Recapping Saturday's top NCAA performers

Recapping Saturday's top NCAA performers
March 23, 2014, 12:30 pm
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BOSTON — Saturday was yet another day filled with a slew of games reminding us all why this is maybe the most enjoyable month of the basketball season, college or the pros.

There were nail-biting wins and heart-breaking losses that regardless of what your affiliation or alma mater may be, continues to make for great theatre.

Some of the players in this basketball production that we call the NCAA Tournament, will be fortunate enough to take their talents on to the next level and play in the NBA.

There might be even be one or two that'll suit up for the Boston Celtics as well.

Here's a recap of some potential Celtics-to-be and how they fared on Saturday.

 Montrezl Harrell, F, Louisville

It was by no means an aesthetically pleasing performance by Louisville on Saturday, but they stepped up when it mattered most and pulled away from St. Louis for a 66-51 win. Harrell did his part in helping the defending National Champion Cardinals advance to the Sweet 16 with another double-double. Harrell had 10 points on 4-for-9 shooting, along with 11 rebounds and one blocked shot.

Nik Stauskas, G, Michigan

The Wolverines continue to shoot the lights out from 3-point range in the tournament, with Stauskas helping lead the way. He scored 17 points in Michigan's 79-65 win over Texas on Saturday. But more than that, he showcased his passing ability - one of the knocks against him - to finish with eight assists which tied his career high.

Tyler Ennis, G, Syracuse
In what was the biggest upset on Saturday, Ennis and the third-seed Syracuse Orange lost 55-53 to 11th-seed Dayton after Ennis' potential game-winning 3-pointer hit the back of the rim and bounced out. It was a disappointing finish (Syracuse missed all 10 of their 3s attempted) to what had been a disappointing game overall for the Orange. But to Ennis' credit, the game would not have been close if not for his team-high 19 points.

Jerami Grant, F, Syracuse
He played 34 minutes, but you never got a sense that he was really out there in terms of impacting the game, good or bad. Many of his points come off effort plays such as getting offensive rebounds or tip-ins. Syracuse didn't get much from him or any of their players, in those respective categories. Grant finished with four points on 2-for-3 shooting, along with grabbing six rebounds before fouling out in the game's final seconds.

Gary Harris, G, Michigan State
The Spartans fought off a spunky effort by Harvard with some strong defense and a slew of big shots from many, including Harris. He would finish with 18 points and five rebounds as Michigan State, one of the favorites to win it all, advance to the Sweet 16 following the 80-73 win.

Adreian Payne, F, Michigan State
Payne wasn't nearly as dominant scoring the ball as he was in Michigan State's first-round win, chipping in 12 points and four rebounds in the win. The fact that he has the ability to score 41 one night and just 12 another, speaks to the quality depth of this Michigan State team that on Saturday was led by junior wing Branden Dawson's career-high 26 points.