Arizona is one of the elite teams in college basketball and — shocker! — have a bunch of really good players on their roster. Christian Koloko is a game-changing force near the rim. Kerr Kriisa is a confident sharpshooter. Azuolas Tubelis is a talented scorer inside. But the best player on this No. 1 seed and Sweet 16 team is undoubtedly sophomore guard Bennedict Mathurin.
Arizona’s best player: G Bennedict Mathurin
Mathurin is one of 15 players who are finalists for the Wooden Award, recognizing the best player in college basketball. The Pac-12 Player of the Year, Mathurin is the second-leading scorer in the conference with 17.2 points per game.
For as good as Mathurin has been all year long, he was on a different level in Arizona’s overtime win over TCU in the second round of the NCAA tournament. He scored 30 points and created a few indelible March moments, including a 3-pointer from the edge of the center-court logo with 12 seconds remaining that absolutely saved the Wildcats’ season. He authored one of the most crucial plays of the overtime period, showcasing his toughness in the process. Oh, and he had possibly the best dunk of the tournament. Good lord.
Mathurin is a splendid athlete, a 6-foot-6 guard with good shooting touch and strong playmaking ability. The sophomore from Canada has the look of an NBA Draft lottery pick.