Excitement is building as one of America’s best-loved sports tournaments, March Madness draws near and NCAA teams look to do battle on the basketball courts. The tournament has endeared itself to Americans throughout the years, thanks to its exciting knockout format and also to its timely schedule between the NFL and MLB seasons.
The last March Madness was a thriller, with Virginia Cavaliers taking on Texas Tech and the two teams dragging the game into overtime to decide who would be the champions.
Players of note in the game were De’Andre Hunter, who pushed the game into overtime and then also scored during it, helping to clinch the game for the Cavaliers. There was also acknowledgement of the junior guard Ty Jerome, who scored 16 points, offered eight assists, and finished with six rebounds.
Below is a look at some of the best players to have graced the tournament, plus some of the favorites for the 2021 March Madness and the players to watch on those teams.
The tournament has seen some memorable performances. The players below have especially stood out.
Bobby Joe Hill
Bobby Joe Hill was one of the best junior point guards in basketball history. He was quick and a playmaker, and he led Texas Western to its only national title in school history. In the 1966 March Madness championship game, two back-to-back clutch steals helped Hill and the team take a seven-point lead which they refused to give up.
The game was memorable not just because of Bobby Joe Hill’s performance but also because it worked towards ending desegregation in sports. Hill’s all-black team had proven they were just as good as the opposing all-white Kentucky team.
Steve Alford, Indiana
Steve Alford played for Indiana, one of the greatest teams in college basketball history, and had a ruthlessly good aim. He was seemingly able to score from anywhere on the court.
Alford averaged 19.5 points per game, but took this to 22.2 per game in his last two seasons. His senior year was the year that many will remember as the year that Indiana won it all.