Who Are The Brightest Stars Left In March Madness?
This article is part of our March Madness series.
As the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments roll into their second week, starting with tonight’s slate of Sweet 16 men’s games, it’s time to take stock of just who the best and most exciting performers have been in March Madness so far. To that end, let’s look at a ranking of every active player, according to a per-game average of Game Score — a simple metric that adds up the weighted sum of a player’s good (and bad) box score stats — in each tournament to date.
The standouts of the men’s NCAA Tournament so far
Best 2023 men’s NCAA Tournament players, according to Game Score per game, whose teams are still active
|Markquis Nowell||Kansas State||G||22.0||70.5%||4.0||11.5||22.9|
|Johnell Davis||Florida Atlantic||G||20.5||61.7||8.5||3.0||18.0|
|Tyson Walker||Michigan State||G||17.5||56.0||2.5||3.0||14.1|
On the men’s side, it’s hard not to be blown away by the performance of fifth-year Kansas State guard Markquis Nowell. Despite standing just 5-foot-7, Nowell put on an incredible show against Kentucky in the second round, scoring 27 points with nine assists and three steals, helping him earn the top Game Score per game of any player whose team is still dancing.
But it’s also been a tremendous tourney for the big men — most notably, UConn’s Adama Sanogo, Texas’s Dylan Disu and old-standby Gonzaga forward Drew Timme. Each made big plays in the second half of their team’s round of 32 contests, as Disu completely took over in the Longhorns’ win over Penn State and Sanogo followed up on his monster first-round game against Iona with another big outing versus a tough Saint Mary’s team.
The standouts of the women’s NCAA Tournament so far
Best 2023 women’s NCAA Tournament players, according to Game Score per game, whose teams are still active
|Hailey Van Lith||Louisville||G||23.5||58.4||2.0||3.0||17.0|
|Jacy Sheldon||Ohio St.||G||16.5||49.7||5.5||7.0||14.9|
As outstanding as Nowell has been on the men’s side, Angel Reese of LSU has been even better to lead all active women’s players in Game Score per game. Reese is averaging an eye-popping 29.5 points per game (fourth-best in the tourney) and leads all players in rebounds per game at 19.5, to go with 4.5 blocks per game (tied for fifth) and 3.0 steals per game (tied for eighth). The 6-foot-3 forward has truly done it all for the Tigers as they’ve added more points of Final Four probability than any other team since the start of the tournament.
Below Reese, there has been no shortage of other stellar performers in the women’s tourney. Utah’s Alissa Pili is averaging a hyper-efficient 30.5 PPG on 67 percent shooting from the field, while (as usual) Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist leads all scorers with 33.0 PPG. And of course, there’s no stopping the great Caitlin Clark when the game is on the line; the active NCAA career leader in points per game remains maybe the most exciting player in all of basketball when she has the ball in her hands.
Check out our latest March Madness predictions.