10 Players Who Can Take Over the NCAA Tournament

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Jalen Brunson, Villanova Wildcats

Last year, Jalen Brunson had to have been upset with the Villanova Wildcats' poor showing in the Tournament. Entering March as the reigning champs, the Wildcats were bounced in the Second Round by Wisconsin. Brunson scored 25 points on 12-of-22 (54.5%) shooting in his two appearances. He could have made the leap to the NBA after two years.

But Brunson's another year older and another year wiser this time around. 'Nova is a 1 seed once again, and teams will be gunning for them. Brunson's play says bring it on, as he's proven himself to be a much more productive player during the 2017-18 campaign. Despite averaging just 0.8 more minutes a game, he has increased his points per game to 19.4 (from 14.7) with career-highs in assists (4.7) and rebounds (3.1). All the while, he's connecting on 2.2 threes per game with a much-improved three-point shot (41.3%).

Overall, Brunson ranks fifth in the nation in win shares (6.7) and 10th in win shares per 40 minutes (.247). He's one of 15 John R. Wooden Award finalists and he'll be out to show why he returned to school.

He will get his tourney started Thursday against the winner of Tuesday's play-in game between LIU Brooklyn and Radford.