Who are the French at the start of the March Madness?

Since Joakim Noah and the golden generation of the Florida Gators, titled in 2006 and 2007, no Frenchman has won the American University Championship. However, in recent years, three Habs have reached the final: Killian Tillie with Gonzaga in 2017 (65-71 against North Carolina), Josh Mballa with Texas Tech in 2019 (77-85 ap against Virginia) and Joël Ayayi in 2021 with Gonzaga (70-86 against Baylor).

As the 2022 “March Madness” begins this Thursday, with the Final Four in New Orleans in the line of sight (April 2-4), eight French players have obtained the right to participate in the tournament with their university. With real chances of seeing Louisiana for some, and almost nothing to hope for others.

Tyger Campbell (10) dribbles past Arizona Wildcats Oumar Ballo (left) eAdama Bal (right).  (Stephen R. Sylvania/USA Today Sports/Reuters)

Tyger Campbell (10) dribbles past Arizona Wildcats Oumar Ballo (left) eAdama Bal (right). (Stephen R. Sylvania/USA Today Sports/Reuters)

The former rear of the federal center, international youth, has chosen to join Thomas Lloyd, ex-historic assistant to Gonzaga and for the first time head coach, at the Wildcats. His varsity, Arizona, earned South Region No. 1 seed status. For his first year, Bal (18 years old, 1.98m) played 22 matches, with admittedly limited playing time (4 minutes on average).

Daniel Batcho (in white) wrestling under the basket with Tyrese Hunter.  (A. Kontras/USA Today Sports/Reuters)

Daniel Batcho (in white) wrestling under the basket with Tyrese Hunter. (A. Kontras/USA Today Sports/Reuters)

A French sector is gradually settling on the side of Lubbock (Texas): after Mballa, two French players are part of the Red Raiders squad this season, and have played a real role in a university seeded n ° 3 in the West region. For his third season on the spot, the playing time of Nadolny, point guard of 21 years (1.91 m), the playing time of Nadolny doubled (15 minutes per game), and he offered himself a record 17 points in January against Kansas Jayhawks.

Inside Daniel Batcho (2.11 m), he could not play last season with Arizona, injured in a knee. He therefore made his debut with his new university in October and, in an average of 10 minutes, was interesting on the rebound in particular (2.8 per game).

Quentin Diboundje: 19 years old, Tennessee

The playmaker (1.93m) has hardly played all season with the former university of Yves Pons: he had to settle for six match ends (5 minutes and 2 points on average). However, her university is one of those to watch in the South region, where she is seeded No. 3.

Alex Tchikou: 19, Alabama

After experiencing a ruptured Achilles tendon and a lost season, the situation did not really improve for the strong winger: three (short) appearances at the end of November and then nothing. If the University of Alabama is ranked No. 6 in the West region, the French interior (2.11 m) invariably remains at the end of the bench.

Alexis Yetna (in white) looks for the opening to the basket.  (W. Cruz/USA Today Sports/Reuters)

Alexis Yetna (in white) looks for the opening to the basket. (W. Cruz/USA Today Sports/Reuters)

For his first season with the Pirates, he confirmed the potential glimpsed in South Florida (2017-2021), where his rupture of the cruciate ligaments – which caused him to miss the 2019/2020 season – had not really had an impact. on its performance. In a university ranked No. 8 in the South region, the interior of 2.07 m played 30 matches, including 17 in the starting five (8.4 points, 7.8 rebounds in 24 minutes on average).

On February 18 against Iowa, Moussa Diabaté (#14) scored 28 points for Michigan, his NCAA record.  (J. Becker/USA Today Sports/Reuters)

On February 18 against Iowa, Moussa Diabaté (#14) scored 28 points for Michigan, his NCAA record. (J. Becker/USA Today Sports/Reuters)

After two seasons in “Prep school” which allowed him to become one of the most sought-after young players in the United States, the interior of 2.10 m joined Michigan and was one of the most prominent French in recent months in the First Division, established 24 times (9 points, 5.9 rebounds in 24 minutes). The Wolverines, No. 11 in the South region, are not the most anticipated of the tournament.

Tanguy Touze, 21, Jacksonville State

The former Vanves back played little with Jacksonville State University (No. 12 in the Midwest region): 2 minutes on average in 7 days. His team will have a hard time facing Auburn (No. 2) in the first round.

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