March Madness is here. On Sunday, the US NCAA Division 1 Collegiate Tournament bracket was set, and at least five Filipino-Americans will compete.
Kihei Clark, the fifth-year point guard of Virginia, will return. The Cavaliers won the NCAA championship during Clark's freshman year in 2019.
The University of Southern California (USC), meanwhile, is also in the big dance led by Fil-Am senior guard Boogie Ellis, who began his collegiate career in Memphis before transferring to USC before his junior season.
University of California-Santa Barbara will feature another Fil-Am Josh Pierre-Louis. The senior guard is the younger brother of Nate Pierre Louis, a G League prospect of the Los Angeles Lakers. Their father, Frantz, played in the PBA and the NBA.
Kicking off the tournament will be senior guard Jarod Lucas and the Nevada State University Wolfpack.
Lucas helped Oregon State University reach the Elite 8 in 2021, earning all-tournament honors. He transferred to Nevada for his junior year.
On the coaching side, University of Kansas returns with assistant coach Curtis Townsend, who has been part of two national title squads, including last year's championship run, which featured Fil-Am Remy Martin.
In the women's tournament, Duke University junior Vanessa de Jesus is set for her March Madness debut, as the Blue Devils return to the competition for the first time in five years.