When Kansas added three-time all-Pac-12 performer Remy Martin from Arizona State after the 2020-21 season, the Jayhawks made an addition that ultimately wound up helping them win the national title. Though Martin’s one-year tenure with Kansas featured its share of highs and lows, he played an “X-factor” role for the team when it mattered most as KU won the Big 12 Tournament and kept it rolling through the NCAA Tournament.
Over one 12-game stretch spanning much of conference play, Martin averaged just 3.7 points on 37.3% shooting as he and coach Bill Self seemed to struggle with getting on the same page over what the 6-foot guard’s role would be on a talented roster. But over the final two games of the conference tournament and six games in the Big Dance, Martin came alive, averaging 13.3 points per contest and becoming an integral piece alongside stars Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun.
Having such complimentary players is vital for any team with aspirations of sticking around during March Madness. While star power is central to every team that made it this far, having reliable help surrounding your best players is essential to sustaining a postseason run.
So who are the X-factor players for this season’s national title contenders? Let’s take a look. Thirty-one of the last 33 champions have been top-three seeds, so we’ll start there.
No. 1 seeds
Alabama: Noah Clowney
Brandon Miller is the well-known lanky freshman forward and future first-round NBA Draft pick on Alabama’s team. But he’s not the only player on that roster who fits the description. Fellow freshman Clowney has been better than advertised after ranking No. 99 in the 247Sports recruiting rankings for the 2022 recruiting class. He starts at power forward for Alabama and is second on the team in rebounding and blocks and third in points per game. Defensively, he’s versatile enough to guard anyone, and he can step out to shoot…
Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/2023-march-madness-these-x-factors-among-ncaa-tournament-contenders-can-help-you-fill-out-your-bracket/
Author : David Cobb
Publish date : 2023-03-14 23:32:04
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