NCAA event: the most effective gamers to look at
In the first week of play, it appeared that the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament was making up for lost time after being canceled due to COVID-19 last year. This year’s tournament was very exciting. This weekend the NCAA tournament goes into regional rounds, with the Sweet 16 starting on Saturday and the Elite Eight starting on Monday. Although it’s early days, a handful of players have already proven themselves to be the heroes of March Madness.
Let’s meet with eight of them. From free throw specialists to all-round power players, the athletes listed below are preparing their teams for the success of this year’s NCAA tournament – and putting on a great show in the process.
Jalen Suggs, Guard, Gonzaga
Suggs is a new breed of Gonzaga superstar. The Bulldogs used to win with a mix of unknown American recruits (like Adam Morrison) and international prospects (Tobias Harris, Przemek Karnowski, Domantas Sabonis). But Suggs isn’t an off-the-radar find like these players. He’s a true newbie, a five-star point guard who could have attended almost any school in the country. But he chose Gonzaga and has quickly become one of the best playmakers and shooters on a veteran roster.
JALEN RECOMMENDS FROM GLASS 😱 @ ZagMBB | #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/f8mgiKdvoz
– NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 21, 2021
Cameron Krutwig, center, Loyola – Chicago
Krutwig, a senior, is an indispensable player for the Ramblers trying to get their second run to the Final Four in four years. He’s an incredibly efficient goalscorer in the basket, and Loyola likes to insult him – a rarity at a time when most teams rely heavily on guards to get open shots. Krutwig can also help others. He had 19 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in the second round.
As pointed out by ESPN’s Mina Kimes, he also looks like a character in a Coen Brothers film.
Cameron Krutwig was on a mission today 😤
19 points | 12reb | 5ast
All heart from @RamblersMBB Senior. #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/LfQkoETEQ2
– NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 21, 2021
Max Abmas, Guard, Oral Roberts
Along with Colorado, Oral Roberts is running a run to end the season with the highest team free throw percentage ever. The 1984 Harvard team holds the record at 82.2 percent, and # 15 Cinderella ORU currently leads the league with 82.4 percent. The main reason for this is Abmas, a 6’1 ”guard who made 129 out of 143 fouls this season – an incredible 90.2 percent. He also shoots better than 40 percent with three pointers.
The nation’s top scorer showed a SHOW!
Bow down, Max Abmas. 👏 @ORUMBB #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/oH8FRdiSVG
– NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 19, 2021
Buddy Boeheim, Guard, Syracuse
The son of Orange head coach Jim Boeheim is also its main player. Buddy is a 39.6 percent shooter from the three-point country, and he also shoots 87 percent on the foul line. He’s one of the few players on the Syracuse squad who can get his own shot out of dribbling. His average of 18 points, 2.5 rebounds and three assists makes him the team’s exchange of blows – if Buddy has a good night, there’s a solid chance No. 11 seed Orange will have a good night too.
Buddy Boeheim is not human. @ Cuse_MBB pic.twitter.com/eUfzfsNa97
– CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 20, 2021
Justin Smith, striker, Arkansas
Smith averages 24.5 points per game in the tournament, placing him third among the remaining players (behind Kevin Obanor, Boeheim striker and Oral Roberts). In a great game, Smith will likely go straight to Obanor on Sweet 16.
Share the ball and good things happen.
– SWEET 16 HOGS @ (@RazorbackMBB) March 21, 2021
Evan Mobley, center, USC
The Trojans are in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2007. One big reason is Mobley, the seven-footed player who leads all the remaining players in the tournament with six blocks in two games. Mobley is an excellent all around the hoop defender, and he’s the USC’s most prolific goalscorer and rebound with averaging 17 points and nine rebounds. If USC manages to get its first Final Four since 1954 (when the tournament only had 24 teams), Mobley will be the driving force.
Evan Mobley blocks everything 😤 pic.twitter.com/XSsqiBlC0R
– Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 20, 2021
Jared Butler, guard, Baylor
Averaging 17 points per game, Butler is the straw that stirs the drink for the bears committed to one of the country’s scariest crimes. Sure, he makes 41.5 percent of his three, but he’s also the best playmaker-coach Scott Drew has. His 4.8 assists per game will likely help fellow MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell get buckets as well.
Jared Butler is in transition to tough 😤😤 @BaylorMBB (video via @marchmadness) pic.twitter.com/tqquWAM2J2
– B / R Hoops (@brhoops) March 21, 2021
Hunter Dickinson, Center, Michigan
The Wolverines prodigy is even more important to the team now that Star Point Guard Isaiah Livers is injured. Dickinson is Michigan’s best rebounder, best center-back, best shot blocker, best goal option in the post, and best player at fouling the other team. He may turn out to be Michigan’s best tall man since head coach Juwan Howard played at the school in the ’90s.
– Michigan Men’s Basketball (@umichbball) March 23, 2021
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