If the only skin you have in March Madness is the money you've invested in bracket pools, might I suggest paying attention to the 7-foot Midwesterner with the name of a 50-year-old plumber? Wisconsin's extremely talented forward Frank Kaminsky has led the 31-3 Badgers to their first-ever No. 1 seed, and he's done it with with a skillset you rarely see.
Don't be fooled by Kaminsky's face, even if it makes you think he's literally said "Hyuck" at least once in his life. The senior is easily the best player on the deep Badgers, leading his team in points, rebounds, blocks, and field goal percentage this season. (He was in the conference's top five for points, rebounds, and field goal percentage, too.) Kaminsky wasn't a major contributor until his junior season, but this year, he found a way to build on that performance. Via Sporting News:
In nearly every major statistical category, his numbers improved appreciably from his junior year: scoring (13.9 points to 18.4); rebounding (6.3 to 8.1); field goal percentage (.528 to .551); 3-point percentage (.378 to .410); assists (1.3 to 2.6). He's even fouling less often (2.5 per game to 1.6).
Last season, after Aaron Harrison's three-pointer kept Wisconsin from the title game, Kaminsky decided to delay an opportunity in the NBA for one more chance at a college championship. He was projected to fall somewhere late in the first round or second round. After this season's increase in just about everything, Kaminsky's name could be called early in the first round.
There aren't many players with Kaminsky's height who play like him, even at the NBA level. (Dirk Nowitzki is probably the best comparison, not necessarily as a career projection, but as a big man who can shoot.) His excellent field goal percentage reflects his shot selection as much as it does his ability to shoot from any situation you force him into. Kaminsky's versatile enough to regularly make three-pointers—he has a .395 shooting percentage from beyond the arc—while also pulling off spin moves in the paint, and he has a knack for floating layups perfectly over defenders with an impeccable touch. His defense isn't ideal, but he blocks shots at a respectable clip, and his frame is still filling out.
Be prepared to see him all over the place during the tournament, in a good way.
Off the court, Kaminsky's a normal college kid. He dances like a doofus:
...and suggestively rubs trophies:
The Badgers are hoping to return to the Final Four, if not further, behind an all-around threat who looks like a burnt-out super senior. What's not to love?
Photo: Getty Images