Who are the best college basketball players to watch at March Madness 2022? Every fan loves their college hoops team, so this list is a must watch of 2022's top college basketball players at 2022 March Madness. Featuring the top NBA prospects in the 2022 draft class, these college basketball player rankings include possible Naismith Trophy candidates, mid major darlings, awards dark horses, unknown sleepers, big men on campus, and fabulous freshmen you should keep an eye on. Who is the best March Madness college basketball player 2022? Who will be the 2022 NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player?
When ranking the top NCAA tournament college basketball players, you can't leave out UCLA's Johnny Juzang, who led the Bruins on a deep NCAA tourney run last year. Other college basketball stars to watch at the 2022 NCAA tournament include Gonzaga power forward Drew Timme, Illinois center Kofi Cockburn, and Ohio State small forward E.J. Liddell.
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Coming into this season, Purdue had high expectations thanks to their two potential All-Americans, headlined by breakout candidate Jaden Ivey who forms a nice two-man inside/out game alongside Trevion Williams. Ivey is a 6'4" guard who was rather inefficient last season, but came on strong late, while he showed himself to be a big shot maker. Ivey has gained much more consistency as a shooter and playmaker in 2022, as Purdue looks to make a deep run this March.
Arizona is easily one of the best teams in college basketball this season, earning a #1 seed. Mathurin, the sophomore shooting guard with strong All American hopes, is a big part of the Wildcats' success. The stud playmaker averages 17 points/game on 47% shooting and is projecting as a lottery pick in this year's NBA draft.
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If I told you Ochai Agbaji had the third best odds to win the 2022 Wooden Award, would you believe me? An irreplaceable cog in the Kansas machine, Agbaji is as steady as they come. But one could argue he’s also Kansas’ 4th most important player (*gasp*), which has been a scary proposition for Big-12 adversaries all season. As a one seed Kansas is primed for a deep run and it'll take a string of big games from Agbaji to get his Jayhawks to the Final Four.
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Coach K’s final season will conclude with the Blue Devils possibly having the best freshman in the sport once again in Paolo Banchero. Banchero has all the physical skills as far as size, strength, and athleticism. He can also make shots. With a chance to be ACC Player of the Year and a darkhorse for National Player of the Year, Banchero and the Blue Devils hope to send Coach K off with a bang in this year's tourney.
After a one-year absence from the NCAA Tournament, Auburn bounced back with a strong season thanks to the addition of Top-5 freshman Jabari Smith Jr.. Smith is a 6'10" modern-day four-man - a good shooter, defender, and scorer - which has translated nicely to a talented Auburn team that leads the SEC. The son of former LSU star Jabari Smith Sr., the Auburn standout hopes to match or beat his father's former Sweet Sixteen (2000) success with his own squad of Tigers this March Madness.
While Paolo Banchero is the headline freshman for Duke, AJ Griffin has delivered on his own major hype as well. Griffin is an NBA-ready wing that is a fantastic athlete, a good scorer, and switchable defender. His shooting has been a boon for the Blue Devils this year, as Griffin has proved he can knock down open shots - hitting threes at a 49.5% clip! - which is good enough for Top 10 in the NCAA. Griffin projects as a lottery pick at the next level and a deep tourney run for Duke can only bolster those chances.