5 Players You Need To Watch In The 2012 NCAA Tournament, Part 2

It’s tourney time, which means meaningful afternoon basketball between teams we pretend to know something about. I, for one, will openly admit that I cannot name a single player on Mississippi Valley State. I can, however, point you towards a few players to look out for in this year’s tournament.

On Monday, we gave you five players that weren’t necessarily from big-name schools, but are talented enough that you’ll be bound to hear their name at some point in the next few weeks. And that’s what it’s all about right? Getting that inside scoop to find the No. 12 seed destined for the Sweet 16 or that No. 14 seed with the best chance to pull off one incredible upset. You feel smart. You dominate your office pool. You get the girl. Everyone wins.

Here’s part two of this series, another in our continuing coverage of the best college basketball weekend of the year.

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Trey Burke, PG – Michigan
In Dime #65 we told you to keep an eye on the former Mr. Basketball of Ohio, and he has not disappointed. Averaging 14.6 points and 4.8 assists per game, Burke led the Wolverines to a 24-9 record. Despite a disappointing performance against Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament, his lethal three-point shooting make him and the rest of Michigan basketball a dangerous opponent to face.

Drew Gordon, F – New Mexico
Posting 13.4 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, the senior forward certainly has the NBA in his future. But for now, the Lobos will need his inside scoring and rebounding to counteract the three-point shooting of Long Beach State and the quick guards of a potential second round matchup with Louisville.

Keith Wright, F – Harvard
Don’t lie. You want Harvard to win. There’s no celebration more pure than the “Holy sh*t we’re winning!” enthusiasm of the Ivy League. So while you’re sipping on tea and discussing the Aeneid, watch out for Keith Wright, last year’s Ivy League Player of the Year. His .594 field-goal percentage led the Ivy League this season and he should prove to be a handful for the SEC Champion Vanderbilt Commodores.

Kevin Jones, F – West Virginia
Not many guys can put up a double-double in college, let alone 20 and 10. Kevin Jones’ 20.1 points and 11.2 rebounds per game is a big step up from his performance last season and will be needed if the Mountaineers hope to advance.

John Henson, F – North Carolina
He’s here only because of the wrist injury, which could make or break UNC’s chances. The selection committee gave UNC a No. 1 seed because of reports that Henson will be good to go by Thursday, but his defensive presence on the inside is crucial to UNC’s success. We’re tempted to say that his presence won’t matter until the second weekend, but we’re afraid of the wrath of UNC fans for jinxing the team in any way.

Is Henson the key to UNC’s title hopes?

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