Today sees the start of March Madness where the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament bounces through the rest of the month until April 4th. There will be a total of 16 games with one winning team declared champions but sports commentators know that for a team to win they need that one star player. Fizzdot check out what’s going on and profile the star players who could determine their team’s overall success in the NCAA tournament in 2016.
For avid fans: DIRECTV has launched an exclusive on-screen interactive bracket app! This means that by tuning into channel 701, avid fans can make their picks.
Frank Mason III, Kansas I No. 1 seed, South
Frank Mason has been hailed as the Jayhawks’ best player. This is interesting because when you look into it, Perry Ellis puts up the big numbers and Wayne Selden Jr is the one who’s always showing up in the highlights. However, the 5-11 junior is the one to watch because he carries this team as the best all-rounder: averaging 13.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.7 assists a game, our money is on Mason III.
Tonye Jekiri, Miami I No. 3 seed, South
Tonye Jekiri has taken his time in the Hurricanes and now it seems he’s suddenly blossomed. His 7 foot frame now being instrumental to the team’s success. averaging 8.0 points and 8.9 rebounds a game as a senior.
Ivan Rabb, Cal I No. 4 seed, South
Another freshman who has yet to be seen for the star that he is, is Ivan Rabb. He’s among the tallest at 6-11 but often overshadowed by Jaylen Brown whilst in the Bears. He’s averaging 12.5 points and 8.5 rebounds a game making him a crucial player for the Bears to get a look in.
Alex Poythress, Kentucky I No. 4 seed, East
For Alex Poythress, it’s going to be all about the first rond with Stony Brook where it’s predicted her will be on the mission to stop Jameel Warney. Poythress is the unsung star of the interior presence and is just the utility man the team needs to succeed.
Matt Costello, Michigan State I No. 2 seed, Midwest
Matt Costello has risen to prominence this season. He’s the 6-9 senior who is truly excelling in his new role as the all- star man, averaging 10.4 points and 8.2 rebounds. What defines Costello though is his full-on, dogged energy providing the fuel to get the wind into and hustle into the Spartans.
Chris Boucher, Oregon I No. 1 seed, West
Chris Boucher is the key to his team as a great all-round star player in the Ducks. The 6-10 senior forward gives Dana Altman a running chance of doing well as he proved in a dominant 31-point win against Utah. It was Boucher who had 15 points, going 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. He’s on it and he’s serious.
Khadeem Lattin, Oklahoma I No. 2 seed, West
Khadeem Lattin has been overshadowed in The Sooners by Buddy Held, the shooting guard but Lattin is the one who has lifted this team. Back in January, the 6-9 sophomore forward had a game-winning tip-in against West Virginia.
Jalen Brunson, Villanova I No. 2 seed, South
When Jalen Brunson rocked onto Jay Wright’s team he fit right in like he’d been part of the veterans for his whole life. Truth is, he’s just a 6-3 freshman who plays great in the backcourt with Josh Hart and Ryan Arcidiacono. For this team to win, Brunson is their best bet cos he ticks all the right boxes.
Mike Tobey, Virginia I No. 1 seed, Midwest:
He’s a big 7 foot feature, the senior Mike Tobey is coming into his own this year averaging 6.8 points and 4.3 rebounds. Signs that Tobey could be the man for Coach Tony Bennett —were demonstrated against Louisville earlier this month, with 15 points and 10 rebounds showing that the big man can break out.
Monte Morris, Iowa State I No. 4 seed, Midwest
Monte Morris has been under the radar as the 6-2 junior is the best point guard that no one’s even heard of. This is a mistake because he is one to watch even though he’s been overshadowed by Georges Niang . He averages 13.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 6.9 assists a game. The Cyclones have underachieved but Morris could be their man to change things for them this season.
Luke Kennard, Duke I No. 4 seed, West
Freshman Luke Kennard is the partner that Grayson Allen needs to complement him in the backcourt. We’ve also seen him seriously turn on the offensive when it’s needed making him the rising star of the season.
Jevon Carter, West Virginia I No. 3 seed, East
The Mountaineers really need to count on Jevon Carter in 2016 because he is the leader of their key tactic: he leads the steal. At 6-2, he’s a worthy sophomore and averages 9.7 points a game and leads the team with 3.3 assists per game.
Edmond Sumner, Xavier I No. 2 seed, East:
If anyone deserves to shine it’s Edmond Sumner. In a Hollywood movie-style he has overcome injury to rise to the floors of greatness in his team, really proving himself in February with a win against Villanova where he had 19 points, six rebounds and nine assists.
Brandon Taylor, Utah I No. 3 seed, Midwest
Brandon Taylor, 5-10 is the speedy sprite getting center Jakon Poeltl the ball. He’s a veteran when it comes to leadership as a great scorer. But it’s his role at creating for others that makes him instrumental to their success. Hhe finished with 19 points and five steals in a big win against Arizona.
Alex Caruso, Texas A&M I No. 3 seed, West
Alex Caruso averages 7.8 points and 5.1 assists a game and this senior guard is the leader of this well-balanced Aggies team. He’s already been one to watch as a key fixture in A&M’s regular-season SEC title.