of Montreal, Quebec
  • Which three schools have both women’s and men’s teams in the tournament

Women

Creighton University Bluejays – 6 seed in the Greenville 1 Region

First round opponent: Illinois or Mississippi State

Players to watch: Lauren Jensen, Morgan Maly and Emma Ronsiek started all of Creighton’s 30 games this year, leading the Bluejays to their highest NCAA tournament seed in program history.

Emma Ronsiek (Photo by Andrew Grieve)
Kaylynne Truong

Gonzaga University Bulldogs – 9 seed in the Seattle 4 Region

First round opponent: Ole Miss

Players to watch: Yvonne Ejim leads the Bulldogs in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots, while Kaylynne Truong’s 160 assists are 85 more than the team’s second-place finisher in that category.

Marquette University Golden Eagles – 9 seed in the Greenville 1 Region

First round opponent: South Florida

Players to watch: Seniors Jordan King (15.9 points per game) and Chloe Marrotta (14.5 ppg and 9.1 rebounds per game) shared first team all-Big East honors this season.

Saint Louis University Billikens – 13 seed in the Seattle 3 Region

First Round opponent: Tennessee

Players to watch: Inside-outside combo Brooke Flowers and Kyla McMakin have led SLU to their first NCAA tournament appearance in program history.

College of the Holy Cross Crusaders – 15 seed in the Greenville 1 Region

First Round opponent: Maryland

Players to watch: Bronagh Power-Cassidy, a junior from Dublin, Ireland, leads the team in scoring. Janelle Allen, a member of the all-Patriot League third team, racked up 16 points and 5 rebounds in Holy Cross’ win over Boston University in the conference championship game.

Men

Marquette University Golden Eagles – 2 seed in the East region

First round opponent: Vermont

Players to watch: Big East Player of the Year Tyler Kolek averages 7.7 assists per game, second in the country. Versatile defender Olivier-Maxence Prosper, from Montreal, makes winning plays all over the court.

Colby Jones

Xavier University Musketeers – 3 seed in the Midwest Region

First round opponent: Kennesaw State

Players to watch: Souley Boum has led the Musketeers in scoring, assists and three-pointers made. Colby Jones has racked up a team-leading 46 steals while averaging over 15 points per game.

Gonzaga University Bulldogs – 3 seed in the West region

First round opponent: Grand Canyon

Players to watch: Senior Drew Timme became Gonzaga’s all-time leading scorer in the Bulldogs’ victory in the West Coast Conference championship game. Julian Strawther poured in 40 points against the University of Portland on January 28.

Creighton University Bluejays – 6 seed in the South Region

First round opponent: NC State

Players to watch: Ryan Kalkbrenner, a 7-1 center, has blocked a team-high 65 shots this season while averaging more than 15 points per game. Trey Alexander is shooting a scorching 44% from three-point land.

Ryan Kalkbrenner
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