The 2023 NCAA Tournament has reached the Sweet 16 stage and while there have been several upsets in the first two rounds, we’ve still got two No. 1 seeds in the mix as the competition gets set to go down to four teams by the end of Sunday.
When we get to this point in the bracket, 2023 NBA draft prospects can greatly improve their stock by performing well in big games. The higher the stakes, the more chance a player has to raise his profile. Here’s a look at how some players are faring heading into the Sweet 16 and what they can do to change their NBA stock.
Marcus Sasser, Houston
The Cougars looked like they were about to get sent home before the star guard stepped up. He finished with 22 points, going 5-9 from behind the arc as Houston eventually cruised past Auburn. Sasser is reportedly 100% after seeming to aggravate his groin injury in the opening game, and that’s going to be a big boost for Houston. He could be the reason this team cuts down the nets at the end of this whole thing.
Joey Hauser, Michigan State
His brother Sam is already in the NBA, and Joey could be heading there soon. The stretch forward has propelled the Spartans to the Sweet 16, putting up 14 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Marquette. He’s shooting 55.5% from deep over two games and if that clip holds up, NBA personnel will be more inclined to take a chance on him.
Nick Smith and Anthony Black, Arkansas
The Razorbacks got to the Sweet 16 with a massive upset over Kansas, but they did it largely without their two promising freshmen. The duo combined to go 1-10 from the floor and finished with four points, all scored by Black. Smith is still coming back from an injury so he should play more against UConn, but there are going to be some reservations of these guys putting up another dud against the Huskies.