March Madness: number one pick contender Chet Holmgren shines
On the first day of college basketball's 'March Madness', potential top pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren, put on a show.
Chet Holmgren did his lottery chances no harm with a dominant performance in Gonzaga's 93-72 win over Georgia State, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 64-team, single elimination tournament – affectionately known as March Madness – is often where players make a name for themselves in front of crowds full of NBA scouts, and for top prospects to prove that they can do it under bright lights. The potential number-one pick in this year's NBA Draft, Holmgren scored 19 points of 8-for-13 shooting.
Holmgren is one of four players who could realistically expect to get picked at number one this year, along with Auburn's Jabari Smith, Purdue's Jaden Ivey and Duke's Paolo Banchero.
As the best player on the tournament's overall number-one seed, Holmgren - who stands at seven-feet tall with a seven-foot-six wingspan - also added 17 rebounds, five assists, seven blocks and two steals as he impacted nearly every possession at both ends of the floor.
Jalen Duren catches the eye
After Holmgren, the second centre to hear his name called on draft night will likely be Memphis' Jalen Duren, and he was less impactful in Memphis' 64-53 rock-fight against eight-seed Boise State.
Duren showed his value in the rebounding department, pulling down five offensive rebounds among his 11 total, to go with 10 points, a block and a steal.
Kentucky guard TyTy Washington will also likely be a lottery pick this May, but the Wildcats fell victim to an early contender for upset-of-the-tournament.
The 15-seed Saint Peter's knocked out two-seed Kentucky 85-79 in an overtime thriller as relatively unknown Peacocks guard Daryl Banks III produced the game of his life, scoring 27 points on 9-of-19 shooting, including 5-of-8 from long range.
It is a game that will live long in the memories of NBA scouts when they are asked their opinion of Washington, as he seemed to shrink in the spotlight, finishing with just five points and one assist while shooting 2-of-10.