Busting Brackets

2024 NCAA Tournament: Ranking the top 20 Players from the West Region

Feb 26, 2024; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot (5)
Feb 26, 2024; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot (5) / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
11 of 11

2. Mark Sears (Alabama)

Flying under the radar early in his career, Sears spent his first two seasons at Ohio, putting up monster numbers as a sophomore before choosing to transfer to Alabama. There was nothing wrong with Sears’ game last season for the Crimson Tide but he’s simply been on another level as a senior this season, powering Alabama to another appearance in the Big Dance as a 4-seed.

This prolific shooter is averaging 21.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game while shooting 43% from beyond the arc. All of these numbers are improvements over last season and extremely impressive for any guard in the SEC. He’s a fantastic offensive weapon on an elite offensive unit, with his season-high 35 points coming in a tough loss to Alabama early in the year. He shows up for the biggest games and will be vital to the Crimson Tide’s success in the coming weeks.

1. RJ Davis (North Carolina)

There’s never been a shortage of talent at North Carolina. Davis was a major part of the Tar Heels’ trip to the national title game as a sophomore and played well last season as a junior, but he’s been on another level in his fourth collegiate season. Leading a Tar Heels roster that looks quite different, this New York-born guard is having a masterful season and impressive impact, winning ACC Player of the Year and putting the Tar Heels on his back.

Ranking all 68 head coaches in NCAAT. Ranking all 68 head coaches in NCAAT. dark. Next

Davis averaged 21.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists during another prosperous season for the Tar Heels. He made 41% of his 3-pointers, 87% of his free throws, and was the top scorer in the ACC. Davis scored 42 against Miami a few weeks ago and is always a threat to go off. North Carolina as a whole is in a much better position this season and you better believe that Davis’s continued development and growth is a major reason. He’s the most important weapon in this region and he can take the Tar Heels to Phoenix.