1 Potential Breakout Tournament Star on Each Top 25 NCAA Basketball Team

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1 Potential Breakout Tournament Star on Each Top 25 NCAA Basketball Team
Alan Diaz/Associated Press

The NCAA tournament draws those casual fans who only know team colors, as well as a contingent that supports a team from afar without focusing closely on the ebbs and flows of every player on the roster.

The tournament's grand stage hosts a coming-out party for a handful of budding stars every season. Last March, who saw the superb performances from Michigan's Mitch McGary or Ohio State's LaQuinton Ross coming?

Most of our true tournament folk heroes rise out of Cinderella stories. Think Stephen Curry, Gordon Hayward or Ali Farokhmanesh. None of the teams in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, by definition, would qualify as true Sweet 16 stunners.

Each does, however, have a player or two on the roster who could thrust himself into the national conversation if his team makes a deep run. Some are starters on underexposed teams, others are reserves who could come out of nowhere to post a big game.

One big performance could start an avalanche of hype heading into next season that positions the player as a preseason all-conference or All-American selection, a la Ross or McGary.

There are no seniors among these 25 players, since they must be in a position to come back next season and capitalize on next month's madness. There are, however, talented ballers who can put up big games in big settings.


Stats and rankings through games of February 12. All KenPom.com links should be assumed to require subscription.

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