All eyes will be on Zion Williamson and No. 1 overall seed Duke once the NCAA Tournament starts. But what other, lesser-known stars should you be watching? Here are seven names.
1. Ja Morant, G, Murray State
The nation's most exciting guard, Morant is the straw that stirs the drink for the 12th-seeded Racers. The 6-3 sophomore not only averages nearly 25 points per game, he's dishing out 10 assists per contest, the only player in Division I averaging double-digit dimes. And get excited, Morant and Murray State get to face off with another name on this list in the first round...
2. Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga
When Gonzaga beat Williamson and Duke back in November, Hachimura poured in 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Bulldogs to an improbable upset win. And the Japanese big man hasn't slowed down, winning the West Coast Conference's Player of the Year award. If you're looking for an old-school, dominant post presence, look no further than Hachimura.
3. Cassius Winston, G, Michigan State
The Player of the Year in the conference which earned the most tournament bids, Winston put together an incredible season for Tom Izzo and the Spartans. He can create his own shot (19.0 PPG), create shots for others (7.5 APG) and can fill it up from beyond the arc (40.8 3P%). Don't be surprised if Winston leads Michigan State on another deep tourney run.
4. Markus Howard, G, Marquette
Ja Morant, meet Markus Howard. That's right, Murray State will be facing Marquette in the can't-miss matchup of the first round. Howard is short at 5-11, but that doesn't stop him from getting serious buckets. The Big East Player of the Year averages an even 25 points per game, the sixth-highest mark in the country. Morant vs. Howard is what March Madness is all about.
5. Carsen Edwards, G, Purdue
Speaking of getting buckets, Edwards does that in spades for Matt Painter's Boilermakers, averaging 23 points a game. And he gets it done on the defensive end too, leading Purdue in steals with 1.4 per contest. The only unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten team besides Winston, Edwards has the talent to lead Purdue out of the East Region.
6. Myles Powell, G, Seton Hall
The 10th-seeded Pirates' tournament could come to a swift end against the red-hot Wofford Terriers, but Powell will make sure Seton Hall doesn't go down without a fight. Powell can score on anyone (22.9 PPG) as he proved during the Big East Tournament, dropping 31, 22 and 25 points in the Pirates' three-game run to the conference final, in which they fell to Villanova 74-72 Saturday.
7. Shamorie Ponds, G, St. John's
That's right, another guard from the Big East! Ponds will get to showcase his talents from the get-go when the Red Storm face Arizona State in their play-in game Wednesday night. He does it all for St. John's, with per-game averages of 19.5 points. 4.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.6 steals. The First Four doesn't often include as eye-catching a star as Ponds, so make sure you're in front of a screen at 9:10 p.m. ET on March 20.
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