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The 2012-13 regular season will end with Gonzaga as the No. 1-ranked team in America.
Not Indiana or Kansas or Duke or Louisville -- but Gonzaga, a traditionally strong program, to be sure, yet one from a tiny conference that has advanced past the Sweet 16 only once in its history.
Strange? Perhaps in some seasons.
But nothing has been off the table in 2012-13, when the only thing certain has been uncertainty.
Duke looked like the best team in America early on, but then Ryan Kelly got hurt and all of a sudden the Blue Devils were getting stomped by Miami. Indiana lost its spot atop the polls after getting beat on a shot by a walk-on from Butler. For a time, the Kansas Jayhawks looked like the nation's best team.
|TCU is 1-16 in the Big 12. That one win came against KU. It's been that kind of season in college hoops.|
Until they lost to one of the worst.
No offense, TCU. You're certainly not as bad as the Mississippi State squad that embarrassed once-ranked Ole Miss in a game that may end up costing Rebels coach Andy Kennedy his job. Speaking of coaches, folks were quick to pile on UCLA's Ben Howland after an early-season loss to Cal Poly. Now the Bruins are two wins away from clinching at least a share of the Pac-12 title.
That isn't nearly as unlikely as what's happening in Big East race. Step aside Louisville and Syracuse. Georgetown and Marquette are the front-runners this year. And why wouldn't they be? It's not as though Marquette lost the 2012 league player of the year Jae Crowder and leading scorer Darius-Johnson Odom and replaced them with virtually nothing. And it's not as if Georgetown lost its top three scorers from last year and second-leading rebounder Greg Whittington to academic suspension in January.
Oh wait. Those things did happen. And the Golden Eagles and Hoyas actually got better? Who'd have thunk it?
The regular season just kept getting crazier and crazier. Just when you thought you had things figured out, Phil Pressey threw a pass into a tuba, Michigan ran into a juggernaut in State College and Virginia fans rushed the court after beating Duke.
Get out of the way, Mikey!
As zany as the regular season has been, the NCAA tournament promises to be filled with even more surprises. Still, before the time comes to hand out bids, it only seems appropriate to tie a bow around the past four months with the "King's Court Awards."
Here are my picks for the teams and players who made the 2012-13 regular season so great.
Trey Burke, sophomore, Michigan: Point guard averages 18.9 points and shoots 49.5 percent from the field for a Wolverines squad that was ranked No. 1 earlier this season Also chips in 6.9 assists and 1.6 steals Has scored 15 or more points in all but three games Leads the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.59).
Doug McDermott, junior, Creighton: Ranks second in the nation in scoring at 23.4 points per game. Led team to first Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title since 2001. First-team All-American as a junior Has seven games of 30 or more points Scored 41 points on 15-of-18 shooting in MVC title-clincher over Wichita State.
Victor Oladipo, junior, Indiana: One of the country's most well-rounded players averages 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.3 steals for the best team in the Big Ten Ranks ninth in the country in field goal percentage (63.4), which is almost unheard of for a guard Shoots 49 percent from 3-point range.
Kelly Olynyk, junior, Gonzaga: Averages 17.7 points and seven rebounds for a Zags team that achieved its first No. 1-ranking in school history Shoots 66.8 percent from the field, which ranks third in the nation Gaudy stats despite playing just 25 minutes per game Team finished regular season 29-2 overall and 16-0 in the WCC.
Otto Porter Jr., sophomore, Georgetown: Future NBA lottery pick is averaging 16.6 points and 7.6 rebounds for a team that has lost only one game in 2013 Has been particularly hot recently, averaging 27.7 points in his past three games Shoots 51 percent overall and 47 percent from 3-point range Averages two steals.Second team
Shane Larkin, sophomore, Miami: Point guard has led the Hurricanes to their first regular-season conference title since 2000 Averages a team-high 13.8 points and 4.6 assists Son of former former Major League Baseball star Barry Larkin shoots 48.6 percent from the field Averaged 18 points in four games against North Carolina and Duke.
