It is a simple game; pick any player on any roster and every point scored counts as a point toward your total. Below we take a look at the Player Pick’em game heading into the Sweet 16.
The concept was simple but the strategy could be challenging. Many entries took the approach of selecting the top scorer from a team while others loaded up on a number of players from the top seeds.
Player Pick’em by the numbers:
437 Number of entries
392 Points scored by leading team, KAUFMAN44
280.5 Average score after first weekend
197 Number of different players selected
82 Number of players selected by only one team
10 Fewest points scored
7.7 Average number of players remaining on each team
Ten most popular players
Cody Zeller, Russ Smith, Deshaun Thomas, Kelly Olynyk, Victor Oladipo, Ben McLemore, Shane Larkin, Trey Burke, Seth Curry, and Otto Porter Jr.
Only Indiana had two players selected in the top 10
Duke, a team that had its own region in the most hated college basketball player bracket, had three players selected in the top 13.
Three top scorers:
Khalif Wyatt, Temple
Wyatt scored 31 points in both of his tournament games and almost single-handedly advanced the Owls to the Sweet 16. Wyatt was only selected by 5 entries, two of which are first and second in the standings respectively.
Russ Smith, Louisville
The Cardinals might have been the most impressive team in the first weekend easily dispatching their opponents. Russ Smith was a key contributor scoring 50 points in the first two games. Smith was the second most popular player selected behind Cody Zeller.
Marshall Henderson, Ole Miss
Henderson was on just 3.7% of teams; Marshall Mathers scored 40 points for those who selected him. The Rebels were a last second shot away from being in the Sweet 16; perhaps if Henderson had been more efficient (33.3% from the floor in the tourney) they would still be dancing.
Three top busts:
Ryan Kelly, Duke
Kelly was the 12th most selected player and he rewarded the faithful by scoring 8 points against Albany and 1 point against Creighton. Foul trouble has limited Kelly thus far.
Otto Porter Jr., Georgetown
The Hoyas ran into the buzz saw in the first round and were not able to escape shooting 37.5% as a team. Porter did not help matters shooting a season low 29.4% and managing just 13 points. Porter was the 10th most selected player.
Ben McLemore, Kansas
McLemore is an exciting talent but has not shown up for the tournament. He scored 11 points in his first game against Western Kentucky and 2 points against UNC. McLemore is a combined 2 for 14 from the floor. McLemore was the 6th most selected player.
Best entry names:
JudgeSmails – “Gambling is illegal at Bushwood sir, and I never slice.”
Lawnmowerman – A simple man is turned into a genius through the application of computer science, trailer, I highly recommend it.
Illbeatmyhusband – Anything you can do I can do better
Ihategoogle – apparently they took the Bing It On Challenge and decided Bing was a better product. Get at me if this is correct or if you just truly hate Google.
burgundyron – I can’t wait for this.
Roughly 80% of the field is still in contention for a prize. The top 20 will share in a prize pool of $2,500.
195 entries are within 100 points of first place.
346 entries are within 100 points of 20th place, the top 20 all get paid.