Each NCAA tournament, a handful of players emerge that lead their teams to upset victories over top competition.
These impact players are the reason their team continues their run rather than going home.
Before filling out your bracket, think of how the contributions of these 10 players have propelled their teams thus far. Also consider if you think these players can continue under the spotlight.
Here are 10 players to keep an eye on that may blow up your bracket.
Kentucky freshman guard Doron Lamb injured his ankle in the final minutes of the Wildcats’ SEC quarterfinal victory over Alabama. The Wildcats were up big, so Lamb probably shouldn’t even have been on the floor.
He returned to score six points in 23 minutes in the SEC championship, but he was in noticeable pain.
If he is not 100 percent, it may hurt Kentucky’s chances. Lamb averaged 13 points per game during the season.
Though this figure may not make him the team’s leading scorer, he is an integral part of Kentucky’s offense.
Before picking Kentucky as a lock, consider this injury and how it may affect the team.
Justin Harper was a main factor in Richmond’s Atlantic 10 championship run.
He averaged 17.9 points per game during the season, and he doesn’t appear ready to slow down.
Richmond will take on No. 5 seeded Vanderbilt in the first round.
Though the popular pick seems to be Vanderbilt, Harper and Richmond will attempt to skew many brackets if they can pull off the upset victory.
Travis Leslie can do it all on the court.
The Bulldogs’ guard is not only averaging 14.5 points per game, but he also had pulled down 7.2 rebounds per game—a high total for a guard.
His athleticism will pay off if Georgia wants to upset No. 7 Washington. This is another game in which the popular pick has been the higher seed.
However, a strong performance by Leslie will upset a good deal of brackets.
Derrick Williams is poised to lead the Arizona Wildcats deep into the NCAA Tournament.
The powerful forward has averaged 19.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.
Arizona enters the tournament as a No. 5 seed and is favored to defeat Memphis. Many “bracketeers” have picked this outcome, but don’t have Arizona advancing much further than this.
In a bracket featuring Duke, San Diego State and UCONN, Williams will have to bring his A-game if he wants his team to play the role of bracket-busters.
Penn State guard Talor Battle finished second in the Big 10 in scoring with 20.1 points per game.
He also finished first with 3.06 three-pointers made per game.
The Nittany Lions will need his shooting prowess to continue if they want to make some noise in the tournament.
Penn State enters as a No. 10 seed and will take on Temple in the first round. Battle can break up some brackets if he leads his team to a win.
Many analysts, including ESPN’s Doug Gottlieb, are writing off Georgetown. In fact, Gottlieb predicted that play-in winner USC would defeat the Hoyas in first round action.
However, if Austin Freeman has anything to say, that won’t happen.
The senior guard averaged 17.9 points per game this season.
Freeman and the Hoyas could be sleepers in this year’s tournament.
Xavier is another team that could be a bracket buster, and that will be the case if Tu Holloway continues to show up.
Holloway averaged 20.2 points, 5.5 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game this season.
The junior is a leader on the court and has shown he can thrive on the big stage.
Xavier plays Marquette in the first round, but they will look for the upset in the second round if No. 3 Syracuse defeats Indiana State.
Dwight Hardy averaged 18.0 points per game for the St. John’s Red Storm and was a candidate for Big East Player of the Year.
With teammate D.J. Kennedy out for the tournament, Hardy will put it on himself to make up Kennedy’s contributions.
After an early exit in the Big East Tournament, St. John’s will look to prove that season was no fluke by having a strong showing in the “Big Dance.”
Hardy will be the key to the Johnnies' success.
St. John’s versus BYU is looking like the possible second round matchup, so Hardy will have to out-duel the nation’s leading scorer in Jimmer Fredette to blow up some brackets.
Purdue senior JaJuan Johnson is a tremendous offensive force. He averaged a Big 10-leading 20.5 points per game and also added 8.2 rebounds.
You would think that the 6’11” center racks up all his points in the paint. However, Johnson can stretch the floor with a deadly jumper, which he can even hit from behind the arc.
Purdue is a No. 3 seed, but they aren’t expected to get the past the likes of Notre Dame or Kansas.
If Johnson continued his strong play, Purdue could be a major bracket buster in the tournament.
By now, everyone who’s followed college basketball this season knows the name Kemba Walker.
Walker set a Big East Tournament record by scoring 130 points in five games, including the last second buzzer-beater over Pittsburgh.
He won’t be a surprise player like some of the others on this list. However, he will be the reason UCONN makes some noise in the later rounds.
Duke and San Diego State will provide a challenge for Walker, but if he continues his clutch shooting, he could be the ultimate bracket-buster.