Most Comprehensive March Madness Coverage Anywhere; Top 3 Players on All 68 Teams

It has been said that it takes three stars to win a championship, and so we run through the best three players on all 68 teams on pace to make the NCAA tournament. The entire database of thousands of college players appears on www.valueaddbasketball.com after it appears on Breitbart, but today we group the players that would go up against each other during the opening weekend with only one team surviving each of these groups to make the Sweet 16.

You can search for your team in the body of this story, or click here to cross reference and find your team’s projected location for the NCAA tournament in the earlier article.  We start with the locations that would have games starting March 21, and then move to the March 22 sites. The rank by each player indicates where they rank among the 4000 Division 1 players, so Cody Zeller is the fifth best in the country right now,and he is projected to make the NBA as a Power Forward/Center.

Auburn Hills, MI 3/21

 3-seed Indiana vs. Harvard, then Wyoming/Notre Dame winner

 Whether a 1-, 2- or 3-seed Indiana looks like a huge favorite to make the Sweet 16.

The Hoosiers have three of the top 50 players, and that doesn’t even count NBA prospects Christian Watford and Will Sheehey. Notre Dame has two of the top 50 but is missing the crucial third top player, any Wyoming is a better match but would be hundreds of miles from home in Big Ten Country.

Rnk Auburn Hills, MI 3/21 Team Ht Yr Value Add NBA?
5 Cody Zeller Indiana 7'0 So 9.77 PF/C
7 Leonard Washington Wyoming 6'7" Sr 9.22  
17 Victor Oladipo Indiana 6'5" Jr 8.75 SG/SF
45 Jack Cooley Notre Dame 6'9" Sr 7.44 PF
51 Jordan Hulls Indiana 6'0 Sr 7.12  
91 Eric Atkins Notre Dame 6'2" Jr 6.43  
95 Larry Nance Wyoming 6'8" So 6.37  
144 Luke Martinez Wyoming 6'4" Sr 5.65  
145 Wesley Saunders Harvard 6'5" So 5.64  
300 Laurent Rivard Harvard 6'5" Jr 4.03  
309 Siyani Chambers Harvard 6'0 Fr 3.91  
488 Pat Connaughton Notre Dame 6'5" So 3.04

2-seed Minnesota vs. Weber St., then Oklahoma St./Bucknell winner

 With Trevor Mbakwe back at full strength, Minnesota could have three top 60 players by tournament time and likewise have a big home court advantage if the foe is Oklahoma St. to deliver two Big Ten teams to the Sweet 16. However, Bucknell would be no push over with the second best player in the country in Mike Muscala, who destroyed Missouri a couple of weeks ago.

Rnk Auburn Hills, MI 3/21 (2nd) Team Ht Yr Value Add NBA?
2 Mike Muscala Bucknell 6'11" Sr 10.84  
22 Austin Hollins Minnesota 6'4" Jr 8.23  
24 Marcus Smart Oklahoma St. 6'4" Fr 8.15  
56 Andre Hollins Minnesota 6'1" So 7.00  
72 Markel Brown Oklahoma St. 6'3" Jr 6.62  
111 Trevor Mbakwe Minnesota 6'8" Sr 6.11 PF
184 Phil Forte Oklahoma St. 5'11" Fr 5.03  
259 Scott Bamforth Weber St. 6'2" Sr 4.43  
317 Joel Bolomboy Weber St. 6'9" Fr 3.87  
351 Cameron Ayers Bucknell 6'5" Jr 3.65  
461 Joe Willman Bucknell 6'7" Sr 3.14  
608 Jordan Richardson Weber St. 6'1" Jr 2.64

 

Lexington KY 3/21

 1-seed Louisville vs. Pacific/Charleston Southern Winner, then Kansas St./Memphis winner

 With two veteran guards in the top 20 of all players, Louisville may be the national favorite. If NBA prospect Adonis Thomas can give Memphis some help, they would prove the biggest threat.

