2013 NCAA Tournament: Top 15 Players in the Final Four
Top 15 Players in the NCAA Final Four
It's hard to believe that the 2013 Final Four is already approaching. The 2013 NCAA Tournament is already three weeks deep and this weekend Atlanta will be in the spotlight as four of the nation's best teams meet up for what looks to be an entertaining final two rounds.
There are many talented players in this sought-after round of basketball. Each team has a handful of players that could make this list, but I could choose only a total of 15 for my list.
Each team has role players that mean as much to their team as some of the starters. Guys like Michigan's Jordan Morgan, Louisville's Montrezl Harrell, Wichita State's Nick Wiggins and Syracuse's Baye Keita would surely be on this list if it were top role players that could ultimately be the X-factor to their team's success.
Other players that play a major role to their team's success didn't quite make the list because of the sheer number of top players in this year's Final Four.
As you likely know, Louisville had a role player taken from them due to a gruesome injury that left the country in shock. Sophomore guard Kevin Ware went up to contest a shot in Sunday's Elite Eight game against Duke and came down like no one thought possible. The young guard broke his leg and left an impact on the Louisville players so intensely that they battled to a 22-point win over a talented Duke squad.
Whether you're rooting for the team who is trying to overcome adversity, the team who hasn't made it in 20 years, the underdog team or the team from the Big East that's getting the least amount of attention, you're sure to find some great players wherever you look.
Here's my list of the top 15 players in the 2013 NCAA Final Four.
15. Nik Stauskas
Nik Stauskas is just a freshman, but he looks like a veteran when he's shooting the ball. He has the green light every time he touches the rock, but who wouldn't when they shoot 45 percent from downtown?
14. Malcolm Armstead
He is one of the reasons that Wichita State is in the Final Four. The guard shut down Aaron Craft in the final minutes of the Elite Eight and sent the Buckeyes packing. Oh yeah, and Malcolm Armstead is a solid scorer and passer.
13. Glenn Robinson III
The second Michigan freshman to make the list is Glenn Robinson III. He is one of the most athletic players in the tournament still remaining and his highlight-reel dunks are a sight to see.
12. Brandon Triche
Brandon Triche is looking to take home the title trophy in his final season at Syracuse and he could be a big reason why they do, if the Orange win. If he can beat you to the basket, it's game over.
11. Carl Hall
Carl Hall has the Shockers in the Final Four to the surprise of the nation. Hall can score and rebound with the best of them. Watch out Louisville.
10. Chane Behanan
Chane Behanan is yet another solid scorer and rebounder. He lost his best friend in the team's Elite Eight game, but his play will remain consistent. Great young player that may lead the Cardinals to the title.
9. Michael Carter-Williams
Michael Carter-Williams is one of the best defenders in the Final Four. The Syracuse zone defense is tough to beat and Carter-Williams is a big reason why.
8. Tim Hardaway Jr.
Tim Hardaway Jr. comes from a basketball playing family and he may end up being the best. He can rebound, shoot and pass-- a solid three-tool player.
7. James Southerland
Syracuse could have at least five players on this list, but some had to be left out. James Southerland is too good to leave out as the senior averages 13.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.
6. Peyton Siva
Peyton Siva is a quick, compact and talented. He is a flat out slasher that can get to the rim in the blink of an eye. Oh, and he can dish the ball to any open teammate-- a devastating combination.
5. Cleanthony Early
The Shockers have shocked many people, but Cleanthony Early is not surprised that his team made it this far. He is a solid defender and the team's leading scorer.
4. C.J. Fair
The Orange have a wealth of experience on their team, highlighted by talented junior C.J. Fair. He is the team's leading scorer and definitely a leader of the bunch.
3. Gorgui Dieng
Gorgui Dieng averages nearly a double-double per game. He is a suffocating defender and is scary in every aspect of the game. Did I mention he can hit mid-range jumpers, too? Yeah, scary.
2. Russ Smith
As a brother of an NBA player, it's no surprise the Russ Smith is so talented. The junior guard averages the second-most points of any player left in the tournament and when he gets hot, watch out.
1. Trey Burke
Trey Burke was just named National Player of the Year, so it's easy to tell why he's No. 1 on my list. He is easily the best player in the Final Four for obvious reasons. When you can pass, shoot, defend, score and rebound well for a guard, not many can compare.