10. Johnathan Williams – Gonzaga
Williams is arguably the best all-around player left in the tournament. There isn’t anything the forward can’t do, evidenced by his 19 points on 67-percent shooting, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals against Xavier in the Elite Eight. He’s not the best player on Gonzaga, but he definitely holds a pivotal role for the Bulldogs. He shoots over 40-percent from three-point land and could be the extra boost that leads the Zags to their first championship.
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9. PJ Dozier – South Carolina
As a sophomore, Dozier has been exactly what South Carolina has needed. Sindarius Thornwell has certainly overshadowed him, but that doesn’t take away from how valuable Dozier has been. In the tourney, Dozier has averaged 15.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. As Thornwell’s main side-kick, this former McDonald’s All-American is a key reason the Gamecocks’ Cinderella run is still going.
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8. Dillon Brooks – Oregon
Brooks has certainly been outshined this postseason, but his skills make the Ducks the most dangerous team left. As the Pac-12 Player of the Year, Brooks heads into his matchup with UNC averaging 16.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. He’s been incredible from downtown all season, draining a career high 57 three-pointers while shooting 41-percent. The 6-foot-5 guard is undoubtedly Oregon’s emotional leader and is virtually unstoppable one-on-one. With the help of Tyler Dorsey and Jordan Bell, Oregon has a great chance to be the last team standing.
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7. Joel Berry II – North Carolina
If it weren’t for a nagging ankle injury, Berry II would be even higher on this list. Heading into the Final Four, the explosive guard is averaging 14.6 points, 3.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game while shooting just under 40-percent from beyond the arc. Head coach Roy Williams has already expressed his concerns about Berry’s injury, but if this playmaker is ready to go, the Tar Heels should feel confident about their chances of taking home the title.
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6. Jordan Bell – Oregon
Bell has been all over the place for the Oregon Ducks. After losing Chris Boucher for the season, many suspected that this team wouldn’t make it out of the second round. Bell has been a defensive menace for the Ducks though, highlighted by his eight blocks against Kansas in the Elite Eight. He took home the award for the Most Outstanding Player in the Midwest Region after averaging 12.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game in Oregon’s four tournament games. Despite incredible performances from Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey, Bell is the key reason the Ducks are still standing.
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5. Tyler Dorsey – Oregon
There’s a reason Tyler Dorsey is known as Mr. March – he’s been utterly unstoppable during Oregon’s fantastic run. Dorsey is averaging 24.5 points per game and is shooting a scorching 69.1-percent from three-point land. But what makes Dorsey one of the best players left is his knack for coming up in the clutch. He has produced two game-winners, one against Rhode Island and the other against Michigan in the Sweet 16. His defense could be improved, but after taking down the powerhouse Jayhawks, Dorsey has his team thinking national championship.
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4. Przemek Karnowski – Gonzaga
Karnowski is an absolute specimen – at 7’1”, 300 pounds, he’s certainly the largest player left in the tournament. But don’t let his size fool you, as the Polish center is extremely athletic. Coming into the tournament, Karnowski averaged 12.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists while only playing 22.5 minutes per game. He’s been a physical presence down low the entire tournament and was deservedly nominated for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award (awarded to the best center in college basketball). The 23-year old also shoots over 60 percent from the field, making him one of the best players left in the Final Four.
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3. Sindarius Thornwell – South Carolina
Aside from his incredible defense, Thornwell has been an offensive monster. He leads all players in the Final Four in scoring, averaging a robust 27.8 points per game. Thornwell is high on the list for Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, and it’s safe to say that the Gamecocks would ne nowhere near the championship if it wasn’t for him. In order for South Carolina to finish their Cinderella run, the SEC Player of the Year is going to have to produce. Based on the way he’s been playing, the Gamecocks have to like their chances.
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2. Nigel Williams-Goss – Gonzaga
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have been almost perfect this season with a 36-1 record, and Nigel Williams-Goss is a major reason why. He’s a stat sheet-filler, going for a team-leading 16.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. While he was quiet during the first couple rounds of the tournament, he got hot against Xavier, putting up 23 points in the Elite Eight. The West Coast Conference Player of the Year is also a phenomenal defensive player, helping the Zags rank top 5 in the tournament for scoring defense, allowing just 60.9 points per game.
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1. Justin Jackson – North Carolina
Justin Jackson is absolutely the best player left in the NCAA Tournament. During the course of the season, Jackson led the Tar Heels in scoring, averaging 18.2 points per game on his way to winning the ACC Player of the Year award. In the tournament, Jackson has been better, averaging 19.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. He’s the only player in the Final Four that is an AP first team All-American – if he continues this stellar run, UNC could be taking home their first title since 2009.
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