During the second round of the NCAA tournament, many of the higher seeded "Cinderella" teams shocked the world again and beat some of the lowest seeded teams in the tournament.
There were also many players who helped their team secure close games by having phenomenal games themselves. These individuals were also some players who gained more respect and acknowledgement during the second round of this interesting tournament.
Let's face the facts, the overall best guard, arguably the best player, in the second round of the tournament and most important player to his team was Jacob Pullen. This guy was on fire during the game as he harassed the BYU defense by having 34 points in this game.
What was more impressive was his defense in the game. One defense he had 4 steals and was outstanding in guarding Jimmer Fredette one-on-one. He held Fredette to 21 points and made him shoot only 5-13 throughout the game.
He was an unstoppable force and is the reason why Kansas State might be the favorite to come out of the West.
Yes, we all know Jordan Crawford as the guy who dunked over LeBron James, but after today I think we are all going to know him as the guy who beat No. 3 seeded Pittsburgh. The transfer from Indiana, had a phenomenal game even though Pittsburgh's intentions throughout the game were to shut him down.
He did it all against the Panthers, by shooting well, doing a good job getting after rebounds and by having some good dunks along the way as well. It will be fun to see how Denis Clemente will guard him in the Sweet 16 game between Xavier and Kansas State.
The National Player of the Year is back with another outstanding performance against a good Georgia Tech team. With his junior high teammate, Iman Shumpert, guarding him well in the first half and with the full court press Georgia Tech was playing slowing him down, it seemed like Evan Turner was going to play a bad game like he did against UCSB.
But, he forced a few fouls and drove hard in the lane and showed everybody why he deserves to be the NPOY. He also had a great game by almost having a triple-double with 1 rebound and 1 assist shy of the mark.
Turner was the main reason that Diebler, Lightly, and Buford were on fire in the second half by spreading the ball evenly throughout the court. Will we ever see Evan Turner play as bad as he did against UCSB or will we see the NPOY keep dominating like he has been all season long.
For most teams, not having your star Center is really tough, well most teams aren't Syracuse and it's not so bad when you have star forward Wesley Johnson on your team.
The Big East Player of the Year showed everybody why he should have been considered for the NPOY with his outstanding performance against Gonzaga. Without Arinze Onuaku, Johnson grabbed 14 rebounds along with having 31 points against the Bulldogs. He was 11-16 from the field and most impressive was that Johnson was 4-6 from 3-point land during the game.
From beginning to end Gonzaga could not stop him as Johnson had 8 of Syracuse's first 10 points in the game. Maybe the Bulldogs over at Bulldogs can stop the scoring machine....or maybe not.
The big man from the Gaels is back on our list after having the two best back to back performances anyone has had this tournament. After scoring 29 Points and 12 Rebounds against Richmond last Thursday, the Gaels center played better against a very good Villanova team. His 32 point, 7 rebound, assist was as impressive as anybody has played against Villanova all season long.
Most importantly, he showed the country that a little school from California can play ball against the big boys. If Samhan continues to dominates these big teams like he has been doing, it will not be a surprise if Saint Mary's makes it to the Final Four.
For more of Hamza Ahsan's writing go to his sports blog on http://www.thesportsdish.com.