March Madness 2012: Predicting NCAA All-Tournament Team

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIMarch 3, 2012

LAWRENCE, KS - FEBRUARY 25:  Thomas Robinson #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks drives as Matt Pressey #3 of the Missouri Tigers defends during the game on February 25, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Which players will rise to the occasion in the 2012 NCAA Tournament? Well of the five players that made last year's All-Tournament team, only one is still in school.

Jeremy Lamb is the only holdover, but his UConn Huskies are not a lock to reach the field after struggling through the month of February.

They will need a strong performance in the Big East Tournament to give Lamb a chance to make his second consecutive All-Tournament Team.

Considering individual efforts and the quality of the teams, the following players are the best bets at each position.

Anthony Davis - Kentucky Wildcats C

LEXINGTON, KY - JANUARY 21:  Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats shoots the ball during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Rupp Arena on January 21, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Davis has keyed the Wildcats dominant run all season. He leads the nation's number one team in scoring, rebounds and blocked shots. His 4.7 rejections per game is the key to the Wildcats defense, as well as an ignition to their deadly transition game.

With the Wildcats looking like locks for the Final Four, Davis should compile a few impressive performances along the way.

Defense doesn't go in a slump, and that is a huge part of Davis' game. That and the overall quality of his team makes him the safest bet when predicting the All-Tournament team.

Thomas Robinson - Kansas Jayhawks F

LAWRENCE, KS - FEBRUARY 25:  Thomas Robinson #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks shoots as Matt Pressey #3 of the Missouri Tigers defends during the game on February 25, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Robinson is Davis' biggest competition for Player of the Year. He is an absolute beast of a specimen, and a virtual double-double lock every game. He has averaged 17.8 points and 11.8 rebounds per game, and he is the type of competitor that will turn his game up for the tournament.

The only thing that could hurt Robinson is an early exit from the tournament. If Kansas avoids the upset in the first two rounds, Robinson will be on the All-Tournament team for sure. 

Jared Sullinger - Ohio State F

MADISON, WI - FEBRUARY 04:  Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes shoots a free-throw against the Wisconsin Badgers at Kohl Center on February 4, 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin. Ohio State defeated Wisconsin 58-52.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Ima
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 16:  Austin Rivers #0 of the Duke Blue Devils during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 16, 2012 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Ohio State loves to control tempo, and much of that has to do with slowing the ball down to get it to Sully. He is the nations' most-skilled big man. Now he has expanded his range to include the three point shot as well.

He has averaged 17 points and nine rebounds while shooting 39 percent from the arc. It's a weapon that defenses have to contend with, as well as his bullish post attack.

Ohio State can be upset, as they have lost three of their last seven games going into the Big Ten tournament.

If they reach the Sweet Sixteen, Sully will be one of the tournament's best.

Austin Rivers - Duke G

LOUISVILLE, KY - FEBRUARY 13:  Scoop Jardine#11 of the Syracuse Orange is all smiles as he walks off of the court after the Orange beat the Louisville Cardinals 52-51 in the Big East Conference game at KFC YUM! Center on February 13, 2012 in Louisville, K
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Rivers will be the tournament's most dynamic performer in my opinion. He has played very well of late. He has already notched four 20-point games in February alone, while averaging 18 points per game in the month.

His turnovers are down under three per game, and he is still riding the momentum of the buzzer-beater he nailed to defeat the Tar Heels in early February.

Rivers has the confidence and the game to produce for Duke in a major way come NCAA tournament time, and I expect a handful of huge performances.

Scoop Jardine - Syracuse G

Though Jardine may be the least impressive of the players listed here, he is a senior that has shown great leadership and transformation to his game. Jardine has always been a three-point gunner, but with such a talented team around him, he has held back and run the offense.

Jardine is averaging a team-high five assists, and he's still shooting an impressive 35 percent from three on half the attempts: Last year he shot 157 three pointers, and this year he has only taken 80.

If he knocks down shots and continues to set up teammates throughout a long Orange run to the Final Four, he will be recognized.

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