NCAA Tournament 2018: The All-Tournament Team Through Round 2
Most of the one-and-done superstars had short stays in the NCAA tournament, but two future lottery picks—one predictable and one somewhat surprising—shined in the first weekend and found their way onto this all-tourney team.
The biggest stars of the weekend were senior guards, and three made the first team while another made the second team.
It was also a good weekend for transfers, and they're represented on the second team.
Let's revisit the wild first weekend and review the best performances, from old man Jevon Carter to baby-faced Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Zach Norvell, Gonzaga: The freshman put up career highs in points (28) and rebounds (12) and also added four assists and two steals in the second-round win over Ohio State. Norvell is averaging 21.5 points in the tourney and has scored in double figures in six straight games for the Zags.
Cody Martin, Nevada: The former NC State guard has played his best with his back against the wall in the NCAA tournament, leading two improbable comebacks. Martin scored 25 points and had seven assists in the comeback win over Cincinnati. He also had 15 points, six assists and four blocks in the first-round win over Texas.
Gabe DeVoe, Clemson: Many wrote the Tigers off late in the year, but they were arguably the most impressive team of the tournament in the first weekend, knocking off fourth-seeded Auburn 84-53 to advance to the Sweet 16. DeVoe scored 22 points in both tourney games and has scored efficiently, making 8-of-14 threes and 10-of-14 twos. Clemson is now 8-0 this season when he scores 20 or more points.
Malik Newman, Kansas: With star Devonte' Graham struggling against Seton Hall, the former Mississippi State guard bailed the Jayhawks out with 28 points, knocking down 4-of-8 threes and going a perfect 8-of-8 at the line, including a few that iced the game. Newman has been red-hot in the postseason (Big 12 and NCAAs), averaging 22 points and knocking down 19 of 32 threes during five postseason games.
Tyler Davis, Texas A&M: The A&M frontline of Davis and Robert Williams has been dominant. Davis slightly edges Williams for this spot. The 6'10" junior is averaging 16 points and 12 rebounds and also has five blocks in the tourney.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky
By the numbers
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has looked like a lottery pick through the first two rounds, giving John Calipari the backcourt star some of us (guilty) have said he didn't have this year. The freshman is averaging 23 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 3.5 steals per game.
Gilgeous-Alexander carved up the Buffalo defense, getting to the rim on what looked like a loop. There was nothing the Bulls could do to stop him, and he put up a ridiculous line of 27 points on 10-of-12 shooting, six rebounds, six assists and two steals in UK's second-round win.
Kansas State and likely the toughest defender Gilgeous-Alexander has faced in the tourney await in the Sweet 16. The Wildcats have a number of options for him, including Barry Brown, Cartier Diarra and Xavier Sneed. I would guess that Diarra gets the assignment to start.
Keenan Evans, Texas Tech
By the numbers
Texas Tech went 0-4 in mid-February when Keenan Evans was dealing with a toe injury. The rest of the year the Red Raiders are 26-5. Evans is averaging 22.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in the tournament.
Evans broke a 64-64 tie with 2:32 left in the game against Florida on Saturday, continuing his trend of burying big shots this season. He followed that up with a dish to Zhaire Smith for a dunk that put Tech ahead by five.
Texas Tech plays Purdue on Friday in Boston. Evans will likely match up against Purdue leading scorer Carsen Edwards. The winner of that matchup could end up deciding the game.
Rob Gray, Houston
By the numbers
Rob Gray was so amazing this weekend that he makes the first team despite losing in the second round to Michigan on Jordan Poole's buzzer-beater. Gray scored 39 points in the opening-round win against San Diego State and followed that up with 23 points against Michigan. He also grabbed 18 rebounds in the two games.
Kelvin Sampson put the ball in Gray's hands on the final possession against San Diego State, and even though everyone watching knew he was taking the shot, he found a way to get to the rim and score to win the game.
Gray, a senior, will try to make the NBA. At 6'1", he's undersized, but he has some Fred VanVleet-level toughness in him. The guy also just knows how to score and is not intimidated by anyone. Someone will give him a shot. As for the Cougars, Gray helped them return to relevancy, and don't be surprised to see them back in the tourney next year.
Jevon Carter, West Virginia
By the numbers
Jevon Carter was dominant on both ends of the floor. The senior guard averaged 24.5 points, 6.5 assists and 5.0 steals over the first weekend and had just three turnovers.
Carter was flying all over the floor against Marshall on Sunday night, and he erased any hope the Thundering Herd might have had of making it a game early in the second half by burying three early triples. He made five of seven threes on the night and finished with 28 points.
Carter gets a chance to redeem himself in the Sweet 16 after struggling a year ago in a loss to Gonzaga. He will go up against Villanova star Jalen Brunson. The Nova point guard rarely makes a mistake, but he's never faced a defender as tenacious and gifted as Carter. This should be the most anticipated game of the Sweet 16, and all eyes will be on the two veteran point guards.
Marvin Bagley III, Duke
By the numbers
Marvin Bagley III overwhelmed Duke's first two tourney opponents with his athleticism, 6'11" size and skill. The freshman scored 22 points in both games and has done so efficiently, knocking down 16 of 21 twos and two of three threes. He also has 16 boards in the tournament.
Bagley was flying up and down against Rhode Island and had a few highlight dunks in the blowout win.
Bagley and the Blue Devils face a familiar opponent in Syracuse. In the one meeting this season against 'Cuse, Bagley scored 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting in a 60-44 win back on Feb. 24. He's a dangerous weapon on the baseline against the zone.