Every March, it seems that a number of players come from seemingly nowhere to lead their underdog teams to victory and rise to superstardom during the NCAA tournament.
These players not only capture the hearts and minds of the college basketball supporters during the Big Dance, but often put themselves on the NBA draft radar and sometimes go on to have great NBA careers.
Let’s take a peek at a few candidates who could rise above the rest during March Madness and become stars in the 2013 NCAA tourney.
Marshall Henderson, G, Ole Miss
The Rebels are already experienced with finding success as an underdog in tournaments, winning the SEC championship as the No. 3 seed and knocking off top-seeded Florida in the finals.
However, Marshall Henderson, Ole Miss’ star junior guard, has his sights set on something bigger: shining in the NCAA tournament and getting paid.
According to Matt Rybaltowski of CBS Sports, the 6’2” guard is looking to impress the world with his scoring prowess, like some recent NBA lottery picks.
“I know personally for me the last couple years I've seen Steph Curry and Jimmer Fredette,” Henderson said. “They got their money, that's what I'm trying to do.”
While Henderson is only a 35.7 percent three-point shooter, he takes 10.8 attempts per game and could ramp that number up in the team’s Round of 64 showdown with No. 5 seed Wisconsin.
The Badgers are a tough matchup and play great defense, but we have an inkling this young man is going to do his best to “get his money” and help the No. 12 Rebels win by nailing shots from all over the floor.
Kyle Anderson, F, UCLA
This 6’9” forward has the passing ability of a point guard and the rebounding skills of a big man. He has one of the most unique styles of any player we’ve ever seen, highlighted by his slow, deliberate pace that forces defenders out of rhythm.
Despite his “Slow-Mo” moniker, Anderson is an above-average athlete that can surprise opponents by blowing by them with his elite handling ability. One knock on his game is his mediocre jump shot, but UCLA plays up to his strengths by keeping him in and around the painted area.
The Bruins star may not take over a game in the way that a three-point marksman can, but his ability to grab a tough rebound, dribble up the court and whip a flashy pass to an open teammate shouldn’t be underestimated.
Anderson is on the NBA draft radar due to these special talents and he should be captivating to watch perform during March Madness.
Glenn Robinson III, F, Michigan
The Wolverines are going to be one of the toughest No. 4 seeds to eliminate in the 2013 NCAA tourney, largely due to a deep roster full of potential NBA stars.
Robinson, a freshman swingman, is a first-round talent that could significantly boost his stock over the next few weekends.
We’ve already seen this young man—son of former NBA player Glenn Robinson—show off the skills required to make an impact at any level, but there are some knocks on his game.
The most concerning of those is his inconsistency—especially against top-notch competition.
Robinson can get that monkey off of his back during the tourney, as Michigan will be going up against a number of fierce opponents on national television during this event.
If he can package his length and athleticism with his deadly three-point range, there is a good chance Robinson helps swing a game or two in the Wolverines favor.
If he gets hot and carries the scoring load for this squad, they could be talking about a Final Four appearance around Ann Arbor.
Make your picks for the 2013 NCAA tournament here with the Bracket Challenge Game.