The name game: who will be this year's breakout star in NCAAs?
If I had to guess the identity of just one player who would rocket from roundball recognizable to mainstream superstardom this weekend, it would be BYU guard
Why Fredette? Because I subscribe to
That's exactly where I start when I try to discern which players will launch themselves into a blazing moment of glory with a tourney performance for the ages. One of the greatest aspects of the tournament is its power to turn a player into an A-lister -- even if it's just for a weekend.
So it's easiest to start with the funny names. After all, the tournament gave us star turns for Wyoming's
Like Fredette this year, these guys were known commodities in the somewhat insular world of college basketball, but the NCAA tournament is an entirely different stage. Ladies' bridge clubs who don't know
This year, Fredette is the safest bet to get a mention in a
The other path is to hit a shot at or near the buzzer to win a game. Charles' putback in 1983 beat Houston's Phi Slamma Jamma for the national title, and
The buzzer-beater path to fame is the most memorable because of the emotional swing. All hope is lost. Then, in seconds, all prayers are answered. Plus, buzzer-beaters make for great stories.
Two years ago in Tampa, I sat a few feet from Western Kentucky guard
Meanwhile, Rogers' three-stoplight hometown of Eddyville, Ky., celebrated.
Will Glens Falls celebrate a Fredette buzzer-beater this week? Or will Tacoma, Wash., toast Montana's
Massey would expect stardom from Siena guard
By Saturday morning, someone now famous only in the world of college basketball will -- for at least a weekend -- stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Clooney,