NCAA Tournament: Most Outstanding Player Candidate from Each Team


March 25

This March Madness has indeed shown us that if you’re in the dance, you can win the dance. All No. 1 seeds have been eliminated, and only one No. 2 seed remains in Texas. With no clear-cut frontrunner to cut down the nets, here’s our candidate from each team to earn the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player honors.#9 Florida Atlantic- Johnell Davis

The world has been introduced to the Florida Atlantic Owls this tournament, with Johnell Davis leading the charge. Averaging nearly 19 points per game through the first three tournament games, he’ll be relied on in a close game to spark this team. He’s been up to the task all year and surely will be with a trip to the Final Four on the line against Kansas State tonight.

#6 Creighton- Ryan Kalkbrenner

Creighton is incredibly well-balanced, which could have a few guys as candidates if the Bluejays continue their run, but Kalkbrenner has been the most impressive thus far. In his seven-foot frame, Kalkbrenner sets the tone on both sides of the floor and can do it all. Dropping 31 against NC State and 22 against Princeton, look for Creighton to expose his matchup as the tournament continues.

#5 San Diego State- Darrion Trammell

The Aztecs win with their defense, as we saw against Alabama, proving they aren’t just a fluke from the Mountain West. They’ve had a different leading scorer in each tournament game and only have one player averaging double-digit points all season, so we’ll side with the recency bias and go with Trammell here. After being down big early in the second half, Trammell led the comeback charge, finishing with 21 points.

#5 Miami- Norchad Omier

This might be an unpopular choice given the Hurricanes’ incredible guards, most notably with ACC Player of the Year Isaiah Wong. Still, none of the offensive explosiveness would be possible without Omier’s play. Despite his smaller frame at only 6’7″, Norchad’s averaged nearly 15 rebounds per game and has been an incredible paint defender despite the lack of blocks. Earning praise from Houston’s Kelvin Sampson, Omier’s play will be vital to Miami’s success.

#4 UConn- Adama Sanogo

Averaging roughly 23 points and 10 boards through three tournament games, Sanogo has the Huskies as co-favorites to win the whole thing on the FanDuel Sportsbook. He’s incredibly efficient and poised defensively while possessing great basketball IQ, a package you don’t see much with college big men. He can very well put his team on his back and win the whole thing.

#3 Kansas State- Markquis Nowell

Where were you when Markquis Nowell took over the basketball world? Dropping 20 points and 19 dimes in the Sweet 16, Nowell dismissed the critics who said his 5’8″ frame could hold back K-State. The dude literally faked arguing with his coach to throw an alley-oop from nearly half-court in a tied overtime game – who does that? Regardless of how K-State’s run ends, Nowell definitely has given us a run to remember.

#3 Gonzaga- Drew Timme

So how old is Timme now, 30? In what he says is his final year at Gonzaga, Timme has continued to be an offensive tank, averaging over 28 points per game this March, with his team flying incredibly under the radar. His matchup tonight against Adama Sanogo and Huskies will be must-see television, with the two big men battling it out to make their mark on this March Madness.

#2 Texas- Marcus Carr

Marcus Carr leads the tournament’s highest remaining seed, a team that’s overcome so much this year. The senior guard does it all for the Longhorns, averaging 15 points per game this tournament and being the leader on and off the floor. One might assume Carr and the Longhorns are, by default, in the driver’s seat to cut down the nets, but in a wide-open field, Carr will need to continue to make his mark.

Thumbnail photo via Michael Ciaglo-USA TODAY Sports

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