March Madness 2013: Players Who Will Shine in NCAA Tournament

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIFebruary 28, 2013

Carter-Williams has been one of the better PGs this year.
Carter-Williams has been one of the better PGs this year.Nate Shron/Getty Images

March Madness is a time where players shine on a national spotlight, and their names are remembered for years to come.  This year, there are a number of players who have impressed during the regular season, but there are only a few that truly step up once the NCAA tournament begins.

With that being said, here are a few players that will dominate in March and potentially even April.

Cody Zeller

A lot of the attention for the Indiana Hoosiers has now gone towards Victor Oladipo, and Cody Zeller has been overshadowed, despite having a solid year.

However, the tournament will be the perfect opportunity for Zeller to shine once again.  The reason that he has been struggling a little bit lately has been because of the dominant play by centers in the Big Ten conference.  Players like Trevor Mbakwe and Adreian Payne have been impressive this season, and it’s no surprise they were able defend Zeller.

Once the tournament begins, Zeller will be going against weaker centers.  This will allow him to dominate in the post, scoring with ease against smaller guys.  Watch out for Zeller, as he will be the biggest reason the Hoosiers make a deep run.

Kelly Olynyk

A lot of critics haven’t given the Gonzaga Bulldogs much love this season, despite having the best record in the country at 27-2.  Kelly Olynyk has been the star player for this team, and will silence those critics once the tournament begins.

Olynyk has been one of the more impressive players in the nation this season, helping lead a smaller school to a No. 2 ranking in the latest AP Poll.  His 17.7 points per game on an incredible 66 percent shooting have been critical to the success of the Bulldogs.

People filling out brackets in a few weeks will need to take a serious look at Olynyk and Gonzaga.  Olynyk will dominate the weaker teams they play in the first few rounds, and people will finally understand how good he and his team truly are.

Michael Carter-Williams

The Syracuse Orange continue to have an up and down season, but they still are arguably one of the most talented teams in the nation.  One player in particular that has done a great job with this team is Michael Carter-Williams.

Carter-Williams will do a great job running this offense in the tournament.  His 7.9 assists per game are the second most in the country.  He also does a good job getting to the basket, averaging 12.5 points per game.

What will make Carter-Williams truly shine in the tournament will be his defense.  He averages 2.9 steals per game, the fourth most in the country.  According to, his defensive rating of 86.8 is the ninth best in the Big East.  Carter-Williams will dominate on both sides of the ball, and lead the Orange to a deep run.