Napier headlines all-tournament team

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Parker Robb | The Collegian Kentucky freshman guard Aaron Harrison circumvents K-State freshman forward Marcus Foster and goes for a layup in the second half of the Kentucky Wildcats' victory over the K-State Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament Second Round in St. Louis March 21.

Between 68 teams in the field, a number of players put in worthy performances to make the all-tournament team. Sadly, I could only pick five.

Shabazz Napier, Connecticut senior guard
There is no secret that senior guard Shabazz Napier was the driving force behind the 2014 national championship campaign for the UConn Huskies. Napier bookended his college career with national championships on Monday night. The senior averaged just over 21 points, four rebounds and four assists during the tournament. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2014 NCAA Tournament and will be remembered as one of the greatest players to ever put on a UConn jersey.

Aaron Harrison, Kentucky freshman guard
Kentucky was loaded with talented freshmen this season. Many people thought that the pressure would get to the youthful Wildcats roster during the tournament. It may have in the championship game, but it didn’t get to Aaron Harrison in big moments during the tournament. Harrison scored 19 points to help Kentucky knock off the top-seeded Wichita State Shockers. He then hit the go-ahead 3-pointer against both Michigan and Wisconsin in the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight to ultimately give the Wildcats both wins.

Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin junior forward
Wisconsin reached their first Final Four under head coach Bo Ryan. A big reason for that was the play of Frank “The Tank” Kaminsky. The junior had a sluggish scoring game in his first game of the tournament against American University, and then in the Final Four against Kentucky, but in the three games that fell between those, he was unstoppable. Kamisky averaged 22 points and approximately six rebounds in the round of 32, Sweet 16 and Elite Eight. His 28 point, 11 rebound performance was ultimately what propelled them past No. 1 Arizona to win the West Region.

Jordan McRae, Tennessee senior guard
The Tennessee Volunteers had to play Iowa in a play-in game to ever get into the final field of 64 teams in the NCAA tournament. After defeating Iowa, Tennessee snagged two more wins before ultimately falling to the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines in the Sweet 16. McRae willed the Volunteers to the Sweet 16 by leading the Vols in scoring throughout the tournament. The senior averaged just under 20 points per game in the tournament. McRae was a big reason that the SEC had three teams in the Sweet 16, the most of any conference in the NCAA tournament.

Adreian Payne, Michigan State senior forward
Adreian Payne started the tournament off with a bang as he scored 41 points against Delaware in the second round. Payne went on to score 41 points combined over the next three games, but his unique skill set was a big reason for the Spartans’ run to the Elite Eight, where they fell to eventual national champion UConn.

John Zetmeir is a junior in mass communications.

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