More NCAA Tournament Coverage
NCAA Tournament TV Schedule/Viewing Grid
Note: The numbers listed next to players' names are their current standing in the latest iteration of our Top-100 Prospect Rankings
All Times Listed are EST
12:15 PM CBS Providence, Rhode Island
#4 Duke #1 Brandon Ingram, #34 Grayson Allen, Marshall Plumlee, Luke Kennard, Derryck Thornton, Chase Jeter
This should be an interesting matchup between two fast-paced teams, both of which like to play smaller lineups. Wilmington is virtually untested against elite-level competition, with their strongest opponent this season being a middling Big East squad in Georgetown, who underachieved badly. The Seahawks did only lose that game by five points, though.
From UNCW's standpoint, slowing down one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball in Grayson Allen will be a major key to their ability to keep this game close. They will try to force turnovers using their full-court press, so it will be up to Allen, Luke Kennard and Ingram to try and get easy baskets and break the game open. In the half-court, Duke will likely look to utilize Ingram and Allen's talent as shot-creators to pick apart UNCW's smaller defenders.
12:40 PM truTV Raleigh, North Carolina
#8 Texas Tech
#9 Butler Kellen Dunham, Kelan Martin
This is a game NBA scouts based in Raleigh might feel comfortable arriving at half-time for.
1:30 PM TNT Des Moines, Iowa
#8 Colorado Josh Scott, Xavier Johnson, Wesley Gordon
#9 Connecticut #96 Amida Brimah, Daniel Hamilton, Rodney Purvis, Jalen Adams
2:00 PM TBS Denver, Colorado
#4 Iowa State #47 Monte Morris, Georges Niang, Jameel McKay, Deonte Burton
#14 Iona A.J. English
This should be, first and foremost a highly entertaining contest between two elite offensive teams who love to operate in the open floor. The highlight of this contest should be the matchup between guards Monte Morris and A.J. English, although it's very possible both teams will try to save their elite playmakers from potential foul trouble by putting other defenders on them.
English is a more aggressive scorer who has developed into a better facilitator in his senior year, which is important considering he turns 24 this summer. Morris on the other hand was always a pure passer who has been asked to step up and carry a bigger offensive load this season. While the two are only a year apart in terms of class, Morris is actually three years younger than English, which makes all the different in the NBA Draft world.
English has a lot more to gain by showing he can slow down Morris with his superior size, although Morris will certainly want to avoid another first round upset after the Cyclones' surprising loss to UAB in last year's NCAA Tournament.
2:45 PM CBS Providence, Rhode Island
#5 Baylor #22 Taurean Prince, Johnathan Motley, Rico Gathers
#12 Yale Justin Sears
This will be a great opportunity for Ivy League player of the year Justin Sears to show he can compete at this level, as he'll be asked to match up with one of the most physically developed and imposing frontcourts in all of college hoops.
Taurean Prince will be eyeballed closely by the scouts in attendance as he has a very good chance to emerge as a first round pick this June. His versatility playing multiple positions and defending a variety of different types of players is coveted in today's NBA. Prince's outside shot has been somewhat streaky this year and he's struggled with the added responsibility thrown his way at times, so it will be important for him to finish the season on a strong note.
3:00 PM truTV Raleigh, North Carolina
#1 Virginia #38 Malcolm Brogdon, Anthony Gill, Mike Tobey
Hampton loves to push the tempo, but is generally a poor offensive team even relative to their MEAC conference. They were drilled by 30+ points both times they faced a high major opponent this season, and will likely need a miracle to keep this game respectable. Making perimeter shots will be a huge key for them, something that they have not done consistently most of the year. Look for this to be an ugly and low-scoring game, just the way Virginia likes it. NBA scouts will surely want to take a closer look at Malcolm Brogdon, but they won't probably want to do it in a game like this.
4:00 PM TNT Des Moines, Iowa
#1 Kansas #37 Cheick Diallo, #44 Wayne Selden, #45 Sviatoslav Mykahiliuk, #69 Perry Ellis, Frank Mason, Carlton Bragg, Jamari Traylor, Devonte Graham, Brannen Greene, Landen Lucas
#16 Austin Peay Chris Horton
Kansas' matchup with Austin Peay, a team that rode an uncharacteristically hot shooting streak to the OVC Tournament championship, should be interesting for NBA scouts if the game gets out of hand quickly and the likes of Cheick Diallo and Sviatoslav Mykahiliuk get an extended run.
Horton is a physical player who mostly relies on his brute strength to bully low-major big men inside the paint, although he does show nice touch around the basket. He pursues loose balls with quickness and timing, often going out of his area impressively with an excellent second bounce. He struggles when forced to operate outside of the paint, though, and has had difficulty finishing over length. Defensively, he mostly lives off his instincts, and does not have great fundamentals.
As an undersized center without a great deal of skill, feel or freakish athleticism, this is a huge opportunity to show what he can do against one of the best teams in college basketball.
