2023 NCAA March Madness Sweet 16: Who are the top NBA prospects to watch?
March Madness Sweet 16 begins today with several of the supposed potential NBA stars eliminated from the tournament, but there’s still some to watch for.
The path to this year’s March Madness Sweet 16 was full of upsets, leaving several top teams and players out of the tournament already. Kansas, Duke, Kentucky, Baylor, and Indiana were all eliminated after the first weekend. The remaining teams will play in the Sweet 16 round throughout today and tomorrow before moving on to the Elite Eight on Saturday.
Despite several potential NBA stars already being eliminated from March Madness, there are several who remain on the last 16 teams. Of course, one of the No. 1 seeds (the overall No. 1 seed) still remains and one of the players from the Alabama Crimson Tide is not coincidentally the number one potential NBA star to watch.
Top 10 2023 NBA prospects in the Sweet 16
1. Brandon Miller, Alabama
Miller is without a doubt the best prospect to land in the NBA. He got off to an unexpectedly terrible start, with zero scores in Alabama’s win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, but once you learn he was dealing with a groin injury and only played 19 minutes, that doesn’t sound so bad anymore. In the second round, he made a comeback, scoring 19 points plus seven rebounds and one block in the Crimson Tide’s win over Maryland. Once he’s fully back in action, he’ll be back to the self that leads the SEC in scoring.
2. Anthony Black, Arkansas
Arkansas pulled off an upset win over No. 1 Kansas in the second round, and Black contributed more on defense than on offense. He finished with just three assists, plus three turnovers and missed all of his three-point attempts. However, he was able to deflect and block in such a way that he was one of the main reasons they were able to beat Kansas.
3. Jarace Walker, Houston
19-year-old Walker is 6′8″ and 240 pounds of athleticism. He scored 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting against Northern Kentucky and had 10 rebounds and six blocks against Auburn. He’s played well on both sides of the ball so far in the NCAA tournament.
4. Nick Smith, Arkansas
An injury has been hindering Smith’s usual performance as of late and he’s been unimpressive in the tournament so far. He had just six points on 2-of-14 shooting from the field over two games. The No. 1 draft prospect in 2022 will get another shot to prove himself in the Sweet 16.
5. Jordan Hawkins, UCONN
Hawkins got off to a bad start in the first round of the tournament, too, but quickly picked up speed. After missing his first six shot attempts against Iona, he scored two threes in the second half, and then went on to shoot 4-for-5 from three against St. Mary’s the next game. He’s averaging 15.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game and shooting 38.3% from the three-point range.
6. Marcus Sasser, Houston
Sasser is dealing with a groin injury and tried to play through it, but only made it until halftime against Northern Kentucky. The next game against Auburn, however, he looked good as new, scoring 22 points on 7-14 shooting, including five threes to help lead the Cougars to a comeback win.
7. Colby Jones, Xavier
Jones finished Xavier’s last game against Pittsburgh, he nearly got a triple-double, with 10 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists. He excels on defense and offense and can make plays in the moments that matter.
8. Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA
Jaquez is no stranger to March Madness. He helped take UCLA to the Final Four two years ago and is now headed in that same direction. The senior Bruin won Pac-12 Player of the Year in the first game against, he had 17 points, eight rebounds, and five steals. He did even better in the second, scoring 24 points on 11-of-19 shooting.
9. Noah Clowney, Alabama
Throughout the school year, Clowney has been a threat on offense, but has been limited in the NCAA tournament so far, playing just nine minutes in the first round against Texas A&M-CC. Though he hasn’t made much of an impact on offense just yet, he has been a help on defense.
10. Julian Strawther, Gonzaga
A junior at Gonzaga, Strawther is having his best season yet, hitting a career-high 42.3% from the three-point range and almost 80% from the free-throw line. He showed off his skills in the first round against Grand Canyon, with 28 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks, and one steal.