NBC Sports College Basketball All-American Teams

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Today is the day that we unveil the NBC Sports college basketball All-American teams.

Picking this year’s National Player of the Year was actually pretty easy to do based on the way that the season played out down the stretch, but the first team was a bit more difficult. It really came down to seven or eight guys for the five spots, and they were not easy to pick between.

You can read all about it below.

Here are the definitive college basketball first, second and third team all-americans.

Obi Toppin (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL ALL-AMERICAN FIRST TEAM

PAYTON PRITCHARD, Oregon

  • 20.5 ppg, 5.5 apg, 4.3 rpg, 41.5% 3PT

Pritchard has carried this Oregon team for long stretches this season, and he has hit so many big shots throughout the year. So the numbers themselves are incredible and deserving of this honor before you consider how many times he’s made plays late in games that won games. I think he is the most likely player to put a team on his back and will them to a national title a la Kemba Walker and Shabazz Napier.

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MYLES POWELL, Seton Hall

  • 21.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.9 apg

I can already hear the criticism from people. “How can you make a player that shoots 30.6 percent from three a first-team All-American? He shot 26 percent from deep during Big East play!” Yes, those numbers are accurate. But what Powell brings this Seton Hall program goes so much deeper than that. It’s the intangibles, the leadership, setting the tone, all the cliche things that are so hard to measure with stats. Think about it this way: The Pirates won the Big East regular season title and have a chance to be a No. 2 seed if they win the Big East tournament. Markus Howard returned to school and the Hauser brothers immediately decided to transfer out.

OBI TOPPIN, Dayton

  • 20.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.2 apg, 39% 3PT

Toppin is the NBC Sports National Player of the Year. Of course he is going to be a first-team All-American.

LUKA GARZA, Iowa

  • 23.7 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 54% FG, 35.8% 3PT

Garza has been absolutely unstoppable this season. He’s averaging nearly 24 points and 10 boards on the season, and his numbers only improved during Big Ten play, a league that is stacked with talented big men. There is no one in college basketball that plays as hard or is as relentless on the glass or in the post as the Hawkeye center. If there is a knock on Garza, it is his ability to defend. The reason he is, for me, “only” a first-team All-American and not the National Player of the Year is because he is the reason the Hawkeyes have been forced to play zone so much this year.

UDOKA AZUBUIKE, Kansas

  • 13.7 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.6 bpg, 74.8% FG

Azubuike has turned himself into one of the most dominant frontcourt pieces in college basketball this season. He’s an animal on the block, one of the strongest players in the sport, and the fact that he plays for a coach that is elite at creating ways to get him a post seal makes him that much more dangerous. He’s also a terrific lob target, and Self has schemed ways to get him rolling to the rim more often this year. But what makes him a first-team All-American is his work on the defensive side of the ball. Azubuike is the best defensive center in the sport and, for my money, the Defensive Player of the Year. He anchors a defense for Kansas that is going to be what carries them through the tournament.

Udoka Azubuike (John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL ALL-AMERICAN SECOND TEAM

DEVON DOTSON, Kansas

  • 18.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.0 apg

Deciding between Azubuike and Dotson for first-team off of Kansas was tough, but I think that Azubuike’s value as a lob-catching, rim-defending pterodactyl makes him the choice. Dotson, however, was still terrific this season. He’s terrific in transition and is near-unstoppable when Self can space the floor and get Dotson to turn a corner. I’m not sure he has the kind of pro potential that Devonte’ Graham or Frank Mason had, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is a damn good college point guard.

MARCUS ZEGAROWSKI, Creighton

  • 16.1 ppg, 5.0 apg, 3.8 rpg, 42.4% 3PT

Teammate Ty-Shon Alexander beat him out for all-Big East first team, but I think Zegarowski is the quarterback of this Creighton team. He’s the guy that makes them tick. The way I think about it is pretty simple: We know how good Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill are, but would the Chiefs have won the Super Bowl is they had Jimmy Garappolo instead of Patrick Mahomes? Zegarowski is their heartbeat. Here’s to hoping that he is healthy for March.

MALACHI FLYNN, San Diego State

  • 17.6 ppg, 5.1 apg, 4.5 rpg, 37.3% 3PT

Flynn is the engine for one of the nation’s most surprising teams in San Diego State. Brian Dutcher has built his offense around Flynn’s ability to be a playmaker in ball-screens, and it should come as no surprise that the Aztecs have thrived as a result.

MARKUS HOWARD, Marquette

  • 27.8 ppg, 3.3 apg, 41.2% 3PT

Howard is having a stupid-good season. He’s shooting 10 threes per game, many of which are absurdly difficult, and he’s hitting better than 41 percent of them. He is the guy that every defense is game-planning ways to slow down, and he still manages to be as efficient as this while leading the nation in scoring at 27.8 points. If Marquette hadn’t completely fallen off a cliff down the stretch, if they truly were good enough to make a run to a Final Four, Howard would have been a contender to win the national title.

