Wednesday, April 8, 2009

2009 NCAA Tournament - All-Tourney Team

One stipulation - your team needed to make at least the Sweet 16 to be considered.

Blake Griffin, Oklahoma: The national player of the year was fantastic, as expected. In four games, he averaged 28.5 ppg and 15.0 rpg (6.0 of those coming on the offensive glass). But those were far from his most impressive stat. Remember, this came in four games during the NCAA Tournament. Griffin was 46-59 from the field. That's 78%. Are you kidding?

Goran Suton, Michigan State: Suton did not put up the best numbers during the dance. He averaged just 13.0 ppg and 10.7 rpg. But he came up huge when the Spartans needed him. He scored 17 of MSU's 27 first-half points against Louisville. He hit a number of big baskets down the stretch in Sparty's victory over Kansas. And against UConn, his presence on the perimeter was one of the major reasons that Hasheem Thabeet was unable to camp out in the paint.

Cole Aldrich, Kansas: If last season's Final Four was Cole Aldrich's introduction to America, his performance in three games in this year's dance was him coming out party. Aldrich was flat-out dominant in these three games on both ends of the floor. For the tourney, he averaged 17.7 ppg, 15.7 rpg, and 5.3 bpg. Among those three games was a triple double, just the sixth in NCAA Tournament history, where he went for 13 points, 20 boards, and 10 blocks against Dayton.

Wayne Ellington, North Carolina: Ellington may have played his way into the first round of the NBA Draft with his performance in the NCAA Tournament. He was borderline unstoppable at times. Over the course of six games, the Final Four MOP averaged 19.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, and 2.7 apg, all while shooting 55% from the floor and 53% (17-32) from deep.

Sam Young, Pitt: While Levance Fields got the recognition as the Panther's leader and DeJuan Blair got all the accolades for being an animal in the paint, Young was Pitt's go-to scorer all season long. That continued into the tournament, where Young averaged a team-high 23.3 ppg (which included 32 against Oklahoma State and 28 against Villanova) and also grabbed 7.8 rpg.

And your 2009 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player:

Ty Lawson, North Carolina: Lawson was flat out unstoppable all tournament long. He got into the lane at will, buried threes every time he was open, and one numerous occasions absolutely took over a game. For the tournament, Lawson averaged 20.8 ppg, 6.8 apg, 4.2 rpg, and 3.2 spg (which included a title game record eight steals). Some of his notable performances? The 21 points he scored in the second half the carry UNC over Louisville; 17 points he had in the first half as UNC ran away from Gonzaga early; and the 7 steals he posted against Michigan State in the first half of the finals, which was huge reason that UNC was able to, literally, run away from the Spartans.

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