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NCAA Basketball March Madness

George Washington Colonials: 5 Most Important Players in 2014 NCAA Tournament

George Washington Colonials: 5 Most Important Players For the 2014 NCAA Tournament

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Anthony Gruppuso- USA Today Sports

With the field of 68 set, the George Washington Colonials now know that they will be heading to Raleigh on Friday to take on the Memphis Tigers in a 8-9 matchup. The winner will likely get the "privilege" of playing the No. 1 seeded Virginia Cavaliers in the second round, so any success could be short-lived; but as we saw last season, anything can happen. In order for GW to make some noise, the following players need to come up big for them.

Honorable Mention: Joe McDonald

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Honorable Mention: Joe McDonald

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Joe McDonald, George Washington's starting point guard, has been an integral piece of the puzzle this season but just misses out on the top five. There's a steep drop off from McDonald to backup point guard Miguel Cartegena, making the return of the No. 4 player on this list all the more important. McDonald has had a very good season and possesses the ability to win GW a game if the need arises.

5. Kevin Larsen

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5. Kevin Larsen

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Kevin Larsen, who came to George Washington via Denmark, is a very important piece in the Colonials' success this season. At 6-foot-10, Larsen is a load for opponents to handle offensively and on the boards, but he also has good enough agility to keep him from being a paint clogger. If Isaiah Armwood gets into foul trouble, a lot of the frontcourt's success will fall on Larsen's broad shoulders, making him one of the players to keep an eye on.

4. Kethan Savage

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Tommy Gilligan- USA Today Sports

4. Kethan Savage

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Tommy Gilligan- USA Today Sports

Kethan Savage, who missed the better part of two months with a broken toe, is expected to return for the Colonials' first round matchup with Memphis. Savage is definitively the team's best player off the bench and is also one of the best perimeter defenders as well. Without Savage, GW was able to largely hold their own, but with Savage on the floor, it makes a world of difference to the team's depth and defensive prowess.

3. Patricio Garino

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3. Patricio Garino

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Patricio Garino is another one of the many versatile players that coach Mike Lonergan employs. Garino is a wing player capable of taking the ball strong to the hole or stepping out beyond the three-point line for jumpers. Much like Savage, he also happens to be one of the Colonials' strongest perimeter defenders and frequently is asked to shadow the opposing team's best wing, making him a key component for George Washington.

2. Isaiah Armwood

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Anthony Gruppuso- USA Today Sports

2. Isaiah Armwood

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Anthony Gruppuso- USA Today Sports

Isaiah Armwood, a senior who transferred from Villanova after his sophomore season, is arguably the heart and soul of the Colonials' team. Armwood is the team's best rebounder and interior defender. and although his offensive game could use some polish, he has a decent array of moves and frequently scores on put-backs. The Colonials' don't possess much frontcourt depth beyond their starters, which makes Armwood's presence all the more vital.

1. Maurice Creek

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1. Maurice Creek

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Maurice Creek, a transfer from Indiana, has been one of GW's best players all season. While he can run hot and cold, he's not afraid to take any shot, and when he's on, he can fill it up in a hurry. Creek is the Colonials' most gifted scorer, but he has to play within himself and not try to do too much, which has been an issue in the past. In order for GW to win a game or more, Creek is likely going to have to spearhead the effort.