NCAA Tournament 2013: Breaking Down Which Prospects Have Boosted Draft Stock

Ryan DavenportContributor IMarch 23, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 22:  Doug McDermott #3 of the Creighton Bluejays reacts in the second half while taking on the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on March 22, 2013 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Historically, the NCAA tournament has given college prospects one final chance to impress scouts across the NBA in a game situation prior to the upcoming NBA draft. 

Many of basketball's greatest players, such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, just to name a few, have cemented their statuses as lottery picks by taking charge and leading their respective college teams on deep tournament runs. 

It's a big stage with a lot of pressure, and scouts are always interested to see how a college-aged prospect reacts when a team's season is on the line. 

Now, with the Round of 64 officially over, here's a look at some of the less-heralded prospects that have boosted their stocks with strong performances thus far. 

Doug McDermott, Creighton 

It's no sure thing that the junior forward will opt to leave school early for the NBA, but as recently as this earlier this week (via Newsday) he was still undecided on his plans. That being said, if McDermott, who is ranked by some such as CBS Sports' Jeff Goodman as a likely second-rounder, jumps into the top 20 in the minds of NBA scouts, one has to think he'll seriously consider leaving early. 

As the second-leading scorer in NCAA Division I, McDermott hasn't exactly hid from scouts, but with a strong showing at the big dance, he could be hearing his name called much earlier than expected at the Draft. 

So far, so good for the Bluejays' All-American, as McDermott helped Creighton move past Cincinnati in the Round of 64 with a clutch 27 points and 11 boards, including a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe. 

Seth Curry, Duke 

Despite a strong senior season and the best of professional bloodlines, Duke's Seth Curry hasn't made enough of an impression on scouts and analysts to be considered a sure bet to be drafted at all in June. 

But if anyone had any doubt about whether the younger brother had that same clutch gene embedded in his DNA that older brother Stephen Curry displayed when he single-handedly took the Davidson Wildcats on a shocking run to the Elite Eight in 2008, Seth sent a resounding message with his play against No. 15 Albany in the first round. 

Despite Ryan Kelly's offensive struggles, Curry lifted the Blue Devils to a berth in the Round of 64 with a sparkling 26 points and six assists on 10-of-14 shooting. 

With a few more performances like this, Curry will be in the NBA in the fall, regardless of whether or not he's drafted in June. 

Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan 

As the least talked about member of Michigan's trio of highly touted prospects, Tim Hardaway Jr. had to have a big tournament to cement himself as a top 20 pick, or at least carry his team through a round or two. 

He didn't wait long to do just that, as Hardaway picked up the slack for Trey Burke, who had an uncharacteristically bad shooting day and finished with just eight points. In lieu of Burke's struggles, Hardaway took matters into his own hands, going 5-of-7 from behind the arc, helping the Wolverines take down South Dakota State. 

Scoring 21 points was impressive, but doing so in order to compensate for Burke, the team's unquestioned offensive star, showed Hardaway can rise to the occasion. 

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