4:30 PM TBS Denver, Colorado
#5 Purdue #39 A.J. Hammons, Caleb Swanigan, Isaac Haas, Vince Edwards
#12 Arkansas-Little Rock Josh Hagins
Purdue could be on upset alert as they face one of the biggest surprise teams of the college basketball season in Arkansas-Little Rock.
The key to this game will clearly be on the interior, where Purdue has arguably the biggest and strongest frontcourt in the NCAA with two 7-footers in A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas, and another bruising PF/C in Caleb Swanigan. The Boilermakers will look to throw the ball inside early and often, and they will test Little Rock's big men repeatedly in the post. UALR plays quite a bit of zone, which may make things a bit challenging for Purdue in terms of making entry passes and finding the open man out of double teams.
Hagins doesn't have great size or athleticism at around 6'1, but has a wiry frame with extremely long arms, great toughness, and a terrific feel for the game. He plays at different speeds, finding ways to create space for himself using crafty driving angles. Hagins is a solid perimeter shooter who is especially effective pulling up off the dribble. He's also a terrific distributor who loves to find the open man and is constantly probing with the dribble or the pass and does a great job of making his teammates better.
Defensively, he is competitive and uses his length well to contest shots all over the floor generating plenty of deflections and steals.
From an NBA standpoint, Hagins seems to be an inch or two too small on paper, and not quite freakishly athletic to make up for it, but he should definitely get looks from NBA teams and seems like a lock to be invited to Portsmouth. He can help himself tremendously with an upset win over Purdue, and will benefit greatly from the exposure of the NCAA platform if he's able to perform in this setting.
6:50 PM TNT Providence, Rhode Island
#3 Miami #62 Sheldon McClellan, Tonye Jekiri, Jaquan Newton, Davon Reed
Buffalo is a fast-paced team, who lives off the work they do in the open court, which should make for an interesting contest if they can find a way to make shots against one of the most balanced teams in the country. Miami operates at a much slower pace, but is highly efficient offensively and is one of the best pick and roll scoring teams in all of college basketball.
7:10 PM CBS Des Moines, Iowa
#5 Indiana #28 Thomas Bryant, #80 Troy Williams, #90 Yogi Ferrell, James Blackmon, Robert Johnson Ogugua Anunoby
#12 Chattanooga Justin Tuoyo
Chattanooga ran through the Southern Conference, emerging as one of the few low-major conference favorites to win their tournament, and in the process earned a strong NCAA seed. Their reward is matching up with Big Ten champions Indiana, one of the most prolific offenses in college basketball. Chattanooga will have their hands full trying to slow down Indiana's well-spaced and extremely efficient perimeter attack, which is spearheaded by the deep range and jet-quickness of senior point guard Yogi Ferrell. Yogi has quite a bit to gain from an NBA standpoint by making a deep tournament run, trying to prove to scouts that his diminutive size should not diminish from what has by all accounts been a tremendous college career .
The player scouts will be watching most closely in this game is freshman big man Thomas Bryant, who has put up gaudy per-minute numbers and ranks as one of the most productive freshman in college basketball. While he's found quite a bit of success offensively, teams will want to see more from him as a defender in terms of protecting the rim, moving his feet, and not being as foul prone as he has at times this year. His matchup with Chattanooga big man Justin Tuoyo, a highly skilled but at times frustrating transfer from VCU, will be interesting to track.
7:20 PM TBS Raleigh, North Carolina
#1 North Carolina #34 Brice Johnson, #67 Justin Jackson, #75 Marcus Paige, #79 Kennedy Meeks, Theo Pinson, Isaiah Hicks, Joel Berry, Joel James
#16 Florida Gulf Coast
It would take some kind of a miracle for this undersized and undermanned Florida Gulf Coast team to pose a serious challenge to the offensive juggernaut that is the North Carolina Tar Heels. UNC has a number of big and highly skilled bodies they can throw at FGC's underwhelming frontcourt, and keeping them out of the open court will be very difficult.
7:27 PM truTV Denver, Colorado
#3 Utah #6 Jakob Poeltl, Kyle Kuzma, Brekkott Chapman, Lorenzo Bonam
#14 Fresno State Marvelle Harris
Fresno State will have their hands full trying to contain 7-footer Jakob Poeltl, one of the most skilled big men in college basketball. Their best bet may be to spread the floor and make Poeltl guard in space and deal with constant double-teams like some teams have had success doing this year.
Harris does not have great size at around 6'4, but has long arms and a strong frame that he uses to overpower opposing guards at the college level. He is very good in the open floor, showing an extra gear that surprises you at times considering he does not look like a freakish athlete on first glance. He's an effective straight-line ball-handler who loves to bully his way into contact, and doesn't turn the ball over as much as you'd think considering his style of play.
Harris is a far better off the dribble shooter than he is with his feet set, often settling for the first shot he can find, whether with a hand in his face or not. For Fresno State to have any chance of winning this game, they'll need Harris to exceed his typical middling shooting percentages (44% 2P%, 33% 3P%).
Defensively, his long wingspan and strong frame are assets at the college level, but his poor fundamentals and awareness cause him to fall asleep in his stance and lose opponents off the ball, and reach, swipe and bite on fakes unnecessarily.
