The tournament is finally here, the field of 68 is ready to go. I wanted to create an interesting post highlighting players and I got this idea one-day watching games to do a list of players with memorable names that will be participating in the tournament. There seems to always be someone whose name we all remember from March Madness, I wanted to get a head start! Let’s check out the list.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Kansas
The Senior Guard for the Kansas Jayhawks has been a solid contributor all season. Called Svi for short, he does a great job of spacing the floor with his sweet stroke from three. He has improved as a playmaker and gets after it on the defensive end. He’s started every game for Kansas this season and has shot 45% from the three-point line. Along with fellow senior, Devonte’ Graham, they have been the leaders for the Jayhawks this season.
Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova
Donte DiVincenzo is the best sixth man in the country! He could start for most other teams but plays his role very well as Villanova’s wild card. The Wildcats can use DiVincenzo in a multitude of ways. He can be used as a primary scoring, playmaker as he can run the point when Jalen Brunson goes to the bench and with his size and basketball IQ, a lockdown defender.
Dylan Osetkowski, Texas
The transfer from Tulane has forged one of the more dynamic backcourts in the country playing alongside Freshman Center, Mo Bamba. With the ability to stretch his game out to the three-point line, Osetkowski causes matchup problems for teams. He has solid quickness and ability to handle the ball which allows him to take other bigs off of the dribble and is polished enough to score in the post.
Cyril Langevine, Rhode Island
Cyril Langevine is an athletic forward for the Rhode Island Rams. A beast on the glass and good rim protector. He plays with great energy and plays much bigger than his listed 6’8 height. Langevine doesn’t play a lot of minutes but he’s pretty productive when get does. Against VCU, he grabbed a season-high 18 rebounds with seven being on the offensive glass. He creates extra possessions for the Rams and brings them toughness on the defensive end.
Killian Tillie, Gonzaga
The sophomore forward out of France has not folded from the extra responsibility with the bigger role he has assumed for the Bulldogs this season. He’s slightly out of the lead in scoring for Gonzaga but has doubled his scoring and rebounding and is shooting 50% from three-point land. If Gonzaga reaches another Final Four, I think everyone will be saying “Tillie, Tillie”.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman, Michigan
The Senior guard from Michigan is looking to build on The Big Ten conference championship by helping lead The Wolverines to a deep tournament run. Abdur Rahkman is the second leading scorer for Michigan and can erupt on any night. Shooting 40% from three, defenses need to make sure they know where number 12 in blue and maize is at all times!
Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State
Ohio State has been an underrated team this season. They finished 24-8 and really shocked me this season. I didn’t expect a whole lot from them but they’re for real. A big reason why they’re for real is because of Keita Bates-Diop. Bates-Diop exploded this year with averages of 19 and eight for points and rebounds. The Senior Forward won the Big Ten player of the year does it all. He scores, rebounds, and defends. He always seems to be where the ball is and makes a lot of big plays for the Buckeyes. Look for him to keep the year rolling in the tournament.
Mike Daum, South Dakota State
The Junior big man from South Dakota State is a stud! Two time player of the year in The Summit league has led the Jack Rabbits to another NCAA tournament berth. The “Daum-inator” can do just about anything on the court. Very proficient from three-point distance and can post up with Dirk like fadeaways. His length helps him be a force on the boards.
That concludes my list, who are some other notable names that you’re keeping your eye on during the NCAA tournament? Let me know in the comments!
*Stats from basketball-reference