Rnk Lexington KY 3/21 Team Ht Yr Value Add NBA?
9 Russ Smith Louisville 6'0 Jr 9.15  
19 Peyton Siva Louisville 6'0 Sr 8.55 PG/SG
71 Joe Jackson Memphis 6' 1" Jr 6.62  
96 Chane Behanan Louisville 6'6" So 6.36  
127 Rodney McGruder Kansas St. 6'4" Sr 5.90 SG
149 Arlon Harper Charleston Southern 6'1" So 5.56  
156 D.J. Stephens Memphis 6' 5" Sr 5.46  
213 Will Spradling Kansas St. 6'2" Jr 4.68  
387 Shaq Goodwin Memphis 6' 9" Fr 3.46  
400 Saah Nimley Charleston Southern 5'8" So 3.39  
410 Cedrick Bowen Charleston Southern 6'5" So 3.34  
427 Angel Rodriguez Kansas St. 5'11" So 3.27  
484 Lorenzo McCloud Pacific 6'0 Sr 3.05  
494 Travis Fulton Pacific 6'6" Sr 3.02  
737 Trevin Harris Pacific 6'5" Jr 2.19

 

3-seed Miami FL vs. Stony Brook, then UNLV/Brigham Young winner

Miami may need NBA prospect Reggie Johnson to step upto help their current top three, because even 13-seed Stony Brook has an unusually great 1-2 punch with two of the top 120 players (top 3% of all players). UNLV would have the best player in the group as Anthony Bennett could be an All-American prospect by year end, so this would be a dangerous grouping for Miami.

Rnk Lexington KY 3/21 (2nd) Team Ht Yr Value Add NBA?
27 Anthony Bennett Nevada Las Vegas 6'8" Fr 8.05  
52 Shane Larkin Miami FL 5'11" So 7.04  
98 Tyler Haws Brigham Young 6'5" So 6.31  
117 Jameel Warney Stony Brook 6'8" Fr 6.03  
118 Tommy Brenton Stony Brook 6'5" Sr 5.96  
122 Durand Scott Miami FL 6'5" Sr 5.94  
148 Brandon Davies Brigham Young 6'9" Sr 5.58  
218 Trey McKinney Jones Miami FL 6'5" Sr 4.64  
227 Anthony Marshall Nevada Las Vegas 6'3" Sr 4.59  
422 Justin Hawkins Nevada Las Vegas 6'3" Sr 3.28  
451 Matt Carlino Brigham Young 6'2" So 3.17  
518 Marcus Rouse Stony Brook 6'1" Sr 2.95

 

Salt Lake City, UT 3/21

 4-seed Colorado St. vs. Illinois/Temple winner, then Cincinnati/Akron winner

 Even if Colorado State could get the 4-seed, they might have trouble matching Cincinnati’s unbelievable duo of Cashmere Wright and Sean Kilpatrick, two of the top 31 players in the country. Illinois started hot, but their solid trio might not quite match Cincy, who would seem to be the favorite here to make the Sweet 16.

Rnk Salt Lake City, UT 3/21 Team Ht Yr Value Add NBA?
12 Cashmere Wright Cincinnati 6'0 Sr 8.94  
21 Zeke Marshall Akron 7'0 Sr 8.29 C
32 Sean Kilpatrick Cincinnati 6'4" Jr 7.75 SG
101 Brandon Paul Illinois 6'4" Sr 6.26 SG
109 Colton Iverson Colorado St. 6'10" Sr 6.12  
140 Pierce Hornung Colorado St. 6'5" Sr 5.69  
191 Khalif Wyatt Temple 6'4" Sr 4.95 SG
214 D.J. Richardson Illinois 6'3" Sr 4.67  
258 Anthony Lee Temple 6'9" So 4.43  
261 Brian Walsh Akron 6'5" Jr 4.42  
267 Tracy Abrams Illinois 6'1" So 4.35  
335 Dorian Green Colorado St. 6'2" Sr 3.76  
431 Nick Harney Akron 6'7" Jr 3.25  
432 Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson Temple 6'6" Sr 3.25  
456 Cheikh Mbodj Cincinnati 6'10" Sr 3.17

3-seed New Mexico vs. Detroit, then NC State/Kentucky winner

 The RPI should shake up by tournament time – at least New Mexico hopes so because this would be the gauntlet. The Lobos would have to go up against the eighth best player in the country in Detroit’s Ray McCallum, then face a loaded NC State or Kentucky team that should be in full stride by then. Nerlins Noel is taking over, and now gives Kentucky another shot at a freshman Player of the Year.

