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Top Five: Under-the-radar NCAA tournament stars

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,College,John Keim

Here are five players that you may not know much about yet, but have a chance to make a big impact in the NCAA tournament:

5. Tony Snell, New Mexico » The guard was not the Mountain West Conference player of the year; that honor went to teammate Kendall Williams. But Snell was on fire in the MWC tournament, scoring 13 straight points in the finale vs. UNLV en route to MVP honors.

4. Marshall Henderson, Mississippi » He's on the list but he really shouldn't be. Henderson just happens to play for an under-the-radar team in Ole Miss. Henderson is a bit, shall we say, different. If he's on your team, you love him. If not, well, he's a bit much. But the kid can score, averaging 20.1 points per game.

3. Nate Wolters, South Dakota State » For starters, he plays for South Dakota State, which has one of the best nicknames in the tournament: the Jackrabbits. This kid can jack it up, too. Wolters scored 53 in a game earlier this season, draining nine 3-pointers. Wolters had one Division I option coming out of high school.

2. Momo Jones, Iona » His first name demands that he be placed on any list about the tournament. The 6-foot-3 guard from Iona averages 23 points -- third in the nation -- and was the MAAC player of the year.

1. Mike Muscala, Bucknell » The reason some peg Bucknell as a possible first-round upset team is because of the 6-foot-11 Muscala. The Patriot League player of the year averaged 19.0 points and 11.2 boards. And those numbers didn't go down against better competition. In games against Purdue, George Mason and LaSalle (all wins) and a two-point loss to Missouri, Muscala averaged 18.3 points and 11.5 rebounds.

- John Keim

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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