9:20 PM TNT Providence, Rhode Island
#6 Arizona #61 Allonzo Trier, #94 Kaleb Tarczewski, Ryan Anderson, Mark Tollefsen, Ray Smith, Justin Simon, Dusan Ristic, Kadeem Allen, Chance Comanche
#11 Wichita State #93 Fred VanVleet, Ron Baker, Markis McDuffie
Arizona likely wasn't expecting to face such strong competition this early in the NCAA Tournament, but they will be tested mightily right off the bat.
Wichita State were considered likely NIT participants by most experts after falling earlier than expected in their conference tournaments following a disappointing regular season, but were able to advance to this game out of Dayton by demolishing a very talented Vanderbilt team. They are led by seniors Fred VanVleet (#93) and Ron Baker, who are among the most recognizable names in college basketball after leading Wichita State to the Final Four two years ago and upsetting Kansas in the NCAA Tournament last year.
For Arizona, this is a big game for freshman Allonzo Trier (#61), who is likely to enter the 2016 NBA Draft, according to sources, and is hoping to show enough in the NCAA Tournament to convince scouts he's worthy of being one and done. The 20-year shooting guard lives at the free throw line, is making 37% of his 3-pointers and has improved quite a bit defensively since arriving in Tucson. His average physical tools and poor passing ability has made it difficult for him to get his stock off the ground, but a strong NCAA Tournament run, starting with a big showing against Ron Baker could help him start to change scouts' minds.
9:40 PM CBS Des Moines, Iowa
#4 Kentucky #7 Jamal Murray, #10 Skal Labissiere, #30 Tyler Ulis, #78 Isaiah Briscoe, #89 Alex Poythress, Marcus Lee, Charles Matthews
#13 Stony Brook #95 Jameel Warney
Stony Brook senior big man Jameel Warney (#95) had arguably the most impressive performance of any player in conference tournament action this weekend, scoring 43 points (18/22 FG) to go along with 10 rebounds and 4 blocks as his team took down Vermont in the America East finals.
After a strong showing against Damian Jones and Vanderbilt in non-conference play in November (http://www.draftexpress.com/video/12098/), Warney now has another chance to show what he can do against another, much stronger, SEC frontline in Kentucky, particularly vs freshman Skal Labissiere (#10) who has been maddeningly inconsistent all season.
Warney does not have great height, length or athleticism, but is extremely skilled inside the paint and has an outstanding feel for the game. If he can show his production can translate against the likes of Labissiere, Alex Poythress (#89), Marcus Lee and Isaac Humphries, his stock will soar heading into the pre-draft process.
9:50 PM TBS Raleigh, North Carolina
#8 USC Chimezie Metu, Elijah Stewart, Jordan McLaughlin, Julian Jacobs, Bennie Boatright
#9 Providence #5 Kris Dunn, #84 Benjamin Bentil, Alex Owens
Redshirt junior Kris Dunn (#5) has been up and down throughout the season, but has a chance to deliver Providence their first NCAA Tournament victory since 1997, something that was widely expected once he surprisingly passed up the chance to be a lottery pick last year to return to school. He'll be helped by sophomore Ben Bentil (#84) who has had a breakout season and is one of the most prolific scoring big men you'll find in the college ranks, both inside the paint and on the perimeter.
While on paper, USC has a very young team, they actually have some nice prospects to throw at Dunn and Bentil to try and slow them down. 6'4 junior Julian Jacobs is one of the few collegiate point guards who is just as physically gifted as Dunn, and he has both the frame to get into his body and the quickness to try and stay in front on the perimeter. Scouts will get a better feel for Dunn's ability to run a team and create his own shot in this game than they normally do vs Big East competition.
For USC, freshman Chimezie Metu (#28, DX 2017 Mock Draft) is an athletic big man who can protect the rim and should be able to give Bentil problems inside the paint. Fellow freshman Bennie Boatwright is a skilled stretch-4 who is also getting some NBA looks and will force Bentil to play defense when the two are matched up, something he's not always fond of. Bentil is reportedly highly likely to enter this year's draft, so he will certainly want to go out on as high a note as possible.
9:57 PM truTV Denver, Colorado
#6 Seton Hall Isaiah Whitehead, Angel Delgado
#11 Gonzaga #26 Domantas Sabonis, #83 Kyle Wiltjer, Josh Perkins
While many players have hit the wall late in the season, Isaiah Whitehead has run straight through it, averaging 27 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists per-40 minutes on 47% 3-point shooting over his last ten games. He led Seton Hall to their first Big East tournament championship in 23 years along the way, and has piqued the interest of NBA teams who had mostly written the 21-year old off after a very lackluster first season and a half of college basketball.
Seton Hall will have their hands full with Gonzaga's talented frontcourt, led by projected first round pick Domantas Sabonis (#26) and 6'9 senior Kyle Wiltjer (#83). Sabonis is a tremendous competitor who hauls in a robust 15 rebounds per-40 minutes alongside Wiltjer, who is one of the most skilled big men scorers (25 points per-40) in college basketball.