Korner 3’s: Mixed Bag of March Madness

By Kinchen Taylor

I’m back again with another Korner 3’s for the people this week. This was originally supposed to be a piece on my prediction for All ACC 6th Man of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. And to be fair, it still is. I decided to instead incorporate a few small pieces I have been working on into this Korner 3’s to make what I am calling a mixed bag of March Madness fun. Let’s dive in to my bag and see what we got.

All ACC Sixth Man of the Year

A very underrated award in my opinion the sixth man is. He’s the guy the sparks your struