NCAA tournament 2015 all-tournament team three rounds
NCAA All-Tournament Team after the first two rounds
Sixth Man – Fred VanVleet, Wichita State
It feels as if Fred VanVleet has been captaining the ship at Wichita State forever, but the junior guard still has eligibility remaining. Still, he has led the Shockers with doctorate-level excellence through wins over Indiana and Kansas, and the numbers help to tell the story.
VanVleet is averaging 22.0 points, 5.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game through those two contests, and beyond that, the point guard has converted 16-of-19 free throws including several in crunch time. Wichita State is incredibly well-coached by Gregg Marshall, but it certainly helps that he is blessed with fantastic guard play in the form of VanVleet and backcourt-mate Ron Baker, and VanVleet was easily the best player on the floor in Wichita’s first two wins.
The road is difficult for the Shockers, with upcoming games against Notre Dame and (presumably) Kentucky, but Fred VanVleet is a nice building block as Wichita State looks for a Cinderella run.
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Guard – Joseph Young, Oregon
The Oregon Ducks are no longer involved in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, but that certainly isn’t the fault of Joe Young.
Young, a 6-foot-2 senior guard who formally played at Houston, played all 80 minutes in Oregon’s duo of games, and he was tremendous. He converted 50% of his shot attempts while averaging 28.5 points per game, and in a battle against the sometimes glacial pace of top-seeded Wisconsin, Young scored 30 points while nearly leading his team to an upset win.
To be frank, Oregon had no business (from a roster perspective) playing with Wisconsin for 40 minutes, but Joe Young willed them there. The Ducks are out of the field, but if we just wrapped up the tournament now, he may be the Most Outstanding Player.
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Guard – Bryce Alford, UCLA
What a weekend for Bryce Alford and the UCLA Bruins.
Alford, who was previously best known for being the son of head coach Steve Alford, experienced a coming-out party of sorts while leading UCLA to back-to-back wins. The 6-foot-3 sophomore guard averaged 24.5 points per game on 58% shooting overall, and his 3-point shooting was vital to the success of his team.
To that end, Alford connected on nine three-pointers in UCLA’s opening round victory over SMU, and while the final one was mired on goal-tending controversy, his performance stands on its own. In total, Bryce Alford made 12 of his 16 attempts (75%) from beyond the arc in the two games, and UCLA wouldn’t be in the Sweet 16 without him.
There is real doubt about whether UCLA should have been selected to the NCAA Tournament, but Bryce Alford seems to be on a mission to prove that the Bruins belong.
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Forward – Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga
Gonzaga is incredibly deep, especially in the front court. That allowed Mark Few to deploy his best overall talent, 6-foot-10 forward Kyle Wiltjer, for only 27.3 minutes per game this season, and in doing so, Wiltjer’s overall numbers were slightly capped.
This weekend, Few continued to limit Wiltjer’s workload… but it simply didn’t matter.
Kyle Wiltjer exploded for 23.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in Gonzaga’s two victories, and the former Kentucky Wildcat shot a blistering 75% from the field and 67% from three-point range for his trouble. Wiltjer was the biggest reason that Gonzaga was able to blow the doors off of Iowa in order to make it to the Sweet 16, and his efficiency has been absurd (55% FG, 48% 3-PT, 80% FT) throughout the season.
Big men around the country attract more attention than Kyle Wiltjer, but he is one of the NCAA’s best and that was again proven over the weekend.
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Forward/Center – Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin
Frank Kaminsky is good at basketball.
The 7-foot senior center is considered the front-runner for National Player of the Year honors, and Kaminsky reminded the country of why that was the case in leading Wisconsin to the Sweet 16. Kaminsky averaged 21.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in the team’s two victories, and as usual, his efficiency jumps off the page to the tune of 59% from the field and 60% (3 for 5) from three-point distance.
Because of the pace that Wisconsin plays (read: slow), raw numbers can be tough to come by for Kaminsky or any other member of the Badgers. However, Bo Ryan’s team is at its best when things run through the big man, and Kaminsky managed to be the best player wearing red once again.
Wisconsin may not cut the nets down this season, but it is safe to assume that Frank Kaminsky will keep them in the hunt to the very end.
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Forward/Center – Jahlil Okafor, Duke
The presumptive number one pick lived up to the billing in his first foray into the NCAA Tournament.
Jahlil Okafor dominated against both Robert Morris and San Diego State, averaging 23.5 points per game on an obscene 78% clip from the field. Okafor needed only 21 minutes of court time to reach 21 points in the opening win, keeping his minute total to an average of only 27 minutes across the two games, and the numbers would have been even more impressive if Duke faced a legitimate challenger.
Skeptics point to Okafor’s lack of awareness in the pick-and-roll defensively as a detraction point, and they are probably right. However, Okafor is better in rim protection than some would lead you to believe (2.5 blocks per game in the tournament) and his dominant offensive repertoire shined throughout the first weekend.
Duke is good, Jahlil Okafor is good, and we should enjoy his one and only trip to the Big Dance.
(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
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Yes, college basketball's marquee event is still very much in full swing with two additional weekends of action on the hardwood, but the widespread fury of the first four days is behind us. As usual, the first weekend provided a great deal of excitement, and Thursday's slate provided one of the most memorable single days in recent memory.
To chronicle what took place, we will be taking a look at the players who dominated on the floor, and in that, we will be selecting the "All-Tournament Team" to this point in the process. Obviously, the "real" All-Tournament team will include up to six games for each player, but in this space, there will be a snapshot of the stand-out from the most riveting four days on the college hoops calendar.
It should be noted that this isn't a level playing field, as the top seeds in the tournament often enjoy blowout wins in the first round, limiting their individual statistical brilliance. With that on the table, let's unveil the picks, beginning with the sixth man and rolling through a "starting five."