Naismith Award 2018: Four Finalists Announced

The 2018 Naismith Award is down to just four players.

On Tuesday, the award, which is handed out annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club to the top men’s and women’s college basketball players, announced the list of four finalists for 2017-18 ahead of the start of the NCAA Tournament.

Out of the four finalists, there are two freshmen, one junior and one senior.

In alphabetical order, the four finalists are Arizona forward DeAndre Ayton, Duke forward Marvin Bagley III, Kansas guard Devonte Graham, and Villanova guard Jalen Brunson. Villanova is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation, Kansas is No. 4, Duke is No. 9 and Arizona is No. 12 in the final AP Top 25 poll of the season, so all four players will be participating in March Madness.

Brunson will lead No. 1 Villanova against the winner of LIU-Brooklyn vs. Radford in the First Round, while Graham will lead the No. 1 seed Jayhawks against No. 16 seed Penn.

Bagley and No. 2 seed Duke drew No. 15 Iona and Ayton’s No.┬áNo. 4 seed Arizona squad will face off against No. 13 Buffalo.

The First Round of the NCAA Tournament takes place March 15-16.

The full list of Naismith Award finalists can be seen below:

DeAndre Ayton Arizona Pac-12 Freshman Forward
Marvin Bagley III Duke ACC Freshman Forward
Devonte Graham Kansas Big 12 Senior Guard
Jalen Brunson Villanova Big East Junior Guard