4 Best Bets For Most Outstanding Player

The conclusion of March Madness is just around the corner. The Final Four marks the last weekend and the last three games of the college basketball postseason. On Monday, April 4 in New Orleans, a national champion will be crowned and the full offseason will begin. Also, a Most Outstanding Player for the NCAA Tournament will be named. At this point, let’s look at the best bets for this award.

Paolo Banchero, Duke

The star of the Duke Blue Devils is naturally in line to be the MOP of the tournament. If Duke wins the national championship and brings Mike Krzyzewski the perfect ending to the coaching icon’s career, it will be very hard to imagine MOP voters not choosing a Duke player as the recipient of this award. Would voters really want to risk the wrath of Coach K by not picking one of his players as the best of the best in March Madness? Purely as a political and prediction-based matter, it’s just not a percentage-based play to think that a non-Duke player will get this award if the Blue Devils cut down the nets in New Orleans. Banchero is clearly the leader among all Duke players, though if Jeremy Roach – who has hit huge shots in this tournament to power the Blue Devils to the Final Four – has another big weekend in the national semifinals against North Carolina and then in the Monday night title game against Villanova or Kansas, he might leapfrog Banchero for the award.

Collin Gillespie, Villanova

The Wildcats have Jermaine Samuels as a legitimate MOP candidate, but if the Wildcats do win it all, chances are Collin Gillespie will be the guy for Villanova. Gillespie has been battling injuries in this tournament after missing the NCAA Tournament one year ago. He has had a week to heal and gain strength for the national semifinals, however, and with Justin Moore out due to injury, this is the perfect chance for Gillespie to step into the vacuum and deliver for coach Jay Wright. If Villanova wins, Gillespie is the likely choice simply because Gillespie needs to be the guy who elevates his game for the Wildcats. It’s hard to see Villanova winning the national title without Gillespie having a great weekend in Louisiana.

Ochai Agbaji, Kansas

The best player on the Kansas Jayhawks – the crunch-time scorer and the guy everyone looks to in big moments – is Agbaji. He is the player who is most responsible for Kansas sharing the Big 12 title with Baylor and for winning the Big 12 Tournament. Remy Martin and David McCormack have been important members of the supporting cast, but Agbaji will need to be the leader of this team in the biggest weekend of his career, a stage where names are made on a national level. Agbaji needs to become the alpha dog for a Kansas team which has met every challenge this season, but will need something special to go all the way in 2022.

R.J. Davis, North Carolina

Davis was superb in Carolina’s win over Baylor in the second round. Caleb Love was UNC’s best player in the Sweet 16 against UCLA, but Davis has the ability to beat his man off the dribble. He did this a lot against Duke when the Tar Heels beat the Blue Devils on March 5. If Davis can have the same kind of success against Duke this Saturday in the semifinals, he would position himself as the North Carolina MOP candidate.


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