Rnk Salt Lake City, UT 3/21 (2nd) Team Ht Yr Value Add NBA?
6 Nerlens Noel Kentucky 6'10" Fr 9.64 PF/C
8 Ray McCallum Detroit 6'3" Jr 9.17 PG
44 Richard Howell North Carolina St. 6'8" Sr 7.47 PF
70 Lorenzo Brown North Carolina St. 6'5" Jr 6.66 PG/SG
163 Alex Kirk New Mexico 7'0 So 5.38  
166 Kendall Williams New Mexico 6'4" Jr 5.34  
179 T.J. Warren North Carolina St. 6'8" Fr 5.15  
202 Nick Minnerath Detroit 6'9" Sr 4.83  
251 Doug Anderson Detroit 6'6" Sr 4.48  
254 Kyle Wiltjer Kentucky 6'10" So 4.47  
260 Willie Cauley-Stein Kentucky 7'0 Fr 4.42 C
344 Cameron Bairstow New Mexico 6'9" Jr 3.71

 

San Jose CA 3/21

1-seed Arizona vs. Florida Gulf Coast, then Southern Miss/San Diego St. winner

Nick Johnson would lead a balanced Arizona trio, against a solid challenge from either Southern Mississippi’s trio, or two of the top 70 players with San Diego State.

Rnk San Jose CA 3/21 Team Ht Yr Value Add NBA?
36 Nick Johnson Arizona 6'3" So 7.61  
59 Chase Tapley San Diego St. 6'3" Sr 6.98  
68 Jamaal Franklin San Diego St. 6'5" Jr 6.68 SG
85 Michael Craig Southern Mississippi 6'5" Jr 6.49  
92 Solomon Hill Arizona 6'7" Sr 6.42 SF
181 Neil Watson Southern Mississippi 5'11" Jr 5.09  
200 Kevin Parrom Arizona 6'6" Sr 4.85  
281 Daveon Boardingham Southern Mississippi 6'7" Jr 4.17  
338 Bernard Thompson Florida Gulf Coast 6' 3" So 3.75  
377 Sherwood Brown Florida Gulf Coast 6' 4" Sr 3.50  
433 Chase Fieler Florida Gulf Coast 6' 8" Jr 3.25  
458 Deshawn Stephens San Diego St. 6'8" Sr 3.16

 

3-seed Gonzaga vs. Stephen F. Austin, then Creighton/UNC winner

The Zags are loaded with a chance at three of the top 100 players, but they will hope that this draw changes by then. UNC’s top three right now does not even include NBA-bound Dexter Strickland and James Michael McAdoo, and Creighton’s Doug McDermott is a Player of the Year contender.

Rnk San Jose CA 3/21 (2nd) Team Ht Yr Value Add NBA?
25 Doug McDermott Creighton 6'8" Jr 8.08 PF
39 Taylor Smith Stephen F. Austin 6'6" Sr 7.50  
55 Elias Harris Gonzaga 6'8" Sr 7.00 SF/PF
61 Kelly Olynyk Gonzaga 7'0 Jr 6.87  
78 Reggie Bullock North Carolina 6'7" Jr 6.55 SF
104 Kevin Pangos Gonzaga 6'2" So 6.25 PG
153 Grant Gibbs Creighton 6'5" Sr 5.48  
157 Gregory Echenique Creighton 6'9" Sr 5.44  
337 P.J. Hairston North Carolina 6'5" So 3.75  
498 Brice Johnson North Carolina 6'9" Fr 3.01  
523 Hal Bateman Stephen F. Austin 5'11" Sr 2.93  
530 Jacob Parker Stephen F. Austin 6'6" So 2.89

 

Austin, TX 3/22

 2-seed Florida vs. George Mason, then Marquette/Wisconsin winner

With three of the top 50 players Florida could definitely win the national title. The Selection Committee probably would not actually allow a Marquette-Wisconsin opening round game between rivals, but this was set up on paper because Pitt and Wisconsin had to switch brackets as No. 10 seeds to avoid playing conference foes. While both Wisconsin teams have one top 50 player, the three-on-one would probably result in the same kind of blowout Florida had over both foes early in the season.

