Ranking the 10 best players left in the NCAA Tournament field
March Madness is in full-swing and with the Sweet 16 field decided, MFST is bringing you the ten best players left in the NCAA Tournament. These rankings have zero value when it comes to NBA Draft potential, we are basing it on skill, entertainment value and importance to their team.
1. Buddy Hield- Oklahoma
Kind of a no-brainer, right? Hield does it all for Oklahoma, and without him we are looking at a bubble team instead of a 2-seed in the NCAA Tournament. Coming off of a MCM performance for the ages, if the Sooners are going to advance past Texas A&M, Buddy’s magic and hot shooting from behind the arc will need to be prevalent. Through two games, Hield is averaging 31.5 PPG|6 RPG|1.5 APG all while shooting 45% from three.
2. Malcolm Brogdon- Virginia
Brogdon is not the flashiest player in the tourney, heck the Cavaliers play a slow, boring style of basketball, but if you enjoy one player completely shutting down the opponents best player, Malcolm Brogdon is your guy. He can defend multiple positions and quarterback’s Tony Bennett’s aggressive defensive style on the floor. Brogdon is solid on the offensive end as well, averaging 16.5 PPG in the first two games of the tournament, shooting over 52% from the field.
3. Yogi Ferrell- Indiana
Indiana’s all-time assists leader has managed to fly under-the-radar this NCAA Tournament, but won’t be able to much longer. Ferrell has carried this Hoosier team for much of the season, and now with their younger guys–specifically freshman center Thomas Bryant stepping up, the pressure will begin to trickle off of his shoulders. With that happening I actually expect to see his 19 PPG in the tourney to increase, making him a must-watch player in the Sweet 16.
4. Georges Niang- Iowa State
If you listened to the My Fantasy Podcast this week, you know Brandon Reid loves him some Georges and it’s hard not to. There may not be a more versatile or dangerous 1-on-1 scorer in the country than Niang. Posting the same stat lines back-to-back to kick off the NCAA Tournament is special, especially when they are as good as this….28 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists, all while shooting 54% from the field.
5. Dillon Brooks- Oregon
The most under-appreciated and under-the-radar player in the NCAA Tournament has to be Dillon Brooks. He was robbed when the Pac-12 named Utah’s Jakob Poeltl as Conference Player of the Year. With a stat line this season of 17 PPG| 5.6 RPG| 3.1 APG his versatility makes the Ducks offense go. Like Brooks, Oregon is not getting much hype this time of year and could be a very sneaky pick to make the Final Four.
6. Brice Johnson- North Carolina
The best big man left in the tournament. Johnson is averaging a double-double this season, but he’s made tremendous strides on the defensive end of the floor in the last three weeks. And it’s that improvement defensively that has changed this Tar Heel team.
7. Grayson Allen- Duke
Allen is the best player right now on a Duke roster that has very little depth. Averaging almost 22 PPG this season, Allen is deadly from long-range and has an uncanny ability to drive the lane. He can go off anytime and if he does, the opposing team better watch out.
8. Angel Rodriguez- Miami
Rodriguez has had an unbelievable NCAA Tournament posting 24 pts|7 reb|4 ast|3 stl against Buffalo and following that up with a 28 pts|2 reb|5 ast|4 stl performance against Wichita State. The senior guard is the lifeblood of the Hurricanes team and they will go as far as he and backcourt mate Sheldon McClellan will take them.
9. Domas Sabonis- Gonzaga
Former All-American Kyle Wiljer might be the ‘Zags’ best offensive weapon, but Sabonis is the team’s most crucial one. The 6-11 sophomore is a force in the paint and plays with a tenacity that gives the Bulldogs a backbone and an identity atypical of most Mark Few teams. No other team in the tournament has a versatile center quite like him. To beat Gonzaga, Sabonis (17.5 ppg, 11.7 rpg) must be stopped.
10. Diamond Stone- Maryland
Melo Trimble receives all the fan-fare on this Maryland team, but without Stone they would not even be in the Sweet 16. The 6’11 freshman is a force defensively clogging the lane and disrupting shot after shot. He is also a force in the paint on offense, averaging 21.9 PPG and 9.8 RPG per 40 minutes. If the Terps are going to upset No.1 seed Kansas, Stone will need to dominate.