The Bracket Buster All-American stock watch

Bracket Busters, now in its 10th season, provides an opportunity for some of the best players in the nation to get a shot on ESPN. Everyone knows that Anthony Davis and Thomas Robinson are going to be 1st Team All Americans. And everyone knows that there are some cute mid-major darlings out there that keep getting pimped on blogs and in the morning lists. The difference is that the former are watched constantly, while the latter need to have their best games in the rare moments when mass audiences are watching.

So how did these guys do?

Scott Machado, Iona

Iona stayed home and faced the University of Nevada. Since the MAAC leaders like to get out and run (19th fastest tempo, nationally) it was nice that they got paired with a team that wasn’t in the bottom 20 tempo-wise. They played a 72 possession game, and Scott Machado had mixed results. The good included 15 assists. It was the 5th time this season he’s recorded at least 15, and the 14th time he’s had at least 10. He also made all 8 of his FT attempts. Unfortunately, he turned the ball over 5 times and shot 2-7 from the field.

All-American stock impact: neutral

Isaiah Canaan, Murray State

Murray State pretty much hit the lottery in Bracket Busters. They not only got to stay home, but they faced a team with immense travel issues getting to Kentucky. St Mary’s #3 scorer was out for the game, and star Matthew Dellavedova was hindered by an ankle injury. But come March, none of that will matter. Murray State silenced critics with a convincing 65-51 win. Isaiah Canaan was as advertised, and scored 23 points by converting 4-5 2s and 5-8 3s. He also had 4 assists, 3 rebounds and a steal.

All-American stock impact: up

Matthew Dellavedova, St Mary’s

Everything I wrote above about Murray State hitting the lottery, the opposite is true for St Mary’s. And star Matthew Dellavedova had to play on one good ankle. Aside from missing all four of his 3-pt attempts, he had a decent game, especially considering the circumstances. He made 6-9 2s on his way to 17 points, and added 6 assists.

All-American stock impact: neutral

Damian Lillard, Weber State

Weber State has larger things to concern them, like the upcoming season-ending showdown at Montana that will most likely decide the #1 seed for the Big Sky Tournament. But for Bracket Busters they drew Texas Arlington, who is undefeated in the Southland. Weber State was able to come out ahead – 72-70 – and snap the Mavericks 16-game winning streak. But star Damian Lillard, the nation’s 2nd leading scorer, didn’t have his best game. His line was solid: 17 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds, but he only made 5-12 shots and people tuning in to watch his fireworks didn’t get a great show.

All-American stock impact: down

Nate Wolters, South Dakota State

The Jackrabbits blew out Buffalo, and Nate Wolters did his part, though it wasn’t an efficient game for the South Dakota State star. Wolters scored 22, but it took 18 shots for him to get there. As one of the best statsheet fillers in the nation, Wolters also added 8 assists and 6 boards.

All-American stock impact: neutral

Doug McDermott, Creighton

The final game in the 2012 version of Bracket Busters was perhaps the best. It finished in overtime, and with what appeared to be a buzzer beater. But after the fans stormed the court, order had to be restored so that Long Beach State could be allowed one final shot with :00.3 left on the clock. Creighton picked up the win, 81-79. Doug McDermott did just about everything except show off his 3-pt stroke. He scored 36 (the 5th time he’s scored at least 30) by making 14-18 2s and 8-9 FTs. He also added 11 rebounds (including 6 on the offensive end) for his 9th double-double of the year.

All-American stock imapct: Up