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
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14. Jarod Lucas (Nevada)

Lucas spent the first three seasons of his college career putting up nice numbers at Oregon State but has really come into his own these last two seasons with the Wolf Pack. He’s putting up impressive numbers at Nevada and has taken this program to a pair of trips to the NCAA Tournament all while standing out as one of the best backcourt pieces in the Mountain West.

A talented scorer, shooter, and ball handler, Lucas averaged 17.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per game this season while leading the MWC in free throw shooting (90%) and turnover percentage. Among his notable efforts on the year was a 30-point outing against Portland and a more impressive 28 points in a win over Colorado State. The Wolf Pack offense has been lethal at times over the season and Lucas is the main cog in that machine, giving Nevada plenty of potential for magic ahead in March.

13. Josh Hubbard (Mississippi State)

An impressive player already as a freshman, Hubbard has certainly endeared himself to the Bulldogs with how he’s played this season. Hubbard joined the program in Chris Jans’ first freshman recruiting class and has Mississippi State in the Big Dance for a second straight season, with his game only improving with each passing week.

Hubbard averages 17.1 points per game, makes 36% of his 3-pointers, and puts up some pretty incredible numbers for a true freshman. He scored 29 over Northwestern in a win in November and is actually averaging more than 25 points a game in the Bulldogs’ last eight contests, with great showings in a mini-run in the SEC Tournament. Hubbard is a big reason why the Bulldogs could go on a run in the NCAA Tournament as well, finishing the season with the SEC’s lead in made 3-pointers.