NCAA Tournament 2012: Deshaun Thomas and the 7 Most Exciting Players Left

Vaughn JohnsonCorrespondent IIMarch 23, 2012

NCAA Tournament 2012: Deshaun Thomas and the 7 Most Exciting Players Left

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    Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas has come out of nowhere to lead Ohio State to the Elite Eight. 

    While Thomas' surge has taken to the East Region by story, there are still a lot of exciting players to look for from the rest of the Sweet 16 games and moving forward.

    There are some big names left who were expected to shine and there are those, like Thomas, who came from under the radar.

    These are the most exciting players still left in the NCAA Tournament.

Harrison Barnes, F, North Carolina

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    Harrison Barnes is part of arguably the best front court country.

    Barnes averaged 17 points per game on the year and has kept that pace during the NCAA Tournament with 14 against Vermont and 17 against Creighton.

    Barnes' versatility and athleticism is something most teams do not have an answer for.

    Barnes, along with Tyler Zeller and John Henson may very well lead UNC to yet another national title, purely because teams will have a hard time matching up against its front court.

Bradley Beal, G, Florida

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    Talk about a diaper dandy.

    Bradley Beal has led his team all the way to the Elite Eight in only his freshman year.

    Beal spent most of the year somewhat under the radar at Florida, but has come up in a big way for the Gators during the NCAA Tournament.

    He's increased his scoring average from 14.8 up to 16.3 thanks to a pair of 14-point outings in the second and third rounds and a 21-point showing during Florida's Sweet 16 win over Marquette.

    Beal leads a high-octane offense from Florida that if it gets hot, can beat anyone in the nation.

Anthony Davis, F, Kentucky

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    Another diaper dandy is Kentucky forward Anthony Davis, but only he has been firmly on everyone's radars for quite some time.

    Davis has not disappointed in his NCAA Tournament debut either.

    Davis has 16 and 15 in Kentucky's first two games and has a total of nine blocks.

    Davis literally changes games and could be doing so all the way to the Final Four for the Wildcats.

Tu Holloway, G, Xavier

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    Tu Holloway and the Xavier Musketeers are playing the way they were touted to play before the season started.

    Holloway has scored more than 20 in both of Xavier's tournament games does not show signs of slowing down any time soon.

    Every so often a guard can take over the NCAA Tournament and carry his team a long. Does Kemba Walker, Jameer Nelson and John Lucas III ring a bell?

    Holloway has shown through the early part of the tournament that he has that potential do so for Xavier.

Thomas Robinson, F, Kansas

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    A player that may have no choice but to carry his team far into the tournament is potential player of the candidate Thomas Robinson from Kansas.

    Kansas is usually a deeper team, but that is not the case this season.

    So it is mainly up to Robinson and his almost 18 points per game to take the Jayhawks deeper into the tournament.

    Robinson had a bit of a slip up against Purdue, scoring only 11 points, but the of the Jayhawks came through and helped squeak out a victory.

C.J. Leslie, G, North Carolina State

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    Another player and team that came from somewhat under the radar is C.J. Leslie and N.C. State.

    Fans of the ACC know of his talents, but Leslie has recently showcased them on the national stage in the NCAA Tournament.

    Leslie has been scoring for the Wolfpack, putting up 15 and 14, and has been a rebounding threat grabbing eight in N. C. State's 66-63 win over Georgetown.

    Leslie will square with Thomas Robinson in the Sweet 16.

Deshaun Thomas, F, Ohio State

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    And last, but certainly not least, Deshaun Thomas from Ohio State.

    Thomas was big contributor for the Buckeyes all season, but no one could have foreseen what he has done so far in this tournament. With performances of 31, 18 and 26 points, he has almost overshadowed the much-touted Jared Sullinger.

    If the Buckeyes and Tar Heels make it to the Final Four, the fans will be treated to one of the best front-court battles in recent memory.