Rnk Austin, TX 3/22 Team Ht Yr Value Add NBA?
20 Kenny Boynton Florida 6'2" Sr 8.51 PG/SG
33 Erik Murphy Florida 6'10" Sr 7.71  
38 Davante Gardner Marquette 6'8" Jr 7.58 Blue 468, Mayo 1753
48 Jared Berggren Wisconsin 6'10" Sr 7.18  
49 Patric Young Florida 6'9" Jr 7.18 PF
94 Sherrod Wright George Mason 6'4" Jr 6.37  
105 Ben Brust Wisconsin 6'1" Jr 6.23  
324 Sam Dekker Wisconsin 6'7" Fr 3.83  
371 Jamil Wilson Marquette 6'7" Jr 3.53  
399 Junior Cadougan Marquette 6'1" Sr 3.39  
607 Corey Edwards George Mason 5'11" So 2.64  
941 Bryon Allen George Mason 6'3" Jr 1.69

2-seed Kansas vs. Bryant, then Missouri/Colorado winner

With three of the top 41 players in the country Kansas absolutely looks like a national contender, but they would get good battles from either former Big 12 team in Colorado or Missouri.

Rnk Austin, TX 3/22 (2nd) Team Ht Yr Value Add NBA?
15 Ben McLemore Kansas 6' 5" Fr 8.77  
26 Jeff Withey Kansas 7' 0 Sr 8.06  
42 Travis Releford Kansas 6' 6" Sr 7.49  
64 Spencer Dinwiddie Colorado 6'5" So 6.79 PG/SG
84 Andre Roberson Colorado 6'7" Jr 6.50 SF
138 Laurence Bowers Missouri 6'8" Sr 5.72  
223 Alex Oriakhi Missouri 6'9" Sr 4.61 PF
257 Josh Scott Colorado 6'10" Fr 4.45  
372 Phil Pressey Missouri 5'11" Jr 3.52 PG
675 Frankie Dobbs Bryant 6'3" Sr 2.40  
873 Corey Maynard Bryant 6'3" Jr 1.84  
1224 Dyami Starks Bryant 6'2" So 1.17

 

Dayton, OH 3/22

 2-seed Michigan vs. Iona, then Middle Tennessee/Pitt winner

While Michigan boasts the No. 1 player in the country in Trey Burke, Pitt’s trio is near the best in the country and the Panthers could pose a real threat playing in Dayton.

Rnk Dayton, OH 3/22 Team Ht Yr Value Add NBA?
1 Trey Burke Michigan 6'0 So 11.53 PG
41 Lamar Patterson Pittsburgh 6'5" Jr 7.49 PG
93 Tray Woodall Pittsburgh 6'0 Sr 6.39  
112 Sean Armand Iona 6'4" Jr 6.11  
137 Talib Zanna Pittsburgh 6'9" Jr 5.73  
139 Glenn Robinson Michigan 6'6" Fr 5.72  
142 Tim Hardaway Michigan 6'6" Jr 5.67 SG
234 Marcos Knight Middle Tennessee 6' 2" Sr 4.56  
240 Lamont Jones Iona 6'0 Sr 4.53  
514 Shawn Jones Middle Tennessee 6' 8" Jr 2.96  
524 Bruce Massey Middle Tennessee 6' 3" Sr 2.92  
623 David Laury Iona 6'8" So 2.59

 

4-seed VCU vs. Louisiana Tech, then Ohio St./UCLA winner

We assume UCLA and Ohio State will move up by Selection Sunday, because otherwise this would be one of the most powerful 4-team pods ever. UCLA started the season without Shabazz Muhammad, so with him and fellow NBA prospects Norman Powell, Kyle Anderson and Joshua Smith hitting stride UCLA could be a national contender. Ohio State had the best preseason duo. However, VCU has three of the top 52 players and can beat anyone.

