Zion isn't the only elite NBA draft prospect playing in the tournament
Maybe you're not sure which team to root for in the NCAA Tournament.
Maybe you'd like to brace yourself for impending disappointment (or possible joy) when the Chicago Bulls fail to land Zion Williamson in the NBA draft lottery.
The tournament will be a good place to scout potential 2019 NBA draft picks. There will be some lottery picks whose team didn't make the tourney, but here's a guide of some that are playing this week:
Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish from Duke
First-round game: Friday, 6:10 p.m. vs. play-in winner (CBS)
There never has been much question, but it's safe to say Williamson will 100 percent for certain be the No. 1 pick. Barrett has a good chance to go second. The 6-foot-7 wing averaged 22.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists. He scored 33 points against Kentucky, 32 at Florida State, 33 after Zion got hurt against North Carolina, then 30 at Syracuse three days later. The Toronto native certainly appears to have all-star caliber talent.
The 6-8 Reddish has a nice-looking jump shot. It's possible he'd be more of a college star if he wasn't playing next to his two talented teammates. Bulls rookie Wendell Carter Jr. can relate.
Ja Morant from Murray State
First-round game: Thursday, approximately 3:30 p.m. vs. Marquette (TBS)
This guy is no secret anymore, a hyper-athletic point guard who dominated the Ohio Valley Conference. Some have compared Morant to Russell Westbrook. Steve Francis is another fair comparison, as far as a guy who seemed to come from nowhere to dominate the highlights. Murray State-Marquette might be the most highly anticipated first-round game.
De'Andre Hunter from Virginia
First-round game: Friday, approximately 2:10 p.m. vs. Gardner-Webb (truTV)
People will be naturally drawn to this game to see if Virginia loses to a No. 16 seed for the second year in a row. But a potential Bulls draft pick will be in uniform.
Naturally, Hunter is considered a good defender, and he shot 45 percent from 3-point range this season. He gets bonus points for missing last year's Maryland-Baltimore County upset with an injury.
Jarrett Culver from Texas Tech
First-round game: Friday 12:30 p.m. vs. Northern Kentucky (TNT)
He's listed at 6-6, but some scouts believe he is taller. Culver, a sophomore who attended college in his hometown, has drawn Jimmy Butler comparisons but doesn't appear to be as fluid athletically. He's averaging 18.5 points this season.
Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke from Gonzaga
First-round game: Thursday, 6:27 p.m. vs. play-in winner (truTV)
The Zags have a couple of versatile 6-8 forwards. Clarke is more of a power player, averaging 8.4 rebounds after transferring from San Jose State. Hachimura has some stretch-four potential, averaged 20.1 points this season and will likely be the first Japan-born, first-round NBA draft pick.
Coby White, Nassir Little from North Carolina
First-round game: Friday, approximately 8:20 p.m. vs. Iona (TNT)
These two guys have been all over the board in mock drafts. Little, a 6-6 wing, is one of those hyped recruits who hasn't posted many stats. The 6-5 White averages 16.3 points and leads Carolina in assists.
Keldon Johnson, Tyler Herro, PJ Washington from Kentucky
First-round game: Thursday, 6:10 p.m. vs. Abilene Christian (CBS)
These three have posted similar numbers for the Wildcats. Johnson is the most athletic, Washington is the tallest at 6-8 and shot 41 percent from 3-point range. Herro, a 6-5 shooting guard, has been described as a possible late-riser in the draft.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker from Virginia Tech
First-round game: Friday, approximately 8:57 p.m. vs. Saint Louis (truTV)
Slender, versatile shooting guard has posted some nice numbers during his sophomore season for the Hokies.
Bruno Fernando from Maryland
First-round game: Thursday, approximately 2:10 p.m. vs. play-in winner (truTV)
This 6-10 center resembles Phoenix Suns rookie DeAndre Ayton, mostly in physical appearance. Fernando can show some nice moves in the post but has never been consistently dominant.
Grant Williams from Tennessee
First-round game: Friday, approximately 1:45 p.m. vs. Colgate (CBS)
A two-time SEC player of the year, Williams hasn't gotten much push as a lottery pick, but he is playing well. The 6-7 junior forward averages 19 points and 7.6 rebounds.
Matisse Thybulle from Washington
First-round game: Friday, 5:50 p.m. vs. Utah State (TNT)
This long-armed small forward is built sort of like Otto Porter Jr. and is regarded as one of the country's best defenders. Offense is an afterthought as he's averaging 9.3 points.
Naz Reid from LSU
First-round game: Thursday, 11:40 a.m. vs. Yale (truTV)
This guy resembles noted Clippers screen-setter Montrezl Harrell. Listed at 6-10, 250, Reid is a big, active player who likes to step outside and shoot the 3 once in awhile.
Bulls vs. Washington Wizards, 7 p.m. Wednesday at the United Center
TV: NBCSCH • Radio: WSCR 670-AM
Outlook: This will be the second return of former Bulls Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker. They played at the UC three days after the trade that brought Otto Porter Jr. to Chicago and defeated the Bulls 134-125. Parker scored 20 points that night and Portis 10. … The Wizards (30-41) aren't out of the playoff race, but they're not doing much to stay in it. … SG Bradley Beal has averaged 29.9 points since the all-star break, and he scored 31 in the Feb. 9 meeting. With PG John Wall out for the season, Parker actually is the team's second-leading scorer at 14.8 ppg, followed closely by Portis (14.6) and SF Trevor Ariza (14.5). … The Bulls are 1-1 against Washington this season.
Next: Utah Jazz, 7 p.m. Saturday at the United Center
- Mike McGraw