With the NCAA Tournament, there is only one winner. This leaves plenty of tremendous players having their careers ended. Whether it be the one and done players going out or the fourth year seniors that have been playing in the Big Dance for four years. This year we lose multiple great players that will go down in history as some of the best college players ever. Here are some of these players that have played their last collegiate game and now will look to play professionally.
Aaron Craft, Ohio State
Hustle and hard work are the two words I would use to describe Craft. Easily considered to be the best on-ball defender in college, Craft led the Buckeyes to yet another NCAA Tournament berth this year as a 6 seed. They ended up falling to Dayton on a last-second shot, after he had made a couple key buckets late in the game. He was definitely not short in accolades during his stay at Ohio State. He started for three seasons, was two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the year and a three-time Academic All-American. He never brought a National Championship to Ohio State, but he did help them to 119 wins during his four year career.
Bryce Cotton, Providence
You could probably describe Cotton with hustle and hard work, but I think the word I will use is the “Ironman.” During an incredible senior season, Cotton averaged nearly 40 minutes a game for the last three seasons and has put up about 20 points a game the past two seasons. Providence made the tournament as an 11 seed after defeating Creighton to win the Big East tournament. He really helped resurrect the Providence basketball program. In his final game, they lost a nail biter. However, it is really hard to put any of the blame on Cotton. He put up 36 points in the game and for the large part of the game, was keeping them in the game against North Carolina.
Doug McDermott, Creighton
McDermott’s time at Creighton was arguably one of the best careers ever in college basketball. He finished having scored 3,150 points and making 1,141 field goals, good for the fifth and tenth in NCAA history, respectively. Unfortunately, McDermott’s final season ended on a sour note. Being considered to potentially win the player of the year and leading Creighton to a 3 seed, which might be their best season ever, Creighton’s season ended with a defeat in the round of 32, falling to Baylor in a rather lopsided game. The three-time All-American likely has an NBA career ahead of him as more of a role player thanks to his work ethic and incredible shot-making ability.
These are a few of the big name seniors that have already been eliminated in the NCAA Tournament. However, the list goes on about the incredible seniors that are still dancing. Some of these include Adreian Payne (Michigan State), Cory Jefferson (Baylor), Russ Smith (Louisville), and Shabazz Napier (Connecticut). As for Craft, Cotton, and McDermott, congrats on amazing careers and good luck on future basketball adventures.