Connect with us


NCAA Tournament player draft



Photo Attribution: USATSI

Photo Attribution: USATSI

Every year Quade, Amilian, Nolan and I do an NCAA Tournament player draft (like we needed something else to enhance our Tournament viewing experience). Winner gets a Sports Illustrated cover poster and bragging rights for 365 days.

Here are the rules:

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.

Draft order was Quade-Amilian-Porter-Nolo.

Let’s get to the draft!

Porter: Come on Quade, I don’t have all day.

Quade: I’m in the process. Chill, brah. It’s only the most important pick of the draft. I don’t get another one for 7 picks. I’m going with Shane Larkin. Miami = Nat’l Champs.

Porter: Are we putting this on PFB? Is that the intelligence you want to spew, Quade? Three words and a mathematical symbol?

Quade: I’m not afraid to put that on PFB, but if you want more, how about he’s the leading scorer on one of seven or eight teams that have a legit shot to win it all. They’re also playing in what I believe is the easiest region in the tournament. He also didn’t score in double figures only six times in 33 games. I like consistency and I like it on a team that I think is going to win it all.
The |__|

Is that better?

Porter: “The |__|” is all-time from you. Wow.

Quade: I’m all in on Miami. I worked for one of the assistants at Tulsa. I think they are the type of team that wins in March. Good guard play with some size to counter teams that want to slow it down. I want to get online and get some I__I swag overnight delivered.

Nolo: Before I pick, are Marshall Henderson points really worth triple?

Amilian: Although I haven’t worked with any of the Zags’ assistants in the past, I really like their chances of getting to the Elite 8 and will most likely have them in my Final 4 when my bracket is completed. Kelly Olynyk averages 17.5 ppg and is very efficient. He’s consistent, too. Only two teams have held him under 10 points the entire season (OU being one).

Give me the Canadian.

Quade: Uh, no. Henderson points aren’t worth triple. Unless, Kamari Murphy points are worth 100x.

Porter: Lord, our region is a freaking bloodbath. I don’t trust anybody to come out of there.

I’ll look towards an easier region and take DeShaun Thomas to take down your fightin’ Olynyks in the Elite Eight, Amilian.

I feel like I always pick Ohio State guys btw (I think I had Thomas last year too).

Quade: Solid pick, maybe most reliable scorer in the tournament. Take Craft on the way back to keep the trend going.

Amilian: No I picked Thomas last year and you guys questioned the pick…then he went off. But nice attempt to steal credit for my great pick last year. You probably took Sullinger.

Nolo: Thomas was one of the guys I really wanted. Buckeyes are playing good ball right now and he can go off at any time just like he did in the tournament last year.

For my first pick, I’m going with Otto Porter, Jr. I just don’t see KU making the Final 4 despite getting a fairly good draw. My other pick comes from the 1 seed who I think has the easiest road to the Final 4 despite potentially having to play the best 2 seed to get there. I’m going with Cody Zeller of the Indiana Hoosiers.

By the way, the more I look at this bracket, the more I can’t believe how tough our region is. Louisville is playing the best basketball in the country. If Ryan Kelly is healthy all year, Duke is probably the #1 overall seed. If Oregon’s PG doesn’t get hurt, they’re easily a 5 seed or better. Oh, and don’t forget about Michigan State. Since Tom Izzo took over, there has NEVER BEEN A 4 YEAR PLAYER THERE WHO HASN’T MADE THE FINAL 4. How crazy is that?!

Amilian: That’s an incredible stat on Sparty. I love picking Izzo in the tournament.

Quade: I realize el Tigre is now officially dating the best skier in the world and that they released what appears to be the world’s first set of professional dating pictures (think engagement pictures without the ring), but can we make a selection please?

Porter: Sorry I had to take care of business after Tiger did his thing (how much would be we killing each other if any of us announced a relationship via a Facebook album btw?), but I’m back.

I’ll go with McLeMore even though I trust Kansas about as much as I trust Tiger in a relationship

Amilian: Wow, didn’t expect him to be taken so early. There’s one more leading scorer from a 1-seed left, so I’ll take Louisville’s Russ Smith. It’s such a brutal region but I like their chances better than I do Creighton’s and we all know Q is taking McDermott with one of his next two picks.

Quade: I really thought I would get McLemore here. Crap…and no, I’m not going Doug McD.

