Ranking the Top 20 Players in the Sweet 16

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Ranking the Top 20 Players in the Sweet 16
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Last year's NCAA tournament was all about the one-and-done freshmen. You had Karl-Anthony Towns as the best player on a Kentucky squad that entered the Final Four undefeated, and three Duke freshmen led the school to a national championship.

This season is a complete 180 compared to last year. It's all about the seniors.

This list features 11 seniors, including the top six players, compared to just one freshman cracking the top 20. The favorites to win the title are all led by old guys. The best scorer left in the tournament is a senior. The top rebounder in the tournament thus far is a senior. The top assist guy left in the tournament is a senior.

It's like the NCAA's dream scenario. Hey, look, real student-athletes who have actually gone to school for four—in some cases even five!—years.

The players are ranked based on a mix of talent, role and production during the season and tournament. Trimming this list to 20 was no easy task. The guys below were in consideration, and a case could be made for many of them to make the list.

Honorable mention: Troy Williams, Indiana; Devonte' Graham, Kansas; Frank Mason III, Kansas; Wayne Selden Jr., Kansas; Marcus Paige, North Carolina; Zach Auguste, Notre Dame; Isaiah Cousins, Oklahoma; Jake Layman, Maryland; Diamond Stone, Maryland; Michael Gbinije, Syracuse; Jalen Jones, Texas A&M; Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova; Bronson Koenig, Wisconsin; Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin.

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