March 19, 2007
We've gone from 65 teams down to the Sweet 16. Now, it's time to look at the top players through the first two rounds of the tournament. I selected players who have advanced to the Sweet 16, which is why Virginia's J.R. Reynolds is not on the list.
My Most Outstanding Player so far has been North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough. He was a force inside, playing physical basketball -- he even shed his mask in the Michigan State game. Hansbrough totaled 54 points, grabbed 19 boards and hit 19-of-28 shots from the floor.
Joining Hansbrough are Texas A&M guard Acie Law IV, who averaged 23 points in wins over Penn and Louisville; Florida's Al Horford (16 PPG, 12.5 RPG, 13-of-17 from the field); UNLV's Wendell White (19 points against Georgia Tech followed by 22 in Sunday's win over Wisconsin, including 6-of-6 from the foul line); and Oregon's Aaron Brooks (20 PPG in his first two tourney games).
It should be excitement galore on Thursday and Friday as we get down to the Elite Eight. After the weekend, the Final Four will be set and off to Atlanta, baby! The best three weeks in sports, the NCAA tournament, has had some great moments already, and these five players have done an outstanding job helping their teams advance.
Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.