That time of year has come, when people skip work and flock to sports bars around the country to watch the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
March Madness is perhaps the greatest time of the year, where anything can happen and "Cinderella teams" look to take the magical journey through March, en route to a Final Four.
Perhaps the greatest part of the NCAA tournament, however, is that one star player who can carry a team deep into March, even though they have no business there.
The most recent example of this was Stephen Curry of Davidson, who led his team to wins over teams such as Georgetown, and a trip to the Elite 8 where they would narrowly lose to a star studded Kansas Jayhawk team that would go on to win the NCAA Tournament.
Who will be this year's Curry? Who is the best player in this year's tournament? Who would you want to have the ball in the closing seconds of the game?
You will find all of this out inside.
Barnes is a freshman ending this season at North Carolina. Not much was known about Barnes or how he will handle the college game when the year first started. He was looked to as the go-to scorer for the Tar Heels, and many believed he can handle that role.
The season then started, and Barnes struggled through the early part of the season. He did not look like the player who almost everyone had predicted to be a First Team All-American. He was not scoring like people thought he would, and the Tar Heels were struggling.
When ACC conference play started, Barnes started to come into his own. He led the Tar Heels to the ACC regular season crown and took them to the championship game—scoring 40 points in the Semifinals.
Coming into the NCAA tournament, look for Barnes to be the star for the Tar Heels who will put the team on his back.
Barnes is hoping he can carry the Tar Heels to a Final Four.
Jacob Pullen is no stranger to the NCAA Tournament, leading the Kansas State Wildcats to an Elite 8 appearance last year. The Wildcats struggled this year, making people wonder whether they had what it took to get back to the Elite 8.
The Wildcats then went on to win six games in a row, with three of those games being against ranked opponents. Not to mention, two of those games were against Texas and Kansas.
In those six games, the Wildcats won by an average margin of 10.3 points per game. Kansas State's star player, Pullen, averaged 25.5 PPG in this span. He is playing great basketball right now and is showing why he was a preseason All-American.
Pullen is one of the best players in the country, and has the skills and experience to take a team deep into March.
The Wildcats are on upset alert in the first round, but Pullen looks to change that.
Coming into this season, Jared Sullinger was overshadowed by fellow freshman Harrison Barnes. Barnes was on almost all preseason All-American teams, and Sullinger was not. This season, however, has been a different story.
Sullinger has been a force from day one. At times, he has played like the best player in the nation, and has led the Buckeyes to first place in the rankings, earning the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Buckeyes look to make it to the championship game behind Sullinger.
Despite being only 19, Sullinger possesses a remarkably refined game, especially offensively. He uses angles extremely well and finishes pretty much everything around the rim.
Where Sullinger truly stands apart is on the glass. He is averaging over 13.2 rebounds per 40 minutes.
These are the things that make Sullinger one of the best players in this years tournament.
After watching that video, Kemba Walker needs no explanation as to why he is on this list. Walker is probably the most clutch player in the entire NCAA. He took a UCONN team that was projected to finish in the lower half of the Big East conference, and led them to a Big East Tournament championship and a three seed.
Countless times he has shown why he may be the best player in the NCAA: His prayer of a three against Texas with the shot clock winding down, his step back jumper off Dogus Balbay (one of the best defenders in the nation) for the game winning shot, the shot against Pitt in the video.
Walker always comes through in the clutch—and with the ball in his hands and the game on the line—I would not bet against him.
Look for Walker to do extraordinary things in this year's tournament.
Who else would be No. 1 on this list but Jimmer Fredette? Jimmer is a scoring machine who simply cannot be stopped. The Cougars have hit an absolute gold mine in Fredette.
Fredette is a scrappy guard who is practically unguardable one-on-one and has drawn many comparisons to former Davidson star Stephen Curry. Jimmer burst on to the national scene last year with his ability to score the ball at will. He also has the ability to create shots for his teammates, making them better players.
Fredette has led BYU to an incredible season and an incredible record, but with the suspension of their center, Brandon Davies, Jimmer has his work cut out for him in the NCAA Tournament.
In the semifinals of the conference tournament, Jimmer scored 52 points and had 33 at half time. Jimmer will look to keep up his scoring in the NCAA Tournament, to lead BYU deep into the tournament.
Look for Fredette to have a 50 point game in this years tournament.
For questions regarding the article, please comment or send me an e-mail.
Paul Ferguson was an intern at Bleacher Report.
Follow him on twitter at: @paulwall5
Ben Hansbrough, Notre Dame
Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State
Jordan Hamilton, Texas
Nolan Smith, Duke
Marcus Morris, Kansas