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NCAA Basketball March Madness

NCAA Tournament 2014: 10 Best Players in the Sweet 16

10 Best Players in the Sweet 16

Michigan State basketball
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There have been many upsets so far and some of the best teams have been knocked out of the tournament. As a result, some of the best players have been knocked out. No more Andrew Wiggins, no more Jabari Parker and no more Doug McDermott.

Still, there are some great players left in the 2014 NCAA tournament. Let’s look at the 10 best in the Sweet 16.

Honorable Mentions

Tennessee basketball
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Honorable Mentions

Tennessee basketball
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

There are so many good players in the dance. Here are some honorable mentions: Kyle Anderson, Sam Dekker, Jarnell Stokes, Jordan McRae, Nik Stauskas, Aaron Harrison, Jordan Adams and Aaron Gordon.

10. DeAndre Kane, Iowa State

Iowa State basketball
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

10. DeAndre Kane, Iowa State

Iowa State basketball
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

I still think DeAndre Kane is a little underrated. Well, he put up 24 points on the North Carolina Tar Heels. He also had seven turnovers, but seven assists and 10 rebounds made up for that.

9. Julius Randle, Kentucky

Kentucky basketball
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

9. Julius Randle, Kentucky

Kentucky basketball
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky has so much talent, but its best player is Julius Randle. He is putting up 16 points per game and 12.5 rebounds per game in the dance. Heck, he even had six assists last contest against No. 1 seed Wichita State.

8. Gary Harris, Michigan State

Michigan State basketball
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

8. Gary Harris, Michigan State

Michigan State basketball
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Just like Kentucky, Michigan State has a bunch of talent. Gary Harris is the best player on the team at times, but I still think there is one player better than him. Still, Harris is averaging 14 points per game -- down from his season average -- and he had five assists and three steals against Harvard.

7. Xavier Thames, San Diego State

Xavier Thames
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

7. Xavier Thames, San Diego State

Xavier Thames
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier Thames is going off in the NCAA tournament. He dropped 23 points on New Mexico State and 30 points against North Dakota State. He also had five assists in both games.

6. Adreian Payne, Michigan State

Michigan State basketball
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

6. Adreian Payne, Michigan State

Michigan State basketball
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Here is Michigan State’s best player. He definitely showed that in the Spartans’ first game of the dance by scoring 41 points. He only scored 12 in the next game against Harvard, but he is still averaging 26.5 points per game in the tournament.

5. Scottie Wilbekin, Florida

Florida basketball
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

5. Scottie Wilbekin, Florida

Florida basketball
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Florida is arguably the most complete team in college basketball. Scottie Wilbekin is probably its best player. He only scored 10 against Albany, but he followed that up with a 21-point performance against Pittsburgh.

Wilbekin is so high on this list because he is also one of the best defenders in the country.

4. Melvin Ejim, Iowa State

Iowa State basketball
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

4. Melvin Ejim, Iowa State

Iowa State basketball
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Melvin Ejim won Big 12 Player of the Year for a reason. He did average 18.1 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game on the season. Through two NCAA tournament games, Ejim is averaging 18 points and six boards.

3. Nick Johnson, Arizona

Arizona basketball
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

3. Nick Johnson, Arizona

Arizona basketball
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Only two players on this list are Naismith finalists. Nick Johnson is one of them. Johnson is the best player on one of the best teams in college hoops. Arizona is moving on to the Sweet 16 and Johnson has played a big part in that. He is averaging 17.5 points per game after all.

2. Russ Smith, Louisville

Louisville basketball
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2. Russ Smith, Louisville

Louisville basketball
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Russ Smith is the other Naismith finalist. He isn’t having the best outing in the tournament so far, but he is so important to the Louisville Cardinals. If they are going to advance even further, Smith will have to put up more than 14.5 points per game -- what he is averaging in the Big Dance.

1. Shabazz Napier, Connecticut

Connecticut basketball
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

1. Shabazz Napier, Connecticut

Connecticut basketball
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

There are a lot of good players on this list and a lot of good players not on this list. Shabazz Napier goes No. 1 because of how important he is to his team. Who knows if Connecticut even makes the tourney without him. He put up 24 points against Saint Joseph’s and 25 points against Villanova.

He is also averaging 6.5 rebounds per game and 4.5 assists per game.

Trevor Lowry is a Senior Writer and Copy Editor at RantSports.com. If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry or add him to your network on Google.