Five players that have made a name for themselves during March Madness

Most of the players on this list were stars during the regular season, but for one reason or another, they didn’t capture national attention until making serious noise in the NCAA Tournament.

1. Omar Samhan, St. Mary’s
Hands down the most quotable player in this year’s tourney, Samhan has led the Gaels on an unlikely Sweet 16 run. But St. Mary’s deserved to get there — the Gaels are better than Richmond and they proved on Saturday that they were better than a slumping Villanova team. The 6’11” Samhan was the key in both games. He posted 29-12 against Richmond and followed that up with 32-7 against Villanova. Moreover, he has been extremely efficient, hitting 75% from the field. St. Mary’s has the tools to beat Baylor, but the Bears have size and athleticism inside to give Samhan trouble.

2. Ali Farokhmanesh, Northern Iowa
Farokhmanesh is the one player on this list that didn’t average double-digits in scoring during the regular season. But he hit THE biggest shot of the tournament thus far when he drilled a three to give the Panthers a four-point lead in their upset of #1-seed Kansas. The shot was big, but his balls were even bigger. Before nailing the game-sealer, Farokhmanesh had missed seven straight shots in the second half and he launched the three early in the shot clock when UNI was nursing a one-point lead. After averaging just 5.6 points in his previous five games (on 6-29 shooting from deep, no less), the senior guard now has 33 points in two tournament games and has nailed 9-19 shots from long range. Here’s another look at his bracket-busting shot:

Even a certain despicable historical figure has felt the impact of that shot.

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