March 22, 2016, 10:14 am
The NCAA Tournament opened up with several highlights, some emotional upsets and plenty of ‘busted’ brackets for fans. As fantasy owners, we got to catch glimpses of several future NBA faces during early tournament exits. Luckily, there are still two more weekends of NCAA basketball to be played and plenty of advanced scouting to look forward to.
Last week, the report highlighted some of the teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament that rostered players with NBA draft potential. Unfortunately, we will no longer get to view some of these prospects as they were eliminated from the tournament and will have to wait for draft declarations. Feel free to click here and read up on any analysis you may have missed.
Side note: Top prospect Ben Simmons looks to be heading for the NBA after only one year of college basketball.
Editor’s Note: Stop what you’re doing and go follow @JohnRSill on Twitter. – AB
This week, the report will provide fantasy insight on the teams remaining – the Sweet Sixteen. I will do the analysis in a matchup format based on the game schedule so readers can easily refer to this article in between games if they wish. The winners of each matchup will advance to play on either Saturday, March 26th or Sunday, March 27th to determine which teams will play in the final weekend of the tournament (the Final Four).
Game 1 – Thursday, March 24
Miami (3 Seed) vs. Villanova (2 Seed)
Players to watch: Sheldon McClellan (Miami, SG, Senior), Josh Hart (Villanova, SG, Junior)
Game Narrative: Miami looked inconsistent as it nearly game up a big first half lead in the second round win against 11 seed Wichita State. On the other hand, Villanova rolled through its first two opponents with big wins over UNC Asheville and Iowa. The teams look very similar from a statistical standpoint, with Villanova holding a slight edge in team scoring, rebounding and assisting. Miami will need to lean on their veteran backcourt to compete with the tough defense and depth displayed by Villanova during the opening weekend. Viewers will get to see a solid matchup in Sheldon McClellan vs. Josh Hart.
Fantasy Impact: Sheldon McClellan looks to be a future NBA bench player, but could really help his draft stock if he is able to carry this Miami team past Villanova. Owners can expect to see him drafted around the end of the second round. Josh Hart is the leading scorer for Villanova. As a junior, Hart still has one more year to make a name for himself in hopes of entering the 2017 NBA draft. Neither player is likely to have an impact on fantasy rosters in the near future.
My Pick: Villanova