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2015 NCAA Tournament player draft

OKC Dave, Carson, Amilian and Nolan joined me for our annual NCAA tournament player draft.



Frank the Tank went No. 1 overall. (USASI)

Frank the Tank went No. 1 overall. (USASI)

It’s become an annual tradition around here to draft a bunch of players most of us have never watched and follow them for two or three weeks in March.

We’ve held our NCAA fantasy draft for three years now and decided to do it again in 2015 (there’s no reason Travis Ford should ruin ALL of our fun).

Here’s a look at past drafts: 2014 | 2013 | 2012


Draft five guys
Most total points scored for the tournament wins
Double-digit seeded guys get 2x points for their games
Final Four games are worth 2x the points


We picked draft order by letting the winner from last year pick what pick he wanted. Second place got to pick what pick they wanted next. The usual suspects were involved

1. Nolan
2. Carson
3. Amilian
4. Kyle
5. OKC Dave


Porter: Nolan, you’re on the clock. See if you can drag yourself away from the taco trucks and pick a player.


Carson: Damn, I wanted Frank the Tank. I’m picking Wisky to win it. And I spent roughly two minutes on my bracket so I’m an expert.

Jabari Parker ruined my team last year, but I’m going back to the Dukie well. Jahlil Okafor (Duke). I just watched the Laettner 30 for 30 and I remembered I actually liked Hurley, Laettner and Hill.

I didn’t like the later Duke squads (Battier, Redick, etc.) but I rooted for them over Kentucky and the Fab Five. If my team gets crushed by Cinderella like this again, so be it.

Amilian: With my (everyone’s) top two choices gone, I have to go with my best chance to double up on Final Four and championship points. Kentucky’s roster is a cluster of guys sharing scoring duties, but I’ve decided on Aaron Harrison (Kentucky).

I would love to see Wiscy knock them out a game early, which will be fine because my lead in this thing should be large enough by then that I won’t need an extra game from Harrison.

Porter: I just realized I know less about college basketball this season than any season in the past 15 years of my life. The number of players I can name outside (and inside) the Big 12 is embarrassing.

That said, I’ll take the freshman that’s going to make Frank Kaminsky’s dreams go [makes Teddy KGB gesture] “vwwwooop.”

Also, just for clarification, the play-in games don’t count so if you’re taking somebody from that group you have to do so on the faith that they’ll make it through to the real dance.

Amilian: Teddy lost that hand so nice GIF choice.

Dave: Who is your pick???

Carson: I, too, know the least amount of college hoops in my life. So I have no idea who Kyle drafted. (I say we give him John Malkovich)

Dave: I was afraid I was the only one. I think he spent more time on the gif than the pick. I say we give him Cobbins.

Nolan: Care to actually give us the name of this mystery Freshman you’re talking about or are you just going leave it vague and say “Come on. You guys knew who I was talking about” when some freshman for Wofford drops 20/game en route to the Elite 8?

Porter: Haha, my pick is Stanley Johnson (Arizona). I’d literally never heard of him until 10 minutes ago.


Dave: So we’re four picks in and choosing guys we’ve never heard of. College basketball!

To close out the first round I’ll go with Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga), former Kentucky Wildcat national champion and the best player since Thunder Dan Marjele with “jer” in his last name.

And with the first pick in the 2nd round I’ll take Darrun Hilliard (Nova).

Amilian: Kyle, stop puzzling yourself with Virginia’s roster and take Spangler.

Carson: Tiger must have tweeted he was coming back or Rory must have posted a new workout video. That’s the only explanation why the guy who doesn’t have to leave his house for work is halting the draft.

Porter: Sorry, guys. Birthday dinner tonight. Luby’s had a fish special. Will pick it up about 8 hours before Carson wakes up tomorrow.

[One day later]

Porter: I think I have to automatically suspend myself from running PFB for a week for doing this but I want the Bahaman Bomber, Buddy Hield (OU) as my No. 2 pick.

He’s the Big 12 Player of the Year and if Spangler’s hands weren’t covered in Crisco, they could have won the Big 12 tournament behind his monstrous performances. They won’t be ousted in the first round in two straight seasons.


Amilian: Let’s keep the Lexington train rolling with the big K-A-T from the Cats. Karl-Anthony Towns (Kentucky), come on down big guy.

Ashley Judd, what do you think about my roster so far?

Dave: Amilian when Kentucky gets bounced in the second round:

Amilian: All of you when Kentucky rolls to the Championship game…

Carson: I thought for sure Amilian would pick the wrong Wildcat big man, he did finish dead last for a reason last year.

But I’ll take the remaining member of The Big Hyphens,[1. I just made up that nickname. How is this not their nickname?] Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky).

is more polished on offense but they will just take turns punking the opposing bigs on their way to the Final Four.

Wait, Kyle took Buddy Hield over The Big Hyphens?

Amilian: Hyphens in first names > Hyphens in last names. (That Cal GIF is unreal)

Porter: Nolan is up [far eastern exercise class joke goes here].

Carson: I’m about to hit the golf course but will still be able to take my War Room mobile. What’s Nolan’s excuse? No cell phones allowed in hot yoga?

Nolan: Sorry, Carson. After last night’s beat down I spent most of the morning combing the Thunder roster trying to find somebody who could keep Chandler Parsons under 30 should they see the Mavs again in the playoffs, but I just don’t see it.

With my 2nd pick, I’m going with Darrun Hilliard (Villanova). The ‘Cats quietly went 32-2 this year in the new carcass of a Big East, and their leading scorer will be the perfect compliment to Frank Kaminsky. You just can’t replace senior leadership when it comes to fantasy sports.

With my 3rd pick I’m going with The Other Harrison Twin (Kentucky). The Other Harrison Twin does it all. He wins and he scores and who am I kidding I don’t even know which one plays point guard and which one plays the 2 but I know Kentucky isn’t losing anytime soon so let’s just go with it.

Kentucky has played a lot of guys through their weak SEC schedule, but guys like The Other Harrison Twin should get the majority of the minutes as they hit the later rounds.

Amilian: All that time and he picks a guy already taken. Find another compliment for Kaminsky, bruh.

Nolan: It’s okay I didn’t want him anyway. Terrible pick, Dave. I’ll go with the guy I wanted all along who just so happens to play for my beloved Dukies…Quinn Cook (Duke).

He leads the team at 35 minutes a game, and again, you can’t put a price on senior leadership when it comes to fantasy sports.

Porter: For $1 million, I could not tell you if Quinn Cook is white or black.

Carson: I can totally see Nolan and Chandler Parsons doing hot yoga together. #MFFL

I’ll take Jerian Grant (Notre Dame), whom I couldn’t pick out of a lineup. But Google tells me he’s awesome.

Amilian: Cook and Grant were my next two but I’m not going to act like I knew the difference between them. That’s fine because I need some magic on my squad. Hilton Magic to be specific.

Georges Niang (Iowa State) with my 3rd pick.

Porter: Grant and Niang were my two picks so it sounds like Google is sending all of us the same stuff.

Terry Rozier (Louisville) is my No. 3 guy. Pitino is a wizard in March and I trust Villanova about as much as I’d trust Le’Bryan to run the PFB Twitter account.

Amilian: Pitino won’t have anything to do with Villanova struggling with my Panthers.

Dave: Well I use Ask Jeeves so I should come up with something a little different. Let’s see…

Brandon Ashley (Arizona), who is on a bit of a tear after winning the Pac 12 Tournament MOP award.

I am really stepping out on this one, but what the heck. Who better to pick in a points pool than the nation’s leading scorer? Tyler Haws (BYU). BYU is an 11 seed, so while they are alive Tyler will contribute 2x for me.

Internal dialogue: but Dave…they are in a play-in game and might not survive to play in the “real” tournament. Silence! My choice has been made.

: Tyler Harvey would like a word… (no you cannot change now)

Dave: I use total points, not “points per game”. What is that, one of those sabermetric thingamajigs?

: I’ll take Sam Dekker (Wisconsin). I’m incredibly confident in their ability to get to the Sweet 16.

Amilian: Ugh. I wanted a Badger on my team and I was really close to taking Nigel Hayes (who I found out is their third leading scorer), but if I’m going to call them my Panthers, I need to back it up. Give me Seth Tuttle (UNI).

Carson: Deep run be damned: Give me D’Angelo Russell (the Ohio State) and hope he goes off. Me winning this draft while on the golf course:

Nolan: Carson, Aaron Craft already exhausted all 17 years of his eligibility. You can’t draft him. The Kentucky walk-ons are going to play more tournament games than Seth Tuttle this year, but good pick Amilian.

As much as I’d love to have a Plumlee on my team, I’m going to have to go with Trey Lyles (Kentucky) who Google tells me is one of Kentucky’s top five leading scorers, and the feathery bangs of Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga).

The Zags have the big men to go toe to toe with the Dukies if they meet in the Elite 8.

: Pangos is the captain of the Gerry McNamara All-Stars (guys who have been in college a decade). I’ve got UVA in the Final Four so I’m going Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia).

Amilian: I have to have a double-digit seed guy so I’m picking Thomas Walkup (SFA), who’s obviously from Stephen F. Austin. Utah and Georgetown (or Eastern Washington?) are winnable games for my experienced Cinderella Lumberjacks.

Porter: Always bet on Melo in March. SVP and I will toast to Melo Trimble (Maryland) taking down Cal and Co. in the Sweet 16.

Dave: There’s an obvious pick here. If I watched more college basketball I’d know what it is. Instead I’ll go with Delon Wright (Utah).

Dave (4 hours later): Mistakes were made.


Nolan: Kaminsky-Cook-Other Harrison-Lyles-Pangos
Carson: Okafor-Cauley-Stein-Grant-Russell-Brogdon
Amilian: Harrison-Towns-Niang-Tuttle-Walkup
Porter: Johnson-Hield-Rozier-Dekker-Trimblr
Dave: Wiltjer-Hilliard-Ashley-Haws-Wright

Here’s the Google Doc if you want to follow along. We’ll all be talking trash on Twitter, I’m sure.

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