Mason Plumlee, senior, Duke: Was the best player in the nation during nonconference action, when the forward sparked the Blue Devils to a 15-0 start Averages 17.1 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks Shoots 66.8 percent from the foul stripe, a dramatic improvement from last season (52.8).
Marcus Smart, freshman, Oklahoma State: One of the best leaders in all of college basketball has revitalized the Cowboys' once-struggling program Versatile point guard averages 14.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.9 steals. Had 25 points, 9 rebounds and 5 steals in OSU's upset of Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse.
Deshaun Thomas, junior, Ohio State: A threat to score from anywhere on the court, Thomas averages 19.8 points and 6.8 rebounds Has scored in double figures in every game this season Averaged 15.9 points as a sophomore Averages 16 shots per game and shoots 44.5 percent from the field.
Jeff Withey, senior, Kansas: One of the top defensive forces in the country swats an average of four shots per game and alters countless others Has greatly enhanced his offensive game, averaging 13.8 points and 8.6 rebounds Had a triple-double against San Jose State Has scored in double figures in 14 straight games.
Allen Crabbe, Cal: Averages 18.4 points on 46.5 percent shooting for a team that has won nine of its past 10 games Has scored 20 or more points in 13 games Scored 31 points on 12-of-15 shooting in a victory at Arizona Also contributes 6 rebounds and 2.3 assists Averaged 13.4 points as a freshman and 15.2 points as a sophomore.
Rodney McGruder, senior, Kansas State: Has the Wildcats one win away from winning a share of the conference title for the first time since 1977 Leads K-State in points (14.9) and rebounds (5.3) Kept Big 12 title hopes alive Saturday by making a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer against Baylor Has 1,461 career points.
Ben McLemore, freshman, Kansas: Wing leads the Jayhawks in scoring at 16.5 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field Scored 36 points against West Virginia to break Danny Manning's freshman single-game scoring record Shoots 42.5 percent from 3-point range Potential No. 1 overall draft pick this summer.
Russ Smith, junior, Louisville: Cat-quick guard leads Cardinals in points (18.4) and steals (2.1) Has reached double figures in all but two games and has scored 20 or more points in 12 contests Helped Louisville achieve a No. 1 ranking in January Can be erratic at times but often comes up big in the clutch.
Cody Zeller, sophomore, Indiana: National preseason player of the year is averaging team-highs in points (16.5) and rebounds (8.1) Also contributes 1.5 blocks for the Big Ten champion Hoosiers Seven-footer runs the court as well as any big man in the country Shoots 57.3 percent from the floor and 75 percent from the foul stripe.
|Victor Oladipo makes a difference on offense and defense for Indiana.|
Victor Oladipo, Indiana: The Hoosiers can thank the junior guard for their first Big Ten regular-season title since 2002. Oladipo can fill up a stat sheet. He's one of the top defensive players in the country and can electrify a crowd with a dunk or a 3-pointer. But the tone he sets with his energy and leadership is what has helped Indiana the most.
John Thompson III, Georgetown: The Hoyas lost their top three scorers (Jason Clark, Henry Sims and Hollis Thompson) from last year's team, and second-leading scorer and rebounder Greg Whittington flunked off the squad at semester. How did Thompson respond? By getting Georgetown within one victory of the Big East title.
Jeff Withey, Kansas: The Jayhawks' 7-footer pick up where he left off last season, when he set an NCAA tournament record for blocks while leading KU to the NCAA title game. Withey ranks first in the nation among active players in blocks with four per game. Even more amazing is that Withey averages only 1.9 fouls.
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State: Talent usually isn't a problem in Stillwater, but the Cowboys have been lacking the type of leader and tone-setter that players rally around. The well-rounded Smart has been more than that at Oklahoma State, which has been a Top-25 mainstay for most of the season after missing the NCAA tournament last spring.
Arsalan Kazemi, Oregon: The Ducks are in a position to win their first Pac-12 title since 2002 -- and only their fifth in school history -- thanks to the Rice transfer. Known for his high basketball IQ, the 6-foot-7 Kazemi relishes doing the dirty work to help his team win. He averages 9.4 points and 2.2 steals along with 9.9 rebounds.