This is really brutal. There isn’t anyone I feel like is a lock to get to the final four. I’m terrified of this pick, but ultimately I think Mich St beats Duke and gets to the final four. Give me the freshman Gary Harris, shoots 41% from 3.

For my third, I want Rodney McGruder. I’m saying Bruce Weber does what he did at Illinois (less one game), take someone else’ players to the Final Four.

Nolo: I don’t know what to do with K-State. They got a good draw, but do you really trust anyone on that team besides McGruder? I think he’ll go off too, but until what round? I know I’m going to get destroyed for this, but I really like Rodriguez’ game. I just don’t know if they’re deep enough to make a long run, but they haven’t lost to anybody. Who freaking knows.

Porter: I hate myself for also liking Rodriguez’s game.

Amilian: I thought Nolan forgot the draft order and took Rodriguez with his third pick. I was like oooooooookaaaayyyyyyyy.

Time for a Dukie. I though Q was going to make this pick for me by taking Plumlee or Curry, leaving me the other. I guess I’ll have to make the decision. Taking Plumlee won’t get me any closer to my crush on Steph Curry’s shot, so the pick is Seth.

Nolo: I think you should lose a point for every time they show Seth Curry’s mom, just to make him scoring a little more bearable for the rest of us.

Quade: Have fun when they lose to Creighton. I’m sorry, I’m still bitter about taking Seth Curry last year only to have them lose in round 1 (I refuse to call it round 2).

Amilian: They very well could lose to Creighton but I like their chances against Creighton more than I do K-State’s chances against Wisconsin.

Quade: I probably do if I had to choose only one, but ultimately I felt like K State gets to at least the elite eight and Duke gets only to the sweet 16. I feel like Duke either wins it all or doesn’t make it to the second weekend. This coming from a person who really likes Duke and Coach K.

Plus, I’m severely skewed by last year’s loss.

Porter: This is nutty, I have no idea who to take…the only teams I want to trust are Florida and New Mexico and Florida doesn’t have any scorers and New Mexico is playing DeShaun in the S16…

Trey Burke is going to get Wolters’d and if he doesn’t he’s definitely going to get Shaka’d in the second round.

Marquette is staring at three of my favorite Cinderellas ever (Bucknell, Butler, and Davidson). UGH!

Eff it, give me Anthony Bennett from UNLV. Cuse is garbage and UNLV could legitimately get to the Elite 8.

Quade: Or lose to Cal in a virtual home game. You know what we should be playing for? A Marcus Smart [fill in the blank lottery team] jersey tee.

Porter: You a Bobcats fan?

Quade: Haha…no. Just thought it would be an interesting thing to play for. You win, then you wait for draft night to see which team you get to be a fan of next year. It would make the draft 734x more interesting.

Plus, nothing says I’m 31 years old, have a son, and am working on my PhD like the jersey tee of a 19 year old.

Nolo: I’m taking a goofy, 6’11” white post player named Mason who is first team All-Conference and has a buttery smooth baby hook. I know your first thought was probably Academic All Big 12 first teamer Mason Cox, but I’m actually going with Mason Plumlee instead. I hate taking somebody from Duke, but they are the best team in the country when they want to be and he’s their most consistent scorer.

For my other guy, I’m taking the best player in college basketball, Trey Burke. Michigan was ranked #1 in the country at one point this year but somehow wound up with a 4 seed despite finishing the year ranked in the top 10. I hate picking against the Jackrabbits, but I LOVE the matchup of Burke against whatever PG KU wants to roll out there in the Sweet 16. If the NBA offspring on that team play with more composure than their dad’s ever did, they could easily make the FF.

That being said, I have no idea what’s going to happen. I could easily see both teams getting bounced the first weekend. The pick stands though. Trey Burke, a Plumlee Brother, and a shot of whiskey.

Amilian: Kyle…

Quade: crickets….surely you’re not spending this much time on your pick

Nolo: The 2003 Vikings think Kyle is taking forever to make a pick…

Porter: I’m testing clubs. Can we finish tomorrow?

Amilian: [redacted]

Porter: Sorry, just trying to do my job well 🙂

I wish Creighton was a 10-seed btw…I guess we probably all do.

I also want to take Marshall Henderson here — the problem is I could see him going 2-19 just as easily as I could see him dropping 45 and giving a terrified, mostly-white Wisconsin student section some sort of hood throat slash the likes of which we’ve never seen.

