The votes are in. The window to select a candidate in the Wooden Award race ended for voters on Monday.
The contending players competing in the Sweet 16 cannot impact their respective standings. But the players who excelled in the first weekend in the NCAA tournament might have boosted their odds.
Still, it seems a foregone conclusion that one player will win the most prestigious honor in college basketball (yes, it's obvious).
Who would win the award today
It's still Williamson's world. And his effort in the first weekend of the NCAA tournament confirmed his status as the likely national player of the year. Who has been more valuable than the Duke freshman from Spartanburg, South Carolina? He's a 6-foot-7 superhero who continues to will the Blue Devils through difficult games. He's 4-for-9 from 3-point range in the NCAA tournament. That's supposed to be his weakness. He's also averaging 28.5 PPG through two games. His finish over 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall in the second round was key in Duke's miraculous win over UCF. Hard to imagine any player in the country beating Williamson in this race. This has been his award for months.
Other top contenders
Cassius Winston: The Michigan State guard has carried more weight than any player in the country. He's the constant on a roster that's experienced significant injuries throughout the season. Since February 5, Michigan State has lost just one game. The Spartans defeated Bradley and Minnesota by 31 points combined. All because of Winston, who has made 40 percent of his 3-point attempts and 85 percent of his free throw attempts this season.
RJ Barrett: Yes, Williamson's return helped Duke preserve its status as a No. 1 seed. But Barrett's presence during Williamson's absence (due to a mild knee sprain) prevented a Duke free-fall. He's been a star all season, too. And his clutch putback against UCF was a critical play in that matchup. In most years, a player averaging 22.8 PPG, 7.7 RPB and 4.1 APG would win a lot of awards.
Grant Williams: His season did not end with the Final Four run he and his teammates coveted; however, Tennessee secured a No. 1 ranking at one point this year and competed with the best teams in the country. The Tennessee star put up a Zion-like stat sheet this season: he averaged 18.8 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.5 BPG and 1.1 SPG. Oh, and he also averaged 16.3 PPG in three NCAA tournament games. That's a helluva season.