With both Missouri and Duke bowing out to No. 15 seeds, they join the discussion of best teams to exit early in the tournament. While every game is a team effort, certain individuals stand out as having let their teams down during March Madness. Instead of helping their schools with the big dance, for whatever reason, these six players couldn't convert when it mattered most, despite leading their teams to the tournament. Let's take a look at some of the worst offenders.
It's almost too obvious, but he really needs to be here. He averaged 19/10 in the 92-93 season and helped Michigan reach their second consecutive championship game. Then he called a timeout when Michigan didn't have any...and whoops. No National Championship for the Wolverines. They later had to vacate all of their wins from that season due to ineligibility reasons, so perhaps he was saving the fans from having to forfeit their title as best in the land.
Stoudamire helped lead the Arizona Wildcats into the tourney as a No. 2 seed. Averaging 11 pts and 5.7 assists per game, he was expected to help the Wildcats cruise by the number 15 seed Santa Clara. Stoudamire managed only 6 points in the contest, missing all 10 of his shots from the floor in his 21 minutes played. Outshining him was a certain plucky Canadian by the name of Steve Nash, who finished with 10 points, 7 rebound and 4 assists.
The Iowa State point guard was the floor general for the high-flying Cyclones in 2000-01. He finished the season as a Second Team All-American with 14.3 ppg and a solid 6 assists per contest. The Cyclones faced No. 15 seed Hampton Pirates in the first round, and Tinsley all but disappeared. He finished with 9 points, going 4-11 from the field. He topped that by missing all four of his free throws, and kicked in 5 turnovers to boot. Iowa State lost 58-57, as his last-ditch layup rattled out.
Though he hype was too much from the get-go for St. Johns' Lopez (he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated before ever playing a college game), he did put in a strong showing his senior year for the Red Storm. Finishing the year with 17.6 ppg and shooting 43 percent from the floor, Lopez garnered All Big-East First Team accolades. He couldn't carry over that success against Detroit in the first round, where he managed a measly 11 points while shooting a scant 25 percent from the floor. He also managed to miss his one free throw attempt. Detroit went on to win 66-64.
Clyde the Glide (along with Hakeem Olajuwon) helped put Houston Cougars basketball on the map. Drexler poured in 15.9 pgg and 8.8 boards while the electric Phi Slamma Jamma tore through the regular season and tourney-time. They were expected to run over NC State in the title game, but nobody told Drexler that. Finishing with 4 points on 1-5 shooting, Houston lost 56-54 and sent Jim Valvano on his famous full-court sprint.
The junior point guard (and brother of Steph) helped pilot Duke to a 27-6 record and a No. 2 seed in the tournament. He averaged 13.4 ppg while shooting a healthy 43 percent from the floor. Facing Lehigh in the first round, Curry went 1-7 from 3-point land, and that was his only made basket of the game. Perhaps more harmful to Duke was that Curry did not contribute a single assist. He was the exact opposite of his NBA-playing brother, who lit the tourney on fire in 2008 on his way to winning the Most Outstanding Player of the Midwest Region.
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