The first full day of the NCAA tournament ranks indisputably as one the highlights of the sports year. If after calling in to work and filling out the perfect bracket you still can’t get enough of the madness, here are some recommendations for your fantasy college basketball lineups.
Round One | Starts
Sim Bhullar – New Mexico State ($8,250)
The 7’5 freshman’s game has grown throughout the season, culminating in a 16 point, 15 rebound, five block performance versus Texas-Arlington in the Western Athletic Conference championship game. The Aggies will need to exploit the mismatch Bhullar creates inside early and often in their bid to upset Saint Louis.
Juvonte Reddic – VCU ($21,300)
VCU and Akron will be an up-tempo contest and Reddic figures to be one of the main beneficiaries. Reddic has starred for the Rams with 14.4 points, 8.3 rebounds on the season while making significant contributions in blocked shots and steals as well. The stars appear aligned for a big round one performance.
Anthony Bennett – UNLV ($18,300)
Next summer, Bennett will almost certainly be jumping to the next level as a top 10 selection in the NBA draft, but for now he is the main threat for a dangerous Runnin’ Rebels squad. Equally potent under the basket and spotting up beyond the arc, the 6’8 forward has the potential to be one of the fantasy stars of the 2013 college basketball tournament, beginning with a big round one against Cal.
Michael Carter-Williams – Syracuse ($19,050)
6’6 point guard Michael Carter-Williams has been a tough matchup for his Big East foes all season long- for the Grizzlies of Montana MCW will be a nightmare. One of the nation’s leaders in steals (2.7) and assists (7.7), the sky is the limit for Carter-Williams on Thursday.
Tim Hardaway Jr. – Michigan ($15,600)
Unlike many of the nations other top teams, the Wolverines figure to have a dog fight on their hands against Nate Wolters and South Dakota State. In a tight and high scoring affair, MU’s leading scorer, Trey Burke, will be tasked with matching up with Wolters, leaving Hardaway Jr. to pick up some of the offensive slack. Buy the Wolverines’ shooting guard with confidence.
Round One | Sits
Gorgui Dieng – Louisville ($21,600)
Louisville’s man in the middle has been a rebounding and shot blocking force this season and typically would be an excellent anchor to your lineup. However, the Cardinals are playing arguably the best basketball in the country right now and will likely incinerate #16 North Carolina A&T so instantly and so completely Dieng might find himself relaxing on the bench for much of the second half. Gorgui Dieng will eat up too much of your salary cap to be a good option for round one.
Laurence Bowers – Missouri ($22,650)
Mizzou’s leading scorer, Bowers is one of the nation’s most dangerous offensive players. The #9 Tigers have drawn a difficult round one opponent in Colorado State, a team that plays at a deliberate pace and is typically very stout under the basket. Bowers will have to work for everything he gets Thursday, and that might not be as much as you were hoping for.
Colton Iverson – Colorado State ($22,850)
CSU’s star big man Colton Iverson will be facing one of the deepest and most talented front courts that he’s seen this year in the form of Bowers and the Missouri Tigers. Iverson won’t be shut down, but he won’t be running wild either.
Tray Woodall - Pitt ($19,800)
In what could very well be the lowest scoring contest on Thursday, the defensively-oriented Pitt Panthers take on the stingy Shockers of Wichita State. Woodall has been the Panthers’ leading scorer and is Jaime Dixon’s number one option, but in a tight and low-scoring game there are probably more dynamic options for your lineup.
Peyton Siva - Louisville ($19,500)
Siva figures to suffer the same fate of Dieng as Rick Pitino may sit his star point guard after the Cardinals’ round one game gets out of hand. Siva might be the most dangerous point guard in the tournament but you’ll want to wait until later rounds to add him to your fantasy lineup.