CASSIUS WINSTON, Michigan State

  • 18.3 ppg, 5.9 apg, 42.6% 3PT

Winston’s senior season has been one of the biggest talking points in college basketball. He has underwhelmed — understandably so — based on what was expected of him entering the season. That said, he finished the season averaging 18.3 points and 5.9 assists while shooting 42.6 percent from three for the Big Ten tri-champs, a team that will likely enter the NCAA tournament as a top three seed and one of the five most trustworthy teams in the sport. He might not have been as dominant as we expected as early as we wanted him to be, but he still had a damn good season.

Tre Jones (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL ALL-AMERICAN THIRD TEAM

JARED BUTLER, Baylor

  • 16.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.1 apg, 38.1% 3PT

Butler is the one guy on this Baylor team that can go out and create a shot for himself, which is something that cannot and should not be undervalued. The Bears can go through stretches where they look like they forgot how to play offensively. Butler is the one guy that can get them out of that funk on his own.

TRE JONES, Duke

  • 16.2 ppg, 6.4 apg, 4.2 rpg, 1.8 spg, 36.1% 3PT

Jones is another guy that is on this list in large part due to things that can’t necessarily be found in a box score. He’s a terrific on-ball defenders, perhaps the best leader in college basketball and the guy that has been the veteran voice on the floor for a team that is starting three freshmen.

IMMANUEL QUICKLEY, Kentucky

  • 16.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 42.8% 3PT

In a year where nothing for Kentucky was consistent, Quickley was the guy that they could always rely on. He was a steadying force, and he just so happened to be one of the best shooters in America in the final five minutes of a game. Nick Richards got the hype early, and deservedly so, but Quickley was Kentucky’s best player this season.

SADDIQ BEY, Villanova

  • 16.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.4 apg, 47.7% FG, 45.1% 3PT

Bey is the next great Villanova wing. He’s a terrific shooter, he’s the best defender in the program and he’s a guy that can play on the ball as well as off of it. I personally think he will be a lottery pick that spends a decade playing in the NBA, and we saw it throughout Big East play. If Villanova is going to make a run in March, Bey is going to be the guy that carries them.

XAVIER TILLMAN, Michigan State

  • 13.7 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.1 bpg, 1.2 spg

The most underrated player in college basketball. The stats speak for themselves. What doesn’t necessarily show up in these stats is just how good of a defender he is. He can take away any five in the country. He’s also just a terrific passer and decision-maker when forced into 4-on-3 situations after teams double Cassius Winston in ball-screens. He’s one of those guys that makes things just run more smoothly whenever he is on the floor, and he will get the proper credit for that here.

Tennessee center Tamari Key out for season with blood clots

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee senior center Tamari Key will miss the rest of this season because of blood clots in her lungs, coach Kellie Harper said.

Doctors found the issue during testing. Key is expected to make a full recovery after treatment from University of Tennessee doctors, Harper said, adding that her sole concern is Key getting the medical care she needs to heal and return to full strength.

Key missed the first game of her career in a win Tuesday night over Chattanooga after playing her first 99.

“This is much bigger than basketball. We are so grateful that this medical condition was caught,” Harper said in a statement. “Our entire program will be right beside Tamari during this process and welcomes prayers and positive thoughts from Lady Vol Nation and beyond.”

The Lady Vols opened the season ranked fifth but currently are 5-5.

The 6-foot-6 Key from Cary, North Carolina, currently is Tennessee’s third-leading scorer averaging 8.4 points a game and averaged 4.2 rebounds per game. She started all 34 games as the Lady Vols reached their first Sweet 16 since 2016 last season and set the school record with 119 blocked shots.

Key had 18 blocks this season and 295 for her career, five away from becoming the eighth woman to reach that mark in Southeastern Conference history.

No. 7 Tennessee beats Eastern Kentucky, win streak hits 7

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tyreke Key scored 10 of the first 12 points of the second half and finished with 17, and No. 7 Tennessee overcame a sluggish first half and beat Eastern Kentucky 84-49 on Wednesday night.

“Tyreke is handling the ball now,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. “That’s all new to him. He keeps getting better.”

The Volunteers (8-1) struggled in the first half but still built an 11-point lead over Eastern Kentucky (4-5) on the way to their seventh straight victory.

Key led Tennessee in scoring before leaving with a cramp in his right leg with 6:15 left in the game. Julian Phillips had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Zakai Zeigler and Uros Plavsic added 13 points apiece. Olivier Nkamhoua scored 10.

“I’m still settling in,” said Key, a transfer from Indiana State who didn’t play last year while recovering from an injury. “This is a new role. I’m taking steps every day and keep learning.”

Eastern Kentucky, which came into the game averaging 83.5 points, was held well below that total due to 17% (6 for 35) shooting from long range and 22% (15 for 68) overall. Leland Walker led the Colonels with 13 points.

It was the seventh time this season Tennessee has held its opponent to 50 or fewer points.

“(Tennessee) is the best defensive team in the country,” Eastern Kentucky coach A.W. Hamilton said. “I think they’re the best team in the country.”