Rnk Dayton, OH 3/22 (2nd) Team Ht Yr Value Add NBA?
16 Deshaun Thomas Ohio St. 6'7" Jr 8.75 SF/PF
46 Juvonte Reddic Virginia Commonwealth 6'9" Jr 7.43  
50 Treveon Graham Virginia Commonwealth 6'5" So 7.13  
53 Briante Weber Virginia Commonwealth 6'2" So 7.04  
66 Aaron Craft Ohio St. 6'2" Jr 6.77 PG
88 Jordan Adams UCLA 6'5" Fr 6.45  
154 Shannon Scott Ohio St. 6'1" So 5.48  
170 Kyle Anderson UCLA 6'9" Fr 5.29 PF
319 Kenneth Smith Louisiana Tech 6'3" So 3.86  
321 Larry Drew UCLA 6'2" Sr 3.85  
447 Michale Kyser Louisiana Tech 6'9" So 3.19  
558 Cordarius Johnson Louisiana Tech 6'5" Jr 2.80

 

Kansas City 3/22

 4-seed Belmont vs. North Dakota St., then Butler/St. Mary’s winner

They probably will not actually get the 4-seed their RPI would merit, but Belmont has a veteran team that includes the 14th best player and three of the top 250, so they could challenge a Butler team in a very balanced group.

Rnk Kansas City 3/22 Team Ht Yr Value Add NBA?
14 Ian Clark Belmont 6' 3" Sr 8.78  
89 Matthew Dellavedova St. Mary's 6'4" Sr 6.45 PG
134 Andrew Smith (But) Butler 6'11" Sr 5.79  
171 Blake Jenkins Belmont 6' 7" Jr 5.29  
222 Kerron Johnson Belmont 6' 1" Sr 4.62  
230 TrayVonn Wright North Dakota St. 6'7" Jr 4.58  
235 Marshall Bjorklund North Dakota St. 6'8" Jr 4.55  
280 Taylor Braun North Dakota St. 6'7" Jr 4.17  
356 Roosevelt Jones Butler 6'4" So 3.60  
394 Stephen Holt St. Mary's 6'4" Jr 3.43  
395 Beau Levesque St. Mary's 6'6" Jr 3.43  
403 Alex Smith Bethune Cookman 6'7" Sr 3.38  
407 Rotnei Clarke Butler 6'0 Sr 3.36  
511 Adrien Coleman Bethune Cookman 6'5" Jr 2.97  
781 Kevin Dukes Bethune Cookman 5'9" Sr 2.06

 

4-seed Wichita St. vs. Baylor/La Salle winner, then Michigan St./Boise St. winner

While Baylor’s RPI is not on course to be very high, with two of the top 30 players in the country they could certainly challenge to win this or any other group. However, Wichita State would love to earn Kansas City as a venue by grabbing a top four seed.

Rnk Kansas City 3/22 (2nd) Team Ht Yr Value Add NBA?
29 Pierre Jackson Baylor 5'10" Sr 8.02 PG
30 Cory Jefferson Baylor 6'9" Jr 7.97  
79 Derrick Marks Boise St. 6'3" So 6.54  
99 Ramon Galloway La Salle 6'3" Sr 6.29  
106 Keith Appling Michigan St. 6'1" Jr 6.22  
131 Ryan Watkins Boise St. 6'9" Jr 5.85  
175 Adreian Payne Michigan St. 6'10" Jr 5.22 PF/C
194 Jeff Elorriaga Boise St. 6'2" Jr 4.91  
196 Malcolm Armstead Wichita St. 6'0 Sr 4.90  
205 Cleanthony Early Wichita St. 6'8" Jr 4.77  
242 Tyreek Duren La Salle 6'0 Jr 4.52  
269 Derrick Nix Michigan St. 6'9" Sr 4.29  
315 Isaiah Austin Baylor 7'1" Fr 3.88 C
318 Carl Hall Wichita St. 6'8" Sr 3.86  
341 Jerrell Wright La Salle 6'8" So 3.73

 

Philadelphia 3/22

1-seed Duke vs. Southern/NC Central winner, then Mississippi/Oklahoma winner

With three of the best 34 players in the country, Coach K certainly has Duke back on top to challenge for another title. While they would certainly be the heavy favorite to make it through the first weekend, Mississippi has a fantastic trip that could knock off any team on a given day, as the one SEC team that has moved up to the top tier while others in the conference have been disappointing.

