The Sweet 16 starts tomorrow, in what should be a slate of great games. I’m at peace with the fact that my bracket is dead meat, but that doesn’t mean these games won’t be worth watching. We’ve hit the biggest stage of college basketball, which means the best players should shine.

The next 4 games will really reveal the studs from the remaining teams. Here are Unathletic’s Best 5 players from the remaining 16 teams….


(5) Harrison Barnes – North Carolina

He’s an elite talent. He can change any game. If he’s hitting he’ll go for 30 because he takes enough shots. You can write the guy down for 20 points, and he changes the game defensively. He’s also capable of the big shot.

(4) Jared Sullinger – Ohio State

I could have picked a number of guys from this team, but Sullinger is really the go to guy. He’s the dominant presence on the team, and he makes the other guys on his team better. He’ll give you a big bucket when you need it. Another Freshman getting it done.

(3) Kemba Walker – Connecticut

I heard an announcer say Kemba is the equivalent of Allen Iverson. Maybe he was just getting carried away, but Kemba is the man. He puts his team on his shoulders, and for a team that hasn’t lost a game this year on a neutral floor this season, UCONN looks like a tough out.

(2) Nolan Smith – Duke

Nolan Smith would be the player of the year if his team wasn’t loaded. That’s why he won’t win, but if he does he’s certainly deserving. Nolan Smith was responsible for Duke avoiding the Michigan upset, and although we could put Kyrie Irving or Kyle Singler here, Smith is the heart and soul of Duke.

(1) Jimmer Fredette – BYU

Jim Jim! Surprise surprise. There is no one player more important to his team than Jimmer. He is your National Player of the Year. The great thing about the Sweet 16 is that EVERYONE will see this guy play. He’s just awesome.


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