The 2023 NCAA Tournament is not that far away. The bracket will be revealed on Sunday, March 12, so if you need a crash course on individual players who can carry a team on their back and lead them to the Final Four and beyond, here are the best of the best in college basketball:
Brandon Miller, Alabama
It is true that Miller’s possible involvement in a murder – police have said Miller supplied a gun which was later used by someone else in the killing of another person – could become a huge distraction which will derail Miller’s career and Alabama’s season. That possibility can’t be denied and the legal whirlwinds swirling around Miller are going to continue to blow. Everyone is well aware that this is not a fully resolved situation.
At the same time, if we focus strictly on what is happening on the court, Miller is a superstar-level player. He always gets the big basket Alabama needs, is imposing, athletic, and he has length which enables him to play over the top of defenders. And don’t forget about how effective he is on defense.
Miller is the added ingredient an inconsistent Alabama team did not have last season and is easily the main reason the Crimson Tide will be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They’re currently at +900 to win the NCAA Tournament at +900 at BetAnySports.eu and Mill is one of the reasons this team will be one of the main choices of a lot of analysts to win it all.
Zach Edey, Purdue
The big man is the one-man wrecking crew for Purdue and many might say he is the only reason the Boilermakers are going to win the Big Ten and get a top-two seed at the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
Edey is tall, but we have seen other tall players play basketball, such as Manute Bol and Tacko Fall, but they didn’t become next-level players. They were decent, but not special; Edey is special.
What makes him next-level good is his footwork is especially sharp, he is stronger than Bol and Fall both were, and he is more skilled, more agile, more able to make an impact in several different components of competition.
If he can dominate around the basket, Purdue could go on a big run in March Madness. They’re at +1000 at BetAnySports.eu. The Boilermakers know that Edey should be able to win his individual matchup, which will force defenses to double-team him. Purdue can manipulate a lot of matchups because of one man: Zach Edey.
Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana
The Indiana Hoosiers beat Purdue and Edey twice, because Jackson-Davis played very strong defense and was not bullied by Edey in the low post. Edey played well, but not well enough to completely dominate games and create matchup headaches for Indiana. Jackson-Davis has been playing like an elite big man the past month. This is why Indiana has improved and should get a reasonably high NCAA Tournament seed, at least No. 5 and possibly No. 4. Jackson-Davis does everything well. He can be that “climb on my back” player who takes a good team and lifts it higher than anyone else imagined.
Jaime Jaquez, UCLA
The Pac-12 Player of the Year seemed likely to be Arizona’s Azuolas Tubelis three weeks ago, but Jaquez has come on like gangbusters in recent weeks, giving UCLA the two-way basketball the Bruins were hoping for. Jaquez is scoring, rebounding, and defending at a top-tier level. This will make UCLA a frontline Final Four contender.
Taking a look at the latest odds at BetAnySports.eu, the Bruins are at +1200 to win it all. They’ll need this version of Jaquez to show up in March Madness.