Rnk Philadelphia 3/22 Team Ht Yr Value Add NBA?
4 Mason Plumlee Duke 6'10" Sr 10.34 PF
18 Quinn Cook Duke 6'1" So 8.70  
31 Malcolm Miller (Sou) Southern 6'6" Jr 7.85  
34 Ryan Kelly Duke 6'11" Sr 7.70  
60 Reginald Buckner Mississippi 6'9" Sr 6.97  
63 Murphy Holloway Mississippi 6'7" Sr 6.83  
76 Romero Osby Oklahoma 6'8" Sr 6.57  
107 Marshall Henderson Mississippi 6'2" Jr 6.22  
195 Stanton Kidd North Carolina Central 6'7" Jr 4.90  
274 Jeremy Ingram North Carolina Central 6'3" Jr 4.25  
334 Steven Pledger Oklahoma 6'4" Sr 3.77  
364 Ray Willis North Carolina Central 6'6" Sr 3.56  
436 Derick Beltran Southern 6'4" Sr 3.24  
527 Buddy Hield Oklahoma 6'3" Fr 2.90  
1104 Javan Mitchell Southern 6'8" Sr 1.35

 

1-seed Syracuse vs. Davidson, then Oregon/Iowa St. winner

While Oregon pulled off a great win at home against Arizona, if this were the bracket in Philadelphia the pecking order would be obvious. Syracuse would have the three best players, and Iowa State would have the next best three players.

Rnk Philadelphia 3/22 (2nd) Team Ht Yr Value Add NBA?
13 Michael Carter-Williams Syracuse 6'6" So 8.85 PG/SG
54 Brandon Triche Syracuse 6'4" Sr 7.02 PG
62 James Southerland Syracuse 6'8" Sr 6.85  
135 Tyrus McGee Iowa St. 6'2" Sr 5.74  
239 Melvin Ejim Iowa St. 6'6" Jr 4.54  
294 Georges Niang Iowa St. 6'7" Fr 4.06  
386 Jake Cohen Davidson 6'10" Sr 3.46  
415 Dominic Artis Oregon 6'1" Fr 3.32  
416 Damyean Dotson Oregon 6'5" Fr 3.31  
473 Carlos Emory Oregon 6'5" Sr 3.11  
507 Nik Cochran Davidson 6'3" Sr 2.98  
579 De'Mon Brooks Davidson 6'7" Jr 2.73

 

Best 10 not in tournament

Ten of the top 50 players in the country currently are not on teams projected to be in the tournament by Forecast RPI. The only one who certainly will not make it is Shabazz Napier because UConn is on probation. However, every other player on this list has a shot, and these ratings were pulled before Otto Porter took his Georgetown Hoyas into Notre Dame for the upset win.

Rnk Best 10 not in tournament Team Ht Yr Value Add NBA?
3 Shabazz Napier Connecticut 6'1" Jr 10.38 PG
10 Erick Green Virginia Tech 6'3" Sr 9.04 PG
11 Bryce Cotton Providence 6'1" Jr 8.95  
23 Nate Wolters South Dakota St. 6'4" Sr 8.19 PG
28 Trevor Releford Alabama 6'0 Jr 8.03 PG
35 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Georgia 6'5" So 7.63 SG
37 Otto Porter Georgetown 6'8" So 7.60 SF
40 Jake Odum Indiana St. 6'4" Jr 7.50  
43 C.J. Wilcox Washington 6'5" Jr 7.49  
47 Ryan Broekhoff Valparaiso 6'7" Sr 7.42 SF

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