#1 Syracuse vs #16 Troy
The favourites for the national title (with a 29-3 record) are led by the ACC MVP Quavius Williamson at power forward, with All-ACC centre Jalyn Jones and All-ACC point guard Zach Lynch forming a formidable freshman trio. Sophomore shooting guard Dylan Lawson adds potent outside shooting to the lineup. Williamson and Lynch are expected to declare for the 2021 draft. The Trojans (17-16) boast the Sun Belt MVP at point guard, junior Jonathan Stewart.
#2 North Carolina vs #15 North Dakota State
Sophomore combo guard DeAndre Morgan and freshman forward JaMarcus Thybulle have carried the Tarheels to a 24-9 record while freshman small forward Idris Berkley provides an offensive spark off the bench. All three are leaning toward declaring for 2021. The Bison’s (15-10) most interesting player is enigmatic small forward Kameron Nealy who was integral in the Summit league title run, leading the team in rebounding and assists.
#3 Wake Forest vs #14 North Carolina A&T
Carlton Sanders (junior SG) is the ACC’s 3rd leading scorer, leading the Demon Deacons to a 23-9 record along with senior point guard Jax LaRose who was 2nd in the conference in assists. The Aggies (18-12) will need a huge game from freshman point guard Sheldon Lenard who was top ten in the MEAC for points and assists.
#4 St Johns (NY) vs #13 Mississippi Valley State
The Red Storm have relied heavily on their freshman backcourt on the way to a 23-10 record, with both Rashad Hobbs and Jerred Tate featuring in the Big East’s top ten scorers. Senior center Ian Vaughn will be looking to improve his stock for the 2021 draft. The Delta Devils won the Southwestern Athletic Conference with a 22-10 record. Junior power forward Austin Bryant was the SWAC MVP, with small forward Sindarius Freeman also named to the All-SWAC team.
#5 Stanford vs #12 Army
Stanford have earned a 20-10 record behind the play of their two shooting guards, freshman starter Josh Summy and sophomore sixth man Josh Powell, who were seventh and fifth respectively among Pac-12 scorers. Freshman center Omar Washington is another key piece for the Cardinals.The Black Knights (18-12) most dangerous player is small forward Christian Cuze who was the 4th leading scorer in the Patriot League.
#6 Kansas vs #11 Illinois State
Freshman Rene Towns was the Big 12’s 7th leading scorer and along with his fellow freshmen, point guard Devon Harrell and power forward Trayvon Gibbs, carried the Jayhawks to a 22-10 record. The Redbirds (23-8) won the Missouri Valley Conference largely thanks to their All-MVC small forward, senior Giddy Young.
#7 Baylor vs #10 George Mason
Senior two guard Andre Battle was selected to the All-Big 12 team after finishing 4th in the conference in scoring and guiding the Bears to a 21-10 record. Junior power forward Mehmet Salik is top five in the conference for rebounds and blocked shots. The Patriots’ sophomore small forward Hunter Franklin was named All-Atlantic 10 as they recorded a 23-9 record, while freshman shooting guard Jeremy Smith featured in the conference’s top ten scorers.
#8 South Florida vs #9 Pittsburgh
South Florida (21-9) are led by senior power forward Willie Jenkins who was the American Athletic Conference’s 5th leading scorer. Freshman wing Dominic Daly is also touted as a potential future JBL player. Pittsburgh’s (19-14) junior combo guard Tony Perez was a top ten ACC scorer and senior wing J.C. Simpson is expected to be drafted this summer.