Raiders' Players Showcase Rooting Interests In March Madness


Welcome to the madness.

March Madness officially kicks off today as the 64-team field begins their prospective march to the Final Four, which begins April 2 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Over the new few weeks, busted brackets, buzzer beaters and Cinderella stories will take center stage, and the Raiders will be locked in just like everybody else.

This season, the Silver and Black have 16 players from 13 universities that are represented in the NCAA Tournament.

Let's find out which schools the current Raiders will be rooting for once the madness gets underway.

Kansas (No. 1 Seed, South Bracket)– The Raiders currently have two former Jayhawks on the roster, linebacker Ben Heeney and cornerback Dexter McDonald. Kansas, one of the favorites to cut the nets down, begins their tournament against No. 16 seed Austin Peay.

Oklahoma (No. 2 West Bracket) – Stacy McGee is the lone University of Oklahoma-product on the roster, and his No. 2 seeded Sooners start the tournament with a matchup against the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners.

West Virginia (No. 3 East Bracket) – With the recent signing of Bruce Irvin, the Silver and Black now have a connection to West Virginia University. The Mountaineers open tournament play with a game against the No. 14 seed Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks.

Utah (No. 3 Midwest Bracket) – The Raiders boast two former Utah Utes on the roster, Keith McGill and Sean Smith. Their alma mater hits the hardwood to begin their tournament run against Derek Carr's No. 14 seed Fresno State Bulldogs.

Miami (Fla.) (No. 3 South Bracket) – Both Jon Feliciano and Clive Walford played their collegiate football at the University of Miami. In an interesting draw, the Hurricanes start the tournament against Khalil Mack's No. 14 seed University of Buffalo Bulls.

Iowa State (No. 4 Midwest Bracket)—Last week the Raiders signed Kelechi Osemele, who played his college football at Iowa State. Osemele's Cyclones open tournament play with a matchup against the Iona Gaels.

California (No. 4 South Bracket) – The local team in the tournament, the University of California, is also the alma mater of kicker Giorgio Tavecchio. The Golden Bears start their NCAA journey against the No. 13 seeded Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors.

Maryland (No. 5, South Bracket)– Jon Condo's Terrapins enter the NCAA Tournament as a No. 5 seed in the South Bracket. They'll begin their tournament run Friday squaring off No. 12 seed South Dakota State.

Notre Dame (No.6 East Bracket) – George Atkinson III's Notre Dame Fighting Irish start their run in the East bracket by squaring off with the University of Michigan.

USC (No. 8 East Bracket)– Not only did current linebacker Malcolm Smith play his college football for the University of Southern California, so did Head Coach Jack Del Rio. The Trojans begin their run through March against the No. 9 seed in the East bracket, the Providence Friars.

Texas Tech (No. 8 Midwest Bracket)—Michael Crabtree's alma mater, Texas Tech University, enters the tournament as the No. 8 seed in the Midwest bracket, and begin the tournament with a showdown against the No. 9 seed Butler Bulldogs.

Fresno State (No.14 Midwest Bracket)—It's a battle of offense against defense as Derek Carr's Fresno State Bulldogs square off against Keith McGill and Sean Smith's Utah Utes in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

Buffalo (No. 14 South Bracket)– The University of Buffalo is where defensive standout Khalil Mack played his college football, and as we mentioned earlier, the Bulls will open tournament play against the University of Miami.

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