Fine, I’ll take McDermott. They should beat Cincy then maybe he’ll Szczerbiak Duke in the second round. At the very least he and Kelly should have some kind of shootout…

I literally trust zero of these teams.

Amilian: I’m choosing a team here because I’d rather have the second leading scorer on a top seed than a leading scorer on a 4-5 seed.

I like Indiana to get to the Final Four and like them more than any team coming out of the South Region. With the 15th overall pick, I select Victor Oladipo.

Quade: I’m going with a similar rationale with my first one. Take the second leading scorer on a team I think will get to the final four. I’ll take Jeff Withey, as much as it pains me to do so.

For my last pick, I wish I knew if everyone else was going to go for one double digit seed guy. It’s so enticing to do so, but also incredibly risky…hence the whole point. But, heck, three of my guys are gonna be in the final four anyway (Larkin, Harris, and Withey). The problem is there are two guys I really want to take, neither named Marshall. Okay, I’m going with the guy who I think will get to play three games…Allen Crabbe of Cal. They’re playing virtual home games in San Jose against UNLV and then a weird Syracuse team or Montana. He’s pretty consistent, which means he’ll probably have 4 on Thursday and they’ll get housed by UNLV.

If the other guys I was debating goes off, I’m gonna be ticked.

Amilian: I love that pick. Not because of who it is but because it’s ballsy. I’m going with double-digit team guy, but debating on which team’s chances I like the most.

Quade: I feel like the chances they beat UNLV are pretty much 50-50. And so if I get two games out of him it could be worth it. I think I won this the first time because Justin Harper (I think) on Richmond (double-digit) got more than one game and I didn’t even know his race.

I really wanted to go with my other guy too though.

Porter: “I didn’t even know his race.”

Anthony Bennett is going to make you wish you hadn’t taken Allen Crabbe (Cal message boarders probably struggle with that name btw — so much room for error).

Amilian: This was so tough.

I like Bucknell, but that means I’m betting against Brad Stevens in the tourney.

Davidson doesn’t have a guy who averages at least 15.

I don’t think SDST takes down Michigan as much as we all would love that, so I’d get Wolters for one game

I’m taking Ian Clark from Belmont. The kid can shoot it and he’s not afraid to let it fly. They’ll give Arizona a fight and then have a chance to upset New Mexico. Screw it. Going all in on my Bruins.

Nolo: I never would have thought that the best player taken on a team called the Bruins would be some guy Amilian has never seen play for Belmont instead of a guy for UCLA named Shabazz.

Amilian: Highlights are good enough for me. Plus UCLA is weak. They’re a 9 seed in a 6 seed’s body.

Porter: That’s a hell of a line, Amilian.

This is easily the toughest draft we’ve ever done. I mean I have NO clue who to pick.

I’ve watched 1,280+ minutes of Oklahoma State basketball games and I know you should never bet against Marcus Smart but God bless the fact that I would have two guys in the Midwest and neither would be on Louisville, Duke, Michigan State, or St. Louis.

I’ll go Elias Harris instead. I think Gonzaga is the real deal and either them or tOSU is going to the Final Four.

Nolo: I agree about UCLA. The more I hear about Oregon the more frustrated I get btw. There’s like 15 teams we should be playing instead of them.

I guess now I have to wait another 2 hours for Kyle to blast some Rocketballzzz with the new R17 or whatever before making my final pick.

Porter: Oregon-OSU is the first top 25 matchup between BCS teams in Tournament history. The committee can, as Quade loves to opine, go pound sand.

Nolo: This guy could win me the tournament or lose it for me, but I’m going to have more fun rooting for him than any of you will with any of your picks.

With the last pick in the draft, I’m taking orange basketball jesus.

Quade: Should be fun. I updated the google doc. I’m surprised no one took Wolters. Michigan’s D is pretty bad and he lit someone up for 53! this year. I mean if you look at his lines night to night it’s pretty incredible (and yes I get he plays in the Summit league, but you still have to be legit to do what he does so consistently).

Porter: I wanted to take Wolters really bad.


Quade – Larkin-Harris-McGruder-Withey-Crabbe

Amilian – Olynyk-Smith-Curry-Oladipo-Clark

Porter – Thomas-McLemore-Bennett-McDermott-Harris

Nolo – Porter-Zeller-Plumlee-Burke-Smart

Here’s the Google Doc if you guys want to follow along.

Most Read

Copyright © 2011- 2023 White Maple Media