This is about the time that the average bracket builder starts paying attention to college basketball and for people like me who have been watching closely the entire season, I’d advise you to not even bother. It is safe to assume all of the teams ranked within the top 10 of the top 25 teams will be going to the big dance but despite their ranking, none of these teams are entirely upset proof. 21 times a non ranked team has upset one of the current 10 best teams in the country which means the saying “Anything can happen in March” is truly alive and will certainly happen. Although the season has really been a roller coaster for just about every team a few notable players have emerged from teams you may or may not have heard of. To save you from doing some research, here are the best college basketball players that you need to start paying attention to.
Jared Terrell G Rhode Island
The Rams have been one of the most consistent teams in college basketball this season aside from a tough loss on the road this past week. A lot of their strong performances are in large part due to senior guard Jared Terrell who is currently averaging around 17 points per game. Terrell likes to attack the basket and there are few defenders who can stand in his way. With a similar play style as LeBron James given his ability to knock down from range and also get to the cup, Terrell is a player to keep an eye on.
Manu Lecomte G Baylor
Over the past few weeks I’ve been watching a lot of Baylor basketball against good opponents and by far their most dynamic offensive contributor is Manu Lecomte. Lecomte has the rare ability to create his own shot with deadly mid range and three point shooting. He’s played well against strong opposition averaging just about 15 points per game when facing ranked opponents. Expect much more to come from Lecomte and the Baylor Bears as the post season starts to roll around.
Vincent Edwards F Purdue
Purdue has been one of the most surprising teams this season currently ranked sixth in the nation. Many thought the loss of star big man Caleb Swanigan meant the end for Purdue but a resurgence from their two current big men Vincent Edwards and Isaac Haas has resurrected their season. Edwards is currently averaging 15 points per game along with just under 8 boards. Haas is arguably the most dominate center in the nation and teams will focus so heavily on trying to stop him it will give Edwards more opportunities to score some points.
Kyle Guy G Virginia
I think Virginia is a very safe team to trust during the tournament and when betting. What sets them apart from their competition is their ability to play strong, blue collar defense and always prevent opposing teams from getting second chance points. Kyle Guy has shown he’s an elite defender going up against some of the best guards in the nation but he’s also one of the most consistent shooters at around 40% from the field and beyond the arc.
There are certain things to start looking for in teams that are very consistent and less likely to make an early exit in march madness. A big indicator of a strong contender is whether or not they have a multiple guys that could have a big game on any given night. When making your picks don’t just look at the stats for the entire season, be sure to go game by game and see if a team fell apart when their star player wasn’t hitting his shot or if the rest of the team picked up the slack.