Hojo's NCAA All-Swag Team
--A guest contribution from Henry 'Hojo' Johnson--
Few sporting events contain the magic of March Madness. Each game's appeal stretches beyond that of a regular season or conference tournament game: the stakes are higher, the games are (generally) closer, and the upsets are more thrilling. March Madness is special for these reasons, but is also appealing because it allows individual players to showcase their talents nationally. For example, players from lesser-known schools have an opportunity to show the country what they can do. These stars emerge, not always because of their scoring talent, but because they've exposed the nation to their swag. This year, a number of individuals separated themselves from the competition on their ability to swag out. They made their mark on the court, and today they are getting recognition for their achievement. So, without further ado, I present the members of the All-Swag First Team for the 2012 NCAA Tournament:
G Peyton Siva (Louisville): The kid is a pitbull. Siva showed all tournament that he has the ability to take over a game. Whether he’s banging a three at the top of the arc, penetrating into the lane, or mauling defenders all the way up the court, Siva balls hard with a terrorizing scowl. Siva’s swag is predicated on his ruthlessness and attack-dog mentality. He's half-Hawaiian, and lets his inner island warrior out on the court. It’s only an added bonus that led his team to the Final Four in Louisville’s fresh new adizero jerseys.
G Tu Holloway (Xavier): Xaiver’s leading scorer earned himself a lot of publicity earlier in the season during the famed fight between the Musketeers and rival Cincinnati. Tu’s postgame remarks, which consisted of him explaining to a reporter that the team “ain't thug but gangta,” and that they “zipped up” the Bearcats, easily made the guard a favorite to make First Team entering the tournament. Tu lived up to the hype, averaging 22 points and helping Xavier reach the Sweet Sixteen.
G/F Royce White (Iowa State): Anytime you have a 6-8, 270 pound point-forward running the offense for your squad you know you’re in for a treat. And that’s just what Iowa State got out of Royce White this season. The kid eliminated defending-champion UConn essentially on his own, then dominated the second round, before exiting the Tournament after a well fought battle in the loss to Calipari’s NBA prospect-ridden Wildcats. On top of the fact that he averaged 13.4 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists during the season and totaled 38 points in his two tournament games, White ran the one-through-five with a solid look, sporting a beard and tatted arms. Its pretty clear that White took full advantage of his two nationally televised games to make a statement: “I’ve got serious swag.”
F Yancy Gates (Cincinnati): Cincinnati goes about seven deep when we’re talking swag. Dion Dixon, Cashmere Wright, and many other Bearcats have made a solid case to make the First-Team. However, the spot goes to their fearless leader Yancy Gates. Yup, that’s right, Yancy with a Y. After throwing a couple mean jabs and dropping Kenny Frease in the aforementioned mid-season brawl with Xavior, Yancy got his act together and balled hard this season, leading the Bearcats to Big East Championship Finals before taking the squad as far as the Sweet Sixteen in the Tournament for the first time in the since 2001. During their run, Yancy was a go-to player for the Bearcats, and dominated the paint. His 11 point, 7 board average, coupled with his general demeanor easily earned him a spot on First-Team. Oh, and he shot 59% from the free throw line this season. Swag.
F Quincy Acy, MVP (Baylor): They say great players thrive during the greatest moments and nobody swagged harder than Quincy during this years tournament. As if the bald head/neck beard combo, coupled with the fresh neon green jersey wasn’t enough, Acy threw down rattling dunks during this years Madness. Watching the Bears was like watching a dunk contest. I mean, it seemed like every other play, Acy was swatting an opponent’s shot into the third row or throwing one down. To cap it all of, Acy had the play of the tournament, catching a lob from out of bounds while his elbow touched the rim. (Please people, I hope you have seen this video, but regardless, for you’re viewing pleasure: http://tinyurl.com/acyswags). Acy’s tournament was an example of how to swag, and should be a lesson for everyone. For his hard work on the grind, he has been awarded the 2012 All-Swag MVP for the Tournament. Well done, sir. Well done.
Honorable Mentions: Jae Crowder (Marquette), Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky), C.J. Leslie (NC State), Justin Jackson (Cincinnati)
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