We spotlighted 10 big men you should know for March, so here’s the follow up: 10 guards or wings to know. (In no particular order.)
Isaiah Canaan (Murray State)
The Racers lost just one game this season and Canaan, the Ohio Valley Player of the Year and likely All-American, was outstanding all season long. They’re a 6-seed but could be a trendy pick to out-perform the seed, and if that’s to happen the senior guard will have to put together an outstanding weekend.
Marcus Denmon (Missouri)
Of all the talented guards at Frank Haith’s disposal, the leading scorer is the one to watch in the Big Dance. After scoring 24 points in the Tigers Big 12 quarterfinal win over Oklahoma State, the senior guard shot 4-for-20 in the next two games. Clearly they can win with him not at his best offensively, but they likely can’t win six straight without him.
C.J. McCollum (Lehigh)
There won’t be many people who pick the Mountain Hawks to upset 2-seed Duke, but those who do will likely point to the junior guard as the reason why. He averages nearly 22 points per game and will be a tough cover for a Duke team that’s had its share of issues defensively on the perimeter.
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Scott Machado (Iona)
The senior guard leads the nation in assists, and with his team headed to Dayton for the First Four the country will get a good look at the senior in prime time. Iona leads the nation in scoring, and with so many believing that the Gaels (first at-large for the MAAC since 1995) didn’t merit a bid they’ll be motivated.
Scoop Jardine (Syracuse)
The emergence of Dion Waiters has been one of the big reasons why the Orange won the Big East by a comfortable margin, but in crunch time their most experienced player will need to be at his best.
Austin Rivers (Duke)
The ACC Rookie of the Year has the skill to take the Blue Devils a long way. But it’s vitally important that the freshman guard make sound decisions in regards to shot selection in order to do so.
Jeffery Taylor (Vanderbilt)
John Jenkins tends to receive more headlines due to his ability to shoot from the perimeter but Taylor’s likely their best player. The senior wing averages 16.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, and his athleticism should produce some highlights as well.
Tu Holloway (Xavier)
It wasn’t the prettiest season for the Musketeers, but with Holloway and Mark Lyons they have the perimeter talent needed to win games this time of the year. Holloway took over in their A-10 semifinal win over Saint Louis, and he’ll need to do more of the same in the Big Dance.
William Buford (Ohio State)
Either Aaron Craft or Jared Sullinger could be the choice here, but Buford’s got some personal business to attend to in his final go-round. The senior guard shot 2-for-14 from the field in the Buckeyes’ Sweet 16 loss to Kentucky last season.
Bradley Beal (Florida)
Beal’s the youngest perimeter option for the Gators but he’s also the most talented, and if Florida gets him more opportunities to score they can be a tough out. The freshman guard averaged 18.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game at the SEC tournament over the weekend, and he can do that consistently if given the opportunity to do so.