The award, named for the late Hall of Fame coach, is awarded to the nation's best player by a panel of voters. A candidate must have a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 or better during his college career. A candidate's performance in the regular season, conference tournaments and postseason is considered by voters, as is the player's character.
Kevin Durant is the only player to win the award as a freshman, in 2007.
The winner will be announced on ESPN at the Final Four in New Orleans and the award will be presented April 6 at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Frontcourt players represent 10 of the 15 finalists, led by Sullinger, McDermott, Kidd-Gilchrist, Davis, Robinson and Zeller.
The award was established by the Los Angeles Athletic Club in 1976 and first awarded in 1977. Past honorees include Hall of Famers Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Chris Mullin and David Robinson.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.