Russ Smith (Louisville)
The Louisville Cardinals have been the hottest team in the tournament heading into the Sweet 16 and the bracket’s No. 1 overall seed must now prepare to face 12th-seeded Oregon on Friday. Leading the way in the Cardinals’ charge right now is junior guard Russ Smith. Smith is averaging 25 points per game through the Cardinals’ first two victories and leads all postseason players defensively, averaging five steals per game. Somebody needs to pump the brakes or Smith will simply continue his tear.
Mark Lyons (Arizona)
Through two tournament games thus far, Mark Lyons is averaging 25 points per game. The Arizona point guard has simply been dominant and in addition to running the offense for the sixth-seeded Wildcats, Lyons has been scoring at an alarmingly rate. Those numbers shouldn’t come as any shock considering Lyons was a former combo guard at Xavier before transferring to play for head coach Sean Miller prior to this season. Lyons will square up against Ohio State’s Aaron Craft in what could very well be the top individual match-up in the Sweet 16 round.
Sherwood Brown (Florida Gulf Coast)
Following each of the Eagles’ historic NCAA Tournament victories, Sherwood Brown has walked up to the announcers, just to shake their hands. Brown also delivers the team’s pregame speeches prior to each game. Brown just gets it. Brown is a senior, a leader and a productive player on the court to boot. Brown is averaging 20.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game for the tournament’s Cinderella sensation.