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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10. Aaron Estrada (Alabama)

This is stop four in Estrada’s collegiate playing career and there’s been some wild success along the way. He was MAAC Rookie of the Year for Shaheen Holloway at Saint Peter’s before seeing little playing time at Oregon. Estrada was CAA Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons at Hofstra before landing at Alabama this past offseasons. His number don’t quite match what he was doing with the Pride in a weaker league but make no mistake; he’s a playmaker for the Crimson Tide.

Estrada averages 13.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game this season at Alabama and is a major part of one of the nation’s best offenses. Estrada dropped 27 on Indiana State in his second game at the Crimson Tide and developed into one of the SEC’s leaders in assists and steals. He had a triple-double a few weeks back at Ole Miss and has scored in double figures in thirteen straight games.

9. Jaelen House (New Mexico)

House was a bench piece with decent contributions at Arizona State as an underclassman before transferring to New Mexico back in 2021. He’s been a big part of the equation for the Lobos in Richard Pitino’s first three seasons at the helm and has certainly come up clutch in his final collegiate season, leading New Mexico back to the Big Dance with an MWC Tournament championship.

Another great season saw House average 16.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.3 steals per game, standing out as one of the MWC’s top figures. He’s led the league in steals for three straight years and rated as one of the top defensive players in the MWC while also putting up great numbers on the opposite end. He was recently named Tournament MVP after scoring 29 points on Boise State and dropping 28 against San Diego State in the title game, ensuring that his collegiate career isn’t over quite yet.