Local flavor in the NCAA Tournament

While none of the local schools made it to the Big Dance for the second year in a row, there are still a handful of players with Utah ties who will be in action when the tournament starts on Thursday.

Here is a look at those players and how they performed during the 2017-18 season.

Note: Former Utah guards Devon Daniels and JoJo Zamora are currently enrolled on teams that made the tournament, but are sitting the year out due to transfer rules. Daniels is at North Carolina State while Zamora is at New Mexico State.

Makol Mawien, sophomore, forward, Kansas State

The former Granger High School star and University of Utah redshirt has been a valuable contributor in his first season with the Kansas State Wildcats. He most impressive showing of the year came in a Big 12 tournament loss to Kansas when he totaled a game-high 29 points on 13-for-19 shooting from the floor and 3-for-4 from the foul line. He added four rebounds, two steals and a pair of blocks in 34 minutes.

On the season, he averaged 7.1 points on 63.4 percent shooting with 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 19.3 minutes.

Mawien and the No. 9 Wildcats play on Friday afternoon at 4:50 p.m. MT against the No. 8 Creighton Bluejays on TNT.

Carson Shanks, senior, center, Loyola-Chicago

The former Utah State redshirt transferred to Loyola-Chicago for his final year of college ball and saw limited action for the Missouri Valley Conference regular season and tournament champs.

He played 29 minutes over 11 games where he managed 10 points on 50 percent shooting from the field while grabbing four rebounds and blocking a shot.

The No. 11 Ramblers play their first game of the Big Dance against the No. 6 Miami Hurricanes on Thursday afternoon at 1:10 p.m. MT on TruTV.

Connor Fulton, freshman, guard, Ohio State

The Alta High School graduate didn’t see much time on the floor during his first season for the 24-8 and No. 5 seeded Ohio State Buckeyes.

He played nine minutes over four games and totaled a point and a rebound.

The No. 5 Buckeyes open up their tournament run on Thursday at 2 p.m. MT when they play No. 12 South Dakota State on TNT.

Mark Jackson, freshman, center, Penn

The former East High School big man is in his first year with the Ivy League champion Penn Quakers, but didn’t see any action this season.

The No. 16 Quakers have a brutal matchup on Thursday as they face the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks at Noon MT on TBS.

Jesse Wade, freshman, guard, Gonzaga

The former Davis High School star is in his freshman campaign with the West Coast Conference champion Gonzaga Bulldogs. In 20 games of action, he totaled 26 points on seven rebounds, six steals and four assists in 103 minutes.

His best game of the season came in a 106-69 win over Howard when he recorded nine points on 3-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc in 12 minutes.

Wade and the No. 4 Bulldogs play their first round game against the No. 13 UNC Greensboro on Thursday morning at 11:30 a.m. MT on TNT.


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