March 28, 2016, 1:44 pm
One more exciting weekend in the books and we are now on to the Final Four!
Unfortunately, my Kansas Jayhawks were upset by Villanova to exit the tournament on what has become my annual “saddest day of the year”. A single number one seed remains, but a handful of prospects to consider for future fantasy rosters are still in the field.
Last week, the report analyzed some fantasy prospects on the remaining sixteen teams. Prior editions of the prospect report covered other college prospects as their seasons came to an end. Feel free to click here and read up on any analysis you may have missed.
Editor’s Note: If you’re not already following John on Twitter you can click here to make that happen – Bru
As the tournament comes to an end, I will turn my focus towards the NBA Draft and Fantasy Keepers. Keep an eye out for future articles with these key NBA dates in mind:
May 11-15: NBA Draft Combine
May 17: NBA Draft Lottery
June 23: NBA Draft
This week, the report will provide fantasy insight on the teams remaining – the Final Four. The winners of each matchup will advance to play on Monday, April 4th for a National Championship.
Game 1 – Saturday, April 2
Villanova (2 Seed) vs. Oklahoma (2 Seed)
Players to watch: Josh Hart (Villanova, SG, Junior), Buddy Hield (Oklahoma, SG, Senior), Isaiah Cousins (Oklahoma, SG, Senior)
Game Narrative: Villanova is currently favored in this game with a three-quarters court press that disrupts offenses. However, Oklahoma has the 3-point shooting ability capable of breaking this defense. Oklahoma has been susceptible to turnovers throughout the tournament, which could be problematic against a Villanova team that forced the number 1 team (Kansas) to commit 16 turnovers in the Elite Eight matchup.
Featured Fantasy Player: This game will feature a handful of great college basketball players, but one player stands head and shoulders above the rest as a NBA prospect. That player is Buddy Hield. Already considered the favorite for the player of the year award, Hield continues to add impressive tournament performances to his resume. He has shown the ability to score in bunches and is no longer in doubt as a lottery pick. Some mock drafts have him going as high as 3, but he should not fall past 10. Hield is susceptible to streaky shooting and turnovers and is on the shorter side for NBA shooting guards, but is a versatile offensive weapon with NBA-ready moves. His range and ability to make space were on full display against the 1 seed Oregon Ducks this past weekend (videos below).
In the Elite Eight game, Hield put up 37 points (13-for-20 FG, 3-for-4 FT), eight 3-pointers, four rebounds, no defensive stats and a problematic six turnovers. He is averaging almost 30 points per tournament game while logging heavy minutes.
My Pick: Oklahoma – the Sooners have the dynamic backcourt capable of breaking this press and will hit outside shots in half court sets. Villanova was able to shut down Kansas’ leading scoring by denying interior passing. Villanova is vulnerable to outside scoring and I see Oklahoma’s range being on full display in this matchup.