Busting Brackets

2024 NCAA Tournament: Ranking the Top 20 Players from the South Region

Feb 24, 2024; Waco, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars guard L.J. Cryer (4) and guard Jamal Shead (1) react
Feb 24, 2024; Waco, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars guard L.J. Cryer (4) and guard Jamal Shead (1) react / Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports
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18. Rob Dillingham (Kentucky)

One of this past offseason’s 5-star recruits, Dillingham joined a long line of former prospects by landing at Kentucky under John Calipari. It’s been a season where Dillingham has carved out a significant role for himself coming off the bench for the Wildcats. He’s fit well in that role, earning SEC Sixth Man of the Year honors while becoming one of Kentucky’s most important pieces.

Dillingham puts in great minutes off the bench and is averaging 15.4 points and 3.9 assists per game for the Wildcats. He’s one of the SEC’s best pure shooters, making 45% of his 3-pointers, and really went off in a 35-performance against Tennessee over a month ago. Dillingham might be the best player in the Big Dance that comes off the bench and is coming off a 27-point effort in Kentucky’s SEC Tournament loss to Texas A&M. Don’t be surprised to see him light it up from long range this week.

17. Tyson Degenhart (Boise State)

Now a junior, Degenhart has had himself a successful three years playing for the Broncos. He was named MWC Rookie of the Year for a great start to his career and has now led Boise State into the NCAA Tournament yet again. Things didn’t always go Boise State’s way this season, but they’re in this formidable position thanks to Degenhart’s efforts, earning him All-MWC honors yet again.

Improving upon last season, Degenhart averaged 17.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Some of his shooting numbers took a step back but he was a more aggressive player, getting to the free throw line twice as often this season and making 79% when he got there. He had a slew of 20-point performances and showed up when the Broncos needed him, ending the season with three straight double-doubles. He’ll certainly be one of the most exciting players in the First Four.