Davante Gardner, Marquette: The Golden Eagles' 6-foot-8, 290-pound forward could easily start, but he prefers to come off the bench for a team that is in contention for the Big East title. Gardner ranks second on the team in scoring (11.9 points) and first in rebounding (4.9) in just 21 minutes. His free throw percentage (85.7) is unheard of for a big man.
Keith Clanton, Central Florida: Schools such as Kentucky and Ohio State tried to persuade Clanton to transfer after the Knights were hit with NCAA sanctions last summer. But the 6-foot-9 forward chose to stay at UCF for his senior season. Clanton has looked like a future pro in averaging 15.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
Larry Drew II, UCLA: Drew took a lot of heat when he left North Carolina midway through a mediocre junior season in 2010-11. But it's tough not to respect his game now. The point guard ranks fourth in the country in assists (7.8) and second in assist-to-turnover ratio for the Bruins, who remain in the hunt for the Pac-12 title.
Indiana vs. Butler (Dec. 15): Bulldogs walk-on Alex Barlow swished a spinning, 6-foot jumper with 2.4 seconds remaining to give top-ranked Indiana its first loss of the season. The game was played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Butler outscored Indiana 42-32 in the paint and 27-17 in second-chance points.
Miami at NC State (Feb. 2): Reggie Johnson tipped in an errant shot with 0.8 seconds remaining to give Miami a 79-78 victory over the Wolfpack in Raleigh. The game lived up to its lofty billing, with Miami leading by nine points in the first half and trailing by as many as 10 after intermission.
Ohio State at Michigan (Feb. 5): Tim Hardaway Jr. got hot from 3-point range in the second half and Trey Burke came up huge defensively in the waning minutes against Aaron Craft to give Michigan a 76-74 win in overtime.
|It took Tom Knight and the Irish five overtimes against Louisville before they felt like celebrating.|
Louisville at Notre Dame (Feb. 9): The Cardinals and Fighting Irish set a record for the longest regular-season Big East game as Notre Dame won 104-101 in five overtimes. Reserve forward Garrick Sherman was the hero after scoring all 17 of his points in the extra periods.
Kansas at Iowa State (Feb. 25): Kansas kept its hopes alive for a ninth straight Big 12 title thanks to some iffy officiating during key moments of its 108-96 overtime victory. Elijah Johnson -- the beneficiary of a no-call on an obvious charge at the end of regulation -- scored a career-high 39 points.
Winner: Louisville-Notre Dame. Hard to top a five-overtime game.
Illinois over Gonzaga (Dec. 8): Brandon Paul scored 35 points to lead Illinois to an 85-74 road win over the Zags, who hardly ever lose at home. The undefeated Illini had already won the Maui Invitational, but this was the game that turned the most heads.
Butler over Gonzaga (Jan. 19): Beating Gonzaga -- currently the nation's No. 1-ranked team -- would've been impressive no matter what. But to do it without leading scorer Rotnei Clarke made Butler's 64-63 home win on "College GameDay" even more startling. The Zags haven't lost since.
UCLA over Arizona (Jan. 24): The Bruins turned a highly anticipated game between the Pac-12's projected top two teams into an all-out rout. That UCLA's 84-73 victory occurred on enemy ground in Tucson made it even more impressive. Ben Howland's squad led by 16 in the opening half.
Oklahoma State over Kansas (Feb. 2): Cowboys guard Marcus Smart did backflips on the court after the Cowboys' 85-80 win. And rightfully so. Kansas had won 101 of its previous 102 games at Allen Fieldhouse before Oklahoma State pulled the upset.
|Ohio State's defensive pressure slowed No. 2 Indiana.|
Ohio State over Indiana (March 5): Beating the Hoosiers at home -- at least this season -- seemed like a darn near impossible chore. And doing it on senior night was virtually unthinkable. That's why Ohio State's 67-58 shocker over No. 2 Indiana will be remembered as one of the biggest victories in recent Buckeyes memory.
Winner: Ohio State. Beating a rival on their home court when they have a chance to clinch an outright league title -- on senior night, no less -- is the ultimate kick to the groin.
Chaminade over Texas (Nov. 19): Losing to a Division II school is bad enough, but getting blown out by 13 points on national television is downright humiliating. That's what happened to Rick Barnes' Texas squad in an 86-73 loss to Chaminade in the first round of the Maui Invitational. The defeat set the tone for Barnes' worst season in 15 years.
Arkansas over Florida (Feb. 5): The Gators were 18-2 overall and winners of 10 straight before losing 80-69 in Fayetteville. Billy Donovan's squad trailed by 17 points at halftime against a team that won't make the NCAA tournament. Florida avenged the loss three weeks later with a 71-54 win.
TCU over Kansas (Feb. 6): How does a team that returns four significant pieces of last year's NCAA runner-up lose to arguably the worst team in the history of the Big 12? That's what happened to KU in a 62-55 loss to the Horned Frogs, who probably will finish 1-17 in league play. Kansas scored only one field goal in the opening 16 minutes.
Penn State over Michigan (Feb. 27): The Nittany Lions hadn't won a Big Ten game all season when they took the court against No. 4 Michigan in State College. But Penn State connected on 10 shots from beyond the arc and got a combined 42 points from Jermaine Marshall and D.J. Newbill to pull off the stunner.
Mississippi State over Ole Miss (March 2): The Bulldogs had lost 13 games in a row and were down to only eight players when they beat their rival 73-67 in Starkville. Ole Miss sharpshooter Marshall Henderson went just 3-for-18 from 3-point range in a game that may have killed the Rebels' NCAA tournament hopes.
Winner: TCU. Some pundits have tagged the Horned Frogs' win as the biggest upset in the past 20 years, based on each team's RPI.
South Dakota State's Nate Wolters vs. IPFW (Feb. 7): On a night when the basket looked like a hula-hoop, Wolters erupted for 53 points on 17-of-28 shooting in his team's 80-74 victory. Wolters was 9-of-14 from beyond the arc.
New Mexico's Kendall Williams vs. Colorado State (Feb. 23): Williams scored 18 of his 46 points in the final six minutes to help the Lobos rally on the road from a six-point deficit to defeat Colorado State 91-82. Williams set a MWC record with 10 3-pointers.
Kansas' Elijah Johnson vs. Iowa State (Feb. 25): Just when the game appeared all but over, Johnson scored eight points in the final 29 seconds of regulation -- and 12 more in overtime -- to propel the Jayhawks to a 108-96 win. Johnson finished with 39 points.
Duke's Ryan Kelly vs. Miami (March 2): In his first game back after missing two months with a foot injury, Kelly erupted for 36 points in the Blue Devils' 79-76 victory over No. 5 Miami. Kelly was 10-of-14 overall and 7-of-9 from 3-point range.
Creighton's Doug McDermott vs. Wichita State (March 2): The Bluejays' forward helped Creighton clinch its first MVC regular-season title since 2001 by scoring 41 points on 15-of-18 shooting against Wichita State.
Winner: Kelly. The Blue Devils' senior gets the nod because of his long layoff and the quality of the opponent.
Butler's Rotnei Clarke vs. Marquette (Nov. 19): Clarke's desperation heave from 15 feet beyond the 3-point line catapulted the Bulldogs to a 72-71 win over Marquette as time expired in the first round of the Maui Invitational. Looking back, it probably set the tone for the rest of the college basketball season.
Colorado's Sabatino Chen vs. Arizona (Jan. 3): Chen banked in a 3-pointer at the of regulation that would've given the Buffaloes a victory, but officials waved it off after erroneously concluding that he failed to get it off in time. Their mistake cost Colorado a victory in Tucson.
Maryland's Alex Len vs. North Carolina State (Jan. 16): The Terrapins center found himself in perfect position to rebound a missed shot by Pe'Shon Howard and score on a game-winning bucket with 0.9 seconds left. Maryland fans rushed the court after the 51-50 win over the No.14 Wolfpack.
Butler's Roosevelt Jones vs. Gonzaga (Jan. 19): Jones stole an inbound pass with 3.5 seconds remaining, drove from midcourt and into the lane and buried a running jumper as time expired in the Bulldogs' 64-63 victory on College GameDay.
Wisconsin's Ben Brust vs. Michigan (Feb. 9): The Wolverines had a chance to become No. 1, but after Tim Hardaway sank a 3 that broke a tie with 3 seconds left, Mike Bruesewitz hit Brust in stride on the inbounds and the junior swished one in at the buzzer from just inside the halfcourt line. Bedlam ensued and the Badgers won in OT.
Kansas State's Rodney McGruder vs. Baylor (March 2): The Wildcats kept their hopes of a Big 12 title alive when they inbounded the ball to McGruder on the wing with 1 second remaining. McGruder caught the pass and quickly fired up a 3-pointer that hit nothing but net in K-State's 64-61 victory in Waco.
Winner: Brust. In a Big Ten season full of drama, no moment was better.
|Baylor's Pierre Jackson has played well, but his Bears have underachieved this season.|
Baylor: One year after winning a school-record 30 games and making the Elite Eight, Baylor will likely miss the NCAA tournament despite a roster that includes the Big 12's scoring and assists leader (Pierre Jackson) and a potential lottery pick (Isaiah Austin) in this summer's NBA draft. The Bears, who were picked to finish second in the league, tout just one victory against an upper-half Big 12 team.
Big Ten mid-carders: I'm looking right at you Illinois and Minnesota. The Illini boast victories over Gonzaga and Indiana but have a losing conference record. Minnesota opened the season 15-1 and then lost eight of its next 11 games. Both teams deserve to make the NCAA tournament and almost certainly will. But you never know what you're going to get with the Illini and Gophers.
Iowa State: The Cyclones are one of the toughest teams in America to figure out. At home they look like a top-10 team. Then they go on the road and lose to Texas-freaking-Tech. And to struggling Texas. And to Oklahoma by nearly 20 points. And in the final second at Oklahoma State. It's amazing to think that a team this talented will barely squeak into the NCAA tournament.
Phil Pressey: For the first 38 minutes of most games, the Missouri junior looks like the best point guard in America. He is a pure joy to watch. But not many players struggle in the waning minutes of close games quite like Pressey. Whether it was firing up ill-advised 3s at Kentucky, Texas A&M or LSU or turning the ball over at UCLA, Pressey became a different player late in games.
Russ Smith: Louisville coach Rick Pitino named one of his horses ("Russdiculous") after Smith, but at times this season the Cardinals guard has taken on the role of a goat because of his poor shot selection and erratic play late in close games. The best example came in Louisville's five-overtime loss at Notre Dame, when Smith went 4-of-19 from the field.
Brad Stevens, Shaka Smart and Gregg Marshall: As has been the case the last few years, these names will surely surface during the offseason coaching carousel. And like always, it's going to take a pretty sweet gig for them to leave their respective schools. Heck, why would they? They earn seven-figure salaries, play before sold-out crowds and have their program near the top of their leagues. That's much more appealing than taking on a major rebuilding project at a lower-level Big Six school.
Kermit Davis, Middle Tennessee: Davis has gone 54-11 in Murfreesboro the past two seasons and has won his last 16 games. MTSU's 19 league wins were the most in Sun Belt history. The Blue Raiders are a shoo-in for the NCAA tournament. He would be the perfect fit at a school such as Texas Tech.
Andy Enfield, Florida Gulf Coast: In just his second season, Enfield has taken a squad that won just 10 games the year before his arrival and turned it into a 21-win team that finished second in the Atlantic Sun. Ask the Miami Hurricanes about Florida Gulf Coast. The Hurricanes lost to the Eagles 63-51 back in November.
Larry Eustachy, Colorado State: The former Iowa State and Southern Miss coach may have no desire to leave Colorado State after one season. I truly have no idea and wouldn't blame him if he didn't. But I firmly believe Eustachy is ready for a job at a Big Six conference school as long as it's a good fit. He's clearly turned his life around -- and as he continues to prove, the man is an excellent coach.
Michael White, Louisiana Tech: White has guided the Bulldogs to a 26-3 overall record and a 16-0 mark in the WAC. Louisiana Tech was rewarded with its first Top 25 ranking since 1985. The Ole Miss alum seems like an obvious replacement for Andy Kennedy if the Rebels decide to make a change.
Jeff Bzdelik, Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons have combined to win just 10 ACC games during Bzdelik's first three seasons. There were a few bright moments this year -- most notably a victory over Miami last month -- but this team is still 12-16 overall and 5-11 in league play. Fans are getting impatient.
|The heat is on Bill Carmody, who hasn't been able to take Northwestern to the NCAA tournament.|
Ken Bone, Washington State: The Cougars (11-18, 2-14) have lost nine consecutive games and 11 of their last 12. Bone's team took a serious hit during the offseason when the coach kicked standout point guard Reggie Moore off the squad for repeated rules violations. Bone is a good coach who is well-respected among his peers.
Bill Carmody, Northwestern: The time has come for the Wildcats to make a change. Northwestern has never appeared in the NCAA tournament and they won't get there this year under Carmody, who is in his 13th season. It's time for someone else to give it a try. Perhaps Duke assistant Chris Collins.
Stan Heath, South Florida: An NCAA tournament team a year ago, the Bulls are 2-14 in the Big East and just 11-17 overall. Heath has struggled to lure talent to Tampa and fan support isn't exactly through the roof. If Heath gets another year, he'll definitely enter 2013-14 on the hot seat.
Andy Kennedy, Ole Miss: The Rebels coach could enhance his chances of keeping his job by making the NCAA tournament, something he failed to accomplish in his first six seasons. Ole Miss -- which suffered a brutal loss to Mississippi State last week -- is considered a bubble team.
Colorado: Tad Boyle's Buffaloes will return every key piece of a team that spent the early portions of the season in the Top 25. That includes Andre Roberson, the nation's leading rebounder, along with standout guards Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie and promising freshmen Josh Scott and Xavier Johnson.
Kentucky: The struggles the Wildcats endured this season will be short-lived. John Calipari's 2013 recruiting class is already being regarded as one of the best in college basketball history, and it will only be enhanced if forward Julius Randle adds his name to the list in the coming weeks.
LSU: The Tigers, who have won seven of their past 10 games under first-year coach Johnny Jones, will carry a ton of momentum into next season thanks to the return of standouts such as Johnny O'Bryant, Anthony Hickey and Andre Stringer. LSU has just two seniors on its current roster.
Providence: The Friars will return their top three scorers in Bryce Cotton, Kadeem Batts and LaDontae Henton, which is reason enough to be optimistic. The biggest question is whether last year's top recruit, Ricky Ledo, will be on the roster. Ledo sat out this season as a partial qualifier and is considering entering the NBA draft.
St. John's: The only senior on the Red Storm roster is forward God'sgift Achiuwa -- and he redshirted this season. He'll be back in the mix along with shot-swatting Chris Obekpa, scoring machine D'Angelo Harrison and versatile forward JaKarr Sampson, who is averaging 14.9 points as a freshman.
Tennessee: The Volunteers will return their top three scorers in Jordan McRae, Jarnell Stokes and Trae Golden. And small forward Jeronne Maymon, who averaged 12.7 points and 8.1 rebounds a season ago, will be back after missing 2012-13 with an injury.
Laurence Bowers, Missouri: The Tigers forward kept his spirits high while sitting out last season with a knee injury. It was good to see him bounce back with an outstanding senior campaign (14.6 points, 6.3 rebounds).
Julian Gamble, Miami: Gamble is one of the unsung heroes of the Hurricanes' surge. The forward averages 6.4 points, five rebounds and nearly two blocks and always offers good perspective on Miami's climb to the top of the ACC.
Grant Gibbs, Creighton: Doug McDermott gets most of the credit, but the nation's most efficient offense wouldn't run nearly as smoothly without Gibbs, who averages 5.9 assists and is a favorite among reporters for his insightful quotes.
Solomon Hill, Arizona: The Wildcats forward averages 13.6 points per game and is a matchup nightmare because of his ability to play almost anywhere on the court. He's as friendly and articulate as any player you'll find in the college game.
Peyton Siva, Louisville: Rick Pitino says his point guard is one of his favorite players ever. It's easy to understand why. Anyone who watches Siva play can see the appreciation and passion he has for the game. He's been a great ambassador for the sport.
Seth Curry, senior, Duke
Erick Green, senior, Virginia Tech
Joe Harris, junior, Virginia
Shane Larkin, sophomore, Miami
Mason Plumlee, senior, Duke
Lorenzo Brown, junior, North Carolina State
Richard Howell, senior, North Carolina State
Kenny Kadji, senior, Miami
James Michael McAdoo, sophomore, North Carolina
Michael Snaer, senior, Florida State
Player of the Year: Shane Larkin, Miami
Coach of the Year: Jim Larranaga, Miami
Freshman of the Year: Rasheed Sulaimon, Duke
Transfer of the Year: Dez Wells, Maryland
Defensive Player of the Year: Jontel Evans, Virginia
Sixth Man of the Year: Kammeon Holsey, Georgia Tech
Most Underrated: Reggie Bullock, North Carolina
Most Improved: Quinn Cook, Duke
Vander Blue, junior, Marquette
Michael Carter-Williams, sophomore, Syracuse
Jack Cooley, senior, Notre Dame
Otto Porter Jr., sophomore, Georgetown
Russ Smith, junior, Louisville
Chane Behanan, sophomore, Louisville
Bryce Cotton, junior, Providence
Jerian Grant, junior, Notre Dame
Sean Kilpatrick, junior, Cincinnati
Shabazz Napier, junior, Connecticut
Player of the Year: Otto Porter Jr., Georgetown
Coach of the Year: John Thompson III, Georgetown
Freshman of the Year: Jakarr Sampson, St. John's
Transfer of the Year: Eugene Teague, Seton Hall
Defensive Player of the Year: Gorgui Dieng, Louisville
Sixth Man of the Year: Davante Gardner, Marquette
Most Underrated: Travon Woodall, Pittsburgh
Most Improved: Markel Starks, Georgetown
Trey Burke, sophomore, Michigan
Tim Hardaway Jr., junior, Michigan
Victor Oladipo, junior, Indiana
Deshaun Thomas, junior, Ohio State
Cody Zeller, sophomore, Indiana
Keith Appling, junior, Michigan State
Jared Berggren, senior, Wisconsin
Aaron Craft, junior, Ohio State
Trevor Mbakwe, senior, Minnesota
Brandon Paul, senior, Illinois
Player of the Year: Victor Oladipo, Indiana
Coach of the Year: Bo Ryan, Wisconsin
Freshman of the Year: Gary Harris, Michigan State
Transfer of the Year: D.J. Newbill, Penn State
Defensive Player of the Year: Aaron Craft, Ohio State
Sixth Man of the Year: LaQuinton Ross, Ohio State
Most Underrated: Roy Devyn Marble, Iowa
Most Improved: Adreian Payne, Michigan State
Rodney McGruder, senior, Kansas State
Ben McLemore, freshman, Kansas
Romero Osby, senior, Oklahoma
Marcus Smart, freshman, Oklahoma State
Jeff Withey, senior, Kansas
Markel Brown, junior, Oklahoma State
Melvin Ejim, junior, Iowa State
Pierre Jackson, senior, Baylor
Travis Releford, senior, Kansas
Angel Rodriguez, sophomore, Kansas State
Player of the Year: Jeff Withey, Kansas
Coach of the Year: Bruce Weber, Kansas State
Freshman of the Year: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
Transfer of the Year: Will Clyburn, Iowa State
Defensive Player of the Year: Jeff Withey, Kansas
Sixth Man of the Year: Tyrus McGee, Iowa State
Most Underrated: Steven Pledger, Oklahoma
Most Improved: Shane Southwell, Kansas State
Anthony Bennett, UNLV
Anthony Drmic, Boise State
Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State
Colton Iverson, Colorado State
Kendall Williams, New Mexico
Pierce Hornung, Colorado State
Alex Kirk, New Mexico
Michael Lyons, Air Force
Derrick Marks, Boise State
Anthony Marshall, UNLV
Player of the Year: Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State
Coach of the Year: Steve Alford, New Mexico
Freshman of the Year: Anthony Bennett, UNLV
Transfer of the Year: Colton Iverson, Colorado State
Defensive Player of the Year: Leonard Washington, Wyoming
Sixth Man of the Year: Cameron Bairstow, New Mexico
Most Underrated: Greg Smith, Colorado State
Most Improved: Anthony Drmic, Boise State
Jahii Carson, freshman, Arizona State
Allen Crabbe, junior, Cal
Solomon Hill, senior, Arizona
Shabazz Muhammad, freshman, UCLA
Andre Roberson, junior, Colorado
Justin Cobbs, junior, Cal
Spencer Dinwiddie, sophomore, Colorado
Mark Lyons, senior, Arizona
Dwight Powell, junior, Stanford
E.J. Singler, senior, Oregon
Player of the Year: Allen Crabbe, Cal
Coach of the Year: Dana Altman, Oregon
Freshman of the Year: Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA
Transfer of the Year: Arsalan Kazemi, Oregon
Defensive Player of the Year: Carrick Felix, Arizona State
Sixth Man of the Year: Carlos Emory, Oregon
Most Underrated: Brock Motum, Washington State
Most Improved: Larry Drew II, UCLA
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, sophomore, Georgia
Jordan McRae, junior, Tennessee
Trevor Releford, junior, Alabama
Phil Pressey, junior, Missouri
Patric Young, junior, Florida
Laurence Bowers, senior, Missouri
Trae Golden, junior, Tennessee
Johnny O'Bryant, sophomore, LSU
Elston Turner, senior, Texas A&M
B.J. Young, sophomore, Arkansas
Player of the Year: Phil Pressey, Missouri
Coach of the Year: Billy Donovan, Florida
Freshman of the Year: Archie Goodwin, Kentucky
Transfer of the Year: Marshall Henderson, Ole Miss
Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Hickey, LSU
Sixth Man of the Year: Will Yeguete, Florida
Most Underrated: Erik Murphy, Florida
Most Improved: Keion Bell, Missouri
Note: Injured Kentucky center Nerlens Noel was not considered
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
Doug McDermott, Creighton
Mike Muscala, Bucknell
Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga
Nate Wolters, South Dakota State
Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary's
Treveon Graham, VCU
Elias Harris, Gonzaga
Ray McCallum Jr., Detroit
Khalif Wyatt, Temple
Player of the Year: Doug McDermott, Creighton
Coach of the Year: Jim Crews, Saint Louis
Freshman of the Year: Semaj Christon, Xavier
Transfer of the Year: Jerrelle Benimon, Towson
Defensive Player of the Year: Zeke Marshall, Akron
Sixth Man of the Year: Chris Crawford, Memphis
Most Underrated: Keith Clanton, Central Florida
Most Improved: Ed Daniel, Murray State
Jim Crews, Saint Louis
Jim Larranaga, Miami
John Thompson III, Georgetown
Bruce Weber, Kansas State
Buzz Williams, Marquette
Steve Alford, New Mexico
Dana Altman, Oregon
Larry Eustachy, Colorado State
Bo Ryan, Wisconsin
Kevin Ollie, Connecticut
Lon Kruger, Oklahoma
Gregg Marshall, Wichita State
Mike Montgomery, Cal
Josh Pastner, Memphis
John Groce, Illinois
Note: When voting for coaching awards, I tend to favor coaches who surpass expectations. That's why you don't see names on this list such as Tom Crean, Bill Self, Mike Krzyzewski, Mark Few, Tom Izzo, etc. I realize staying at the top can be just as hard as reaching the top, so I understand why some may take issue with these picks. But it'd be nearly impossible to choose this team without some sort of criteria.Final Four prediction: Louisville, Gonzaga, Indiana, Florida National title: Louisville over Indiana Sleepers: Missouri and VCU This is the final edition of King's Court for the 2012-13 season. Thanks for all the positive feedback. Hope you enjoy the postseason.