Lesser-known stars about to make their mark on the Sweet 16

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Sweet 16 stars you realize.

Kispert, Mobley, Zegarowski, Butler, Buddy Buckets — they’ve all been on nationwide TV or talked about sufficient that even casual faculty basketball followers know their names.

This is about these guys you won’t know, gamers from smaller faculties or who in any other case don’t get the identical consideration as the prime timers.

They’re simply pretty much as good, simply as essential to their groups — perhaps extra so — and are a part of what has made this the maddest of Marches to this point.


His final title is pronounced ACE’-miss, which is ironic as a result of he hardly ever does. The 6-foot-1 sophomore was frivolously recruited out of Jesuit High School in Dallas and now all the energy applications have to be questioning how they missed out on him.

Abmas led the nation in scoring at 24.5 factors per sport and didn’t care who he was going up towards, scoring 33 towards Oklahoma State, 28 towards Wichita State. His vary conjures up photographs of from-the-logo-shooters like Steph Curry and Damian Lillard, and he’s a dead-eye, capturing 41% from the arc.

Abmas had 29 factors in the Fifteenth-seed’s opening upset of No. 2 Ohio State, then 26 towards Florida to ship them to the Sweet 16 for the first time 1974.

Oh, and he’s a biomedical chemistry main, so he’s aces in the brains division, too.


The wispy mustache can’t conceal the incontrovertible fact that we’ve seen the Ramblers’ fun-loving huge man earlier than.

The 6-foot-9 senior from (*16*), Illinois, was a central determine in Chicago Loyola’s Cinderella flip at the 2018 Final Four. Now he’s again and there’s no wanting away when he’s on the ground, for causes far past the Krustache.

The 255-pound Krutwig has the heft of a middle, however the palms and passing expertise of a guard. He’s the conductor of the Ramblers’ offense from the center of the lane and the never-give-an-inch anchor of the protection.

Krutwig was the first heart in 15 years to be named Missouri Valley Conference participant of the year after averaging 15.0 factors, 6.9 rebounds and three.0 assists per sport.

He additionally has a persona to match his beefy presence on the courtroom, whether or not it’s enjoying harmonica or an impromptu karaoke model of Hall and Oates’ “Private Eyes” on the Dan Patrick radio present.


His title might sound acquainted. Grimes was considered one of the prime recruits out of The Woodlands, Texas, in 2017 and had his choose of blueblood applications. The 6-foot-5 guard ended up at Kansas, the place he began 36 video games as a freshman.

Grimes entered his title in the NBA draft after the season, however determined to return to faculty. Problem was, Jayhawks’ coach Bill Self, assuming Grimes would stay in the draft, had already stuffed his scholarship.

The one-and-done in Lawrence labored out effectively for him and the Cougars.

Thriving in Kelvin Sampson’s free-flowing system, Grimes has the Cougars drumming up reminiscences of the Phi Slama Jama days at Houston. He leads the Cougars with 18.1 factors and has them on the cusp of their first Elite Eight look since 1984.

His half-brother, Tyler Myers, performs for the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets, so his household is clearly oozing with athletic capacity.


OK, we all know, the Pac-12 isn’t precisely a small league and Oregon is certainly not a mid-major.

It’s all about Pac-12 After Dark.

Duarte is definitely considered one of the nation’s finest guards, however all the late video games on the West Coast forestall him from getting his full due.

A 6-foot-6 senior, Duarte was born in the Dominican Republic and performed highschool basketball in New York. He began his faculty career as the sixth man at Northwest Florida State College earlier than arriving in Eugene.

Duarte performed by a damaged pinky at the finish of his junior season and, with the added perspective of turning into a father, devoted himself to getting greater and higher for his senior season.

Duarte grew to become Oregon’s catalyst at each ends, main the Ducks with 17.0 factors whereas spearheading coach Dana Altman’s ever-changing protection.

Basketball followers in every single place, not simply the West Coast, will know simply how good he’s after this run.


The Beavers’ guard suffers from the identical Pac-12 After Dark affliction as Duarte, but additionally from little brother syndrome. Older sibling Stevie was considered one of the biggest gamers in Oregon State historical past, so the comparisons are at all times going to comply with him.

The 6-foot-5 senior guard has carved out a reputation for himself throughout 4 seasons in Corvallis, scoring in bunches, meting out assists and snaring rebounds.

Thompson led Oregon State in scoring 15.6 factors per sport whereas averaging 3.9 rebounds and three.8 assists per sport. He’s additionally the unquestioned chief on the ground and in the huddle, taking a group picked to end final in the Pac-12 to its first Sweet 16 since 1982.

His title is Thompson. Ethan Thompson.


More AP faculty basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and up to date bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket

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