Yet another NCAA Tournament is in the books, and by all accounts this year’s competition was fairly run-of-the-mill. Sure, both Michigan State and Villanova toppled mighty Big East 1-seeds to reach the Final Four, but a 2- and 3-seed making it that far is hardly a surprise, especially considering 11-seeded George Mason’s run in 2006.
And when it comes down to picking the most disappointing team in this year’s field of 65, the obvious choice has to be the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest, who were toppled by lowly 13-seed Cleveland State in the first round. Certainly not an impressive showing for a team that had been ranked no. 1 in the nation at one point during the regular season.
So where was the intrigue surrounding this year’s Big Dance if the Wake Forest upset was the only major shocker of the first few rounds, if not the entire tournament? Look no further than the players themselves, many of whom turned in unforgettable personal performances in a tournament loaded with professional-level talent.
But with unbelievable skill being showcased in every match-up, who stood out above the rest, or in some cases, who disappeared? Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 NCAA Tournament Player Awards: