Final Four Preview: Ranking the starters in the 2016 Final Four

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The 2016 Final Four features Player of the Year candidates, former McDonald’s All-Americans and solid role players. So who are the players you need to know when the games tip on Saturday?

  1. Buddy Hield, Oklahoma — The breakout national star of the NCAA tournament, Hield has drawn national attention for his ability to score. The senior is likely a top-10 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and his deep shooting range has drawn the attention of basketball fans clamoring for a college version of Steph Curry.
  2. Brice Johnson, North Carolina — Another senior who had a breakout year, Johnson is averaging 17.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game and found himself in the Player of the Year race briefly after a strong stretch in ACC play.
  3. Josh Hart, Villanova — The unsung leader of Villanova was one of the best players in the Big East this season, as Hart put up 15.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
  4. Michael Gbinije, Syracuse — A former Duke transfer, the senior has carved out a solid career with the Orange as he’s averaging 17.6 points, 4.4 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game.
  5. Isaiah Cousins, Oklahoma — Part of the reason Buddy Hield is so successful is the perimeter-shooting threat of Cousins, another senior who acts as Oklahoma’s best distributor.
  6. Marcus Paige, North Carolina — The former second-team All-American hasn’t been as effective the past two seasons, but he’s still a major threat as a scorer and distributor.
  7. Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova — Villanova’s senior point guard has put up some hot shooting performances during the NCAA tournament and he’s as steady as it gets with the ball in his hands.
  8. Jordan Woodard, Oklahoma — Woodard is the (very good) third perimeter option for the Sooners as he’s shooting 46 percent from 3-point range on the season.
  9. Justin Jackson, North Carolina — The native of Texas has scored in double-figures during every NCAA tournament game, and at 6-foot-8, he’s a matchup problem for some smaller teams.
  10. Kris Jenkins, Villanova — The junior “stretch-four” has scored double-figures in 13 consecutive games as he’s come on strong at the end of the season. Jenkins’ defense on Perry Ellis was also solid in the Elite Eight win.


11. Joel Berry II, North Carolina
12. Daniel Ochefu, Villanova
13. Malachi Richardson, Syracuse
14. Tyler Roberson, Syracuse
15. Ryan Spangler, Oklahoma
16. Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina
17. DaJuan Coleman/Tyler Lydon, Syracuse
18. Jalen Brunson, Villanova
19. Trevor Cooney, Syracuse
20. Khadeem Lattin, Oklahoma