NCAA Tournament: The All-Sweet 16 Team
The Sweet 16 shut down all hopes for all of the Cinderella teams to make it into the Elite Eight. We did learn though that many of the higher seeded teams, like Ohio State and Syracuse, can be beaten by teams that many might could have expected to lose in the first or second round of the tournament.
Although there were less outstanding individual performances during the Sweet 16, there were still a few that stood out more than others. We can tell by these performances that some players have not been playing up to their potential until last Thursday and Friday during the tournament. Now, without further ado, here is the list for the NCAA All-Sweet 16 Team.
G-Jacob Pullen,Kansas State: 28 Points, 4 Rebounds, 3 Assists
You might be thinking, why was Jacob Pullen on this list instead of Denis Clemente?
Well, there was only one reason to justify this and that was Pullen's outstanding performance in the second overtime. Pullen scored eight of the 14 points made by Kansas State to help them pull away and win against Xavier.
The most important shots for Kansas State were probably those two three-pointers that Pullen had in the second overtime, since they both gave Kansas State the lead at the time.
G-Jordan Crawford,Xavier: 32 Points, 2 Rebounds, 2 Assists
Again, this might be a controversial decision to put a member of a losing team on the list instead of someone on a winning team. The answer to why Jordan Crawford is on the list was that the outstanding play of Jordan Crawford, against Kansas State, could not be matched by any other guard in the nation.
Crawford scored 32 points in the game, and it seemed like during the both overtimes he could not miss. Crawford did finish with a total of 13 points during both overtimes.
His best play, though, was the deep three-pointer he hit, with seven seconds left, at the end of the first overtime to keep Xavier alive. Crawford did everything that a shooting guard can do for his team, especially against one of the best defenses in the tournament.
With Crawford's outstanding scoring abilities that he showed during the season, Xavier will likely be a top 10 team if Terrell Holloway and Crawford return next year.
F-Kyle Singler,Duke: 24 Points, 8 Rebounds, 1 Assist
Known by most as one of the best players in the ACC this year, Kyle Singler, showed it against his amazing performance against the Purdue Boilermakers.
Singler finished with 24 points and added eight rebounds while playing against a very good Purdue defense, even without Robbie Hummel. Singler deserved this out of all the Duke players since he had to help pick up the slack from the disappointing shooting of guard Jon Scheyer.
Although both teams were struggling offensively throughout the first half, we learned is that Singler was the only player that was not struggling as he scored 11 out of Duke's 24 points during the first half.
Now we must wait and see, on Sunday, if Baylor's duo of Tweety Carter and LaceDarius Dunn have what it takes to outscore and outplay Duke's duo of Singler and Scheyer.
F-Wayne Chism,Tennessee: 22 Points, 11 Rebounds, 1 Assist
Wayne Chism, the man known for the headbands he wears, showed everybody on Friday night,that Tennessee doesn't need Tyler Smith when they have Chism on the court.
Chism finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds, including five offensive rebounds during the game. What made him stand out the most, though, was the presence he had in the paint that helped him score 18 points in the second half.
Without a very good defensive big man for Ohio State, Chism was just dominating the Buckeyes on the inside and stopped the National Player of the Years dreams of making it to the National Championship.
Look for Chism to be a very important part of Tennessee's game offensively and defensively against a Michigan State Spartan team that is determined to prove critics wrong while playing without Kalin Lucas.
C-JaJuan Johnson,Purdue: 23 Points,5 Rebounds, 0 Assists
Another player on this list whose team lost in the Sweet 16. Maybe this pick makes more sense than the Jordan Crawford pick because no center, not even Omar Samhan, had as big of an impact on his team during the Sweet 16 than JaJuan Johnson.
The center out of Purdue had to pick up for his teams awful shooting against Duke by scoring 23 points and had a great game defensively with four blocks and two steals. Without having any other Boilermaker, besides E'Twaun Moore, scoring more than six points during the game, Johnson had to take over and play the role of center and shooting guard during the game.
Johnson also made the list because of what he and Moore did against the Blue Devils to make sure the game score was close throughout.
Credit the Boilermakers for stepping up and having a great tournament run even without Robbie Hummel and credit JaJuan Johnson for stepping up and playing great against a top-seeded Duke team.
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