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11 Players You Need to Watch in the NCAA Tournament

Doug McDermott Creighton Bluejays
Doug McDermott The 2014 Big East Player of the Year, McDermott has been largely responsible for Creighton's rise to prominence over the last three seasons. The Bluejays have made the Round of 32 in consecutive years for the first time since the tournament expanded in 1975 and they have designs on a deeper run this year as a No. 3 seed in the West. That will only happen if McDermott can keep up his stellar play.Nati Harnik—AP
CJ Fair Syracuse Orange
CJ Fair After winning its first 25 games, Syracuse enters the tournament on a cold streak. Any hope the Orange has of righting ship during the tournament will depend on Fair, a 6' 8" senior who anchors the team's front court and was named a second-team All-American.Geoff Burke—USA Today Sports/Reuters
Ron Baker Wichita State Shockers
Ron Baker With the trio of Cleathony Early, Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker leading the way, Wichita State became the first team since UNLV in 1991 to finish the regular season undefeated. The Shockers' tournament fate may rest on Baker's production. The undersized shooting guard, a force in the mid-major Missouri Valley Conference, will likely face more difficult defensive match-ups outside the friendly confines of the Missouri Valley Conference.Charlie Riedel—AP
Glenn Cosey Eastern Kentucky Colonels
Glenn Cosey Looking for this year’s highly unlikely but potentially thrilling No. 15 over No. 2 matchup? Eastern Kentucky has you covered. The Colonels are huge underdogs, but they’ll certainly keep Kansas busy with an array of three-point gunners. Their best is Cosey, a senior who shoots it from beyond the arc nearly eight times a game—and makes more than 42% of them.Mike McGinnis—Getty Images
Kyle Casey Harvard Crimson
Kyle Casey After last year's shocking first-round upset of Arizona, Harvard won't be slipping under anyone's radar. But if Casey—a 6' 7" senior forward who has been the backbone of this veteran squad—and his teammates perform like they did last year, that may not matter.Derek Regensburger—AP
Scottie Wilbekin Florida Gators
Scottie Wilbekin As the SEC Player of the Year and veteran leader of the tournament’s top team, Wilbekin will have no shortage of eyes on him for the next two weeks. The senior point guard has been the steady hand guiding Florida through their impressive 26-game winning streak to close out the season. Now we’ll see whether he can guide Florida to its first national title since 2007.Rob Foldy—Getty Images
Kyle Anderson UCLA Bruins
Kyle Anderson A 6’ 9” sophomore, Kyle Anderson does it all for UCLA and he'll have to summon all of his skills to lead the Bruins past both VCU and Florida in the grueling South region. Anderson averages nearly 15 points, nine rebounds and two steals per game—not to mention 6.6 assists per game, sixth in the nation.Jim McIsaac—Getty Images
Andrew Wiggins Kansas Jayhawks
Andrew Wiggins The most heralded high school player since LeBron, Wiggins has been overshadowed for much of the season by teammate and fellow freshman Joel Embiid, whose status for the tournament remains in serious doubt. With Embild uncertain, Wiggins will carry the load for a Jayhawks team that expects to make a deep run.Jamie Squire—Getty Images
Nick Johnson Arizona Wildcats
Nick Johnson The 6’ 3” junior is the top-scorer for dangerous Arizona, leading the Wildcats with 16.3 points per game. He will need to maintain that level of production for the young squad—Arizona has just one senior on its roster—to make a deep run.Ethan Miller—Getty Images
Jacob Parker Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks
Jacob Parker If Stephen F. Austin manages to topple VCU in the first round, Parker will likely be the reason. A 6’ 6” junior forward, he averages 14 points and seven rebounds per game and shoots it better than 54 percent from the field.Dan Woznia—ZUMA Press
Jabari Parker Duke Blue Devils
Jabari Parker The freshman star finished his first season in the tough ACC in impressive fashion, dropping 30 points on North Carolina during Duke's final regular season game, which the Blue Devils won 93-81. If he bolts for the NBA, Parker will be a Top 5 pick in June's draft. But before then, Duke's hopes of reaching the Final Four for the first time since 2010 will rest squarely on his shoulders. Streeter Lecka—Getty Images

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