The 4 Best Individual Performances From the Elite Eight
Throughout March Madness, we've brought you numberFire Live, serving as your companion while you watch the tournament's games.
numberFire Live has a lot of features -- there's basic and advanced stats of games, a live win probability graph for each contest, a constantly-updated play-by-play dashboard, and a sweet shot chart graphic, among many other things.
One of those things is an MVP section, where our algorithm calculates who the best player on the court is -- on a 100-point scale -- based on his performance.
According to numberFire Live, who were the top performers from the Elite Eight? Take a look.
1. Wayne Blackshear, Louisville (Rating: 100)
Tied with the best performance in the Elite Eight comes Wayne Blackshear, the only player on this list coming from a losing team. What made Blackshear's performance so great? Well, he shot a decent 46.2% from the field, but went 4 of 6 from downtown. No big deal, but he also was a perfect 12 of 12 from the free throw line.
Among players with 30-plus minutes played on Louisville, Blackshear was best in Offensive Rating (170), and only trailed Bryn Forbes (173) in the game.
Forbes ranked as the second-best player in the game (rating of 78 according to numberFire Live), while the remaining top-five players each played for Michigan State. If not for Blackshear, there's no way Louisville would've hung around.
2. Sam Dekker, Wisconsin (Rating: 100)
Dekker's three ball late in Wisconsin's contest against Arizona in the Elite Eight was a dagger, but that's not all he did on Saturday.
In the clash, only Frank Kaminsky had more points, but he also scored just two more tallies on nine more shots -- Dekker shot a ridiculous 72.7% from the field against Arizona for a True Shooting Percentage of 95.9%, far better than any player on Arizona. Dekker's efficient play netted him a 100 Rating on numberFire Live, 28 points ahead Arizona's Brandon Ashley.
3. Matt Jones, Duke (Rating: 99)
The three-highest rated players in the Duke-Gonzaga contest came from Duke, with the game's points leader, Matt Jones (tied with Justise Winslow and Kyle Wiltjer), coming in with the highest overall score.
Jones finished the game going 6 of 10 from the floor -- 7 of those 10 shots were from three-point land, where Jones drilled 4.
Among players with 20-plus minutes in yesterday's game, Jones had by far the highest Offensive Rating, a full 32 points higher than the second-place Tyus Jones. Defensively, only Marshall Plumlee put up a better rating, per our numbers.
4. Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky (Rating: 92)
In truth, unlike the other three Elite Eight games, the Kentucky-Notre Dame one didn't necessarily have a stand out player. That, at least, is what numberFire Live says.
Karl-Anthony Towns led the way with his 92 game rating, but Steve Vasturia (88) and Zach Auguste (82) weren't far behind. Towns, though, was uber-efficient, going 10 of 13 from the field for a game high 25 points, all while snagging 5 boards and dishing out 4 assists. He also tied Jerian Grant with a pair of steals.
Towns was a monster.