NCAA tournament canceled amid coronavirus concerns for March Madness

Seven players hurt by no March Madness exposure

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The NCAA tournament is one of the biggest spectacles in sports and serves as a platform to showcase some of the best young college basketball players to fans across the country.

Some lesser-known players became bigger names: Steph Curry carried Davidson to the Elite Eight in 2008 and CJ McCollum propelled Lehigh to an upset of Duke in 2012. 

But this year the cancellation of the March Madness due to the coronavirus pandemic means that players who could’ve boosted their NBA draft stock and carried fans to bracket wins are now missing out and will have to show their worth in combines or other smaller platforms. 

Here’s a look at seven players who were hurt most by not having an NCAA tournament where a deep run could’ve turned them into more household names.

Ashton Hagans, Kentucky. The sophomore guard had a rough close to the regular season, turning the ball over at least five times in five of the last 11 games. The NCAA tournament could’ve helped him end the year stronger. Hagans will hear his name called in the NBA draft because he’s exceptional defensively but now he’s drifting toward the second round. 

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Kentucky Wildcats guard Ashton Hagans (0) dribbles the ball during the first half against the Texas A&M Aggies.

Devon Dotson, Kansas. Dotson was a first-team All-American and the floor general on what would have been the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. Yet his style and 6-2 frame don’t necessarily translate to the NBA. Had KU met tourney expectations, Dotson’s clutch shot-making and ability on the pick-and-roll would’ve been key factors. Now he’s a fringe first rounder. 

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