NCAA Tournament 2012: Ranking Top 5 Players in This Year's March Madness
Plenty of tremendous players have made their presence felt throughout the NCAA tournament. Some of them have risen above the rest, however, to assert themselves as March Madness stars. It's something they'll remember forever.
Let's take a look at the top five players in this year's big dance based off of their performances so far and their future career prospects.
1. Anthony Davis (Kentucky)
Davis entered the tournament with more hype than any other player. After all, he carried the top-seeded Wildcats on his back throughout the season. His play so far has proven that he deserved every last drop of that praise because he's been dominant.
Through two games, Kentucky's monster forward has racked up 31 points, 21 rebounds and nine blocks. Without his presence in the middle of the defense, the first two games wouldn't have been so easy. Davis' defensive wizardry is unmatched in college basketball.
2. Harrison Barnes (North Carolina)
There was a lot of debate about whether or not Barnes made the right decision to spend another season at North Carolina. Now that the season is almost over, it appears he did since his game has improved markedly since last year's tourney.
He's become a more polished player in just about every area, which has allowed him to increase his efficiency by leaps and bounds. His versatility, on frequent display in wins over Vermont and Creighton, will make him a terrific pro.
3. Thomas Robinson (Kansas)
Who is the tourney's top player?
Robinson tends to get overlooked in conversations about the tournament's elite players, but he definitely deserves a spot in the top five. He's posted two straight double-double performances to start the tournament to knock off Detroit and Purdue.
The Jayhawks are a bit top heavy, which puts a lot of pressure on Robinson, but he's handled it well. His development from the time he arrived at Kansas to right now has been amazing. He's gone from bench fodder to main contributor in three seasons, illustrating his dedication to the game.
4. Cody Zeller (Indiana)
After a stretch of disappointing seasons, Zeller has led a resurgence of the storied Indiana program. The pieces were starting to come together last season for head coach Tom Crean, but Zeller was the interior force that the Hoosiers needed to become a legitimate threat again.
He's scored 30 points in Indiana's first two games, but will get a real test against the aforementioned Anthony Davis on Friday night. He will need to show he can hang with the country's most dominant big man if the Hoosiers plan on reaching the Elite Eight for the 12th time.
5. Bradley Beal (Florida)
Florida's surprising run, thanks in part to Norfolk State upsetting Missouri, has allowed fans to get a much closer look at Beal. The freshman guard has connected on 65 percent of his shots in the Big Dance to lift the Gators to three victories.
There aren't many things Beal can't do. He can knock down the outside shot or cause chaos by driving into the paint. He's also a solid defender and grabs nearly seven rebounds per game, which is rare for a 6'3'' player. All told, his stock has improved more than anyone else's since the tourney began.
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