At one point in the first half, Tennessee was shooting 20% and still leading by 10 points. The teams combined to shoot 4 of 32 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes. The Vols, who shot 24% (8 of 34), led 32-21 at the break.

“If we can’t make shots, can you find a way to win the game?” Barnes said. “When the shot’s not going in, find a way to play. The first thing we talk about is our defense.”

Tennessee shot 41 free throws. Phillips, a true freshman, was 7 of 10.

“(Phillips) has learned the pace of the game,” Barnes said. “I’m not sure there’s been a more effective freshman in the country (this season).”

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Since its early season slip against Colorado, Tennessee has had a steady ascent in the rankings. The Vols’ next two games – neutral site (Brooklyn) against No, 13 Maryland (Dec. 11) and at No. 10 Arizona (Dec. 17) – will go a long way toward justifying the No. 7 ranking.

BIG PICTURE

Eastern Kentucky: The Colonels’ run-and-gun style of offense had them averaging 83.5 points through their first eight games. They ran into a defensive buzz saw in Tennessee, which was yielding just over 51 points.

Tennessee: Santiago Vescovi sat out his second straight game with a shoulder problem. He is expected to be ready to play Sunday against Maryland. . The Vols have won seven in a row since their loss to Colorado.

UP NEXT

Eastern Kentucky: The Colonels host Boyce College on Saturday.

Tennessee: Take on No. 13 Maryland on Sunday at the Hall of Fame Invitational in New York.

Hoggard scores career-high 23, Michigan State snaps 2-game skid

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A.J. Hoggard scored a career-high 23 points, Joey Hauser had 12 points and 15 rebounds and Michigan State beat Penn State 67-58 on Wednesday night to snap a two-game losing streak.

Michigan State (6-4, 1-1 Big Ten) avoided going .500 or worse after 10 games for the first time in 18 seasons.

Hoggard blocked an open layup with less than a minute to play and Hauser grabbed the rebound before being fouled and making two free throws at the other end for a 66-58 lead.

Hoggard, Hauser and Tyson Walker combined for 31 of Michigan State’s 32 second-half points.

The Michigan State defense allowed only one made field goal in the final five minutes. Penn State was just 1 of 9 from 3-point range in the second half after 7 of 18 before halftime.

Walker scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half for Michigan State. Hoggard, who entered third in the conference in assists at 6.3, had six rebounds, two assists and one key block.

Hoggard gave Michigan State 35-33 lead – its first since 4-2 – after back-to-back three-point plays with 59.3 seconds left in the first half. It was tied at 35-all at the break.

Seth Lundy scored 16 points and Jalen Pickett had 13 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists for Penn State (6-3, 0-1)

Michigan State hosts Brown on Saturday. Penn State, which hadn’t played since a double-overtime loss to Clemson on Nov. 29, plays at No. 17 Illinois on Saturday.

No. 7 Virginia Tech posts 9th straight win, beats Boston College 73-58

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BOSTON — Reigning Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Elizabeth Kitley had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Cayla King scored 16 on Wednesday night to lead No. 7 Virginia Tech to a 73-58 victory over Boston College, the Hokies’ ninth straight win.

Taylor Soule, one of two BC transfers on the roster for Virginia Tech (9-0, 1-0 ACC), added nine points and five rebounds. Soule scored more than 1,500 points and grabbed almost 700 rebounds in four seasons at BC, earning All-ACC honors three times.

Andrea Daley scored 15 points and Maria Gakdeng scored 14 for BC (7-4, 0-1). They each grabbed six rebounds.

Virginia Tech scored 17 of the game’s first 21 points and led by as many as 19 in the third quarter before BC cut the deficit to 10 in the fourth. Leading 64-54 with under three minutes left and the shot clock expiring, Kayana Traylor hit a 3-pointer for the Hokies.

Gakdeng missed two free throws for BC, and then Kitley scored from inside to make it a 15-point game.

Clara Ford, who also played four years in Chestnut Hill, pitched in 2 points in 2 minutes against her former team.

BIG PICTURE

At No. 7, the Hokies have the highest ranking in the program’s history. With the victory over BC, a 10th straight win against North Carolina-Asheville on Sunday would leave Virginia Tech in position to move up even higher should a top five team falter.

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech: Hosts North Carolina-Asheville on Sunday.

Boston College: Hosts Albany on Saturday.

Michigan’s Jaelin Llewellyn out for season with knee injury

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan point guard Jaelin Llewellyn is out for the rest of the season with an injured left knee and is expected to have surgery next month.

Wolverines coach Juwan Howard made the announcement three days after Llewellyn was hurt in a loss to Kentucky in London.

Llewellyn transferred to Michigan from Princeton last spring and that seemed to lead to Frankie Collins transferring to Arizona State after a solid freshman season for the Wolverines.

Llewellyn averaged seven points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in eight games at Michigan. He was an All-Ivy League player last season and averaged nearly 16 points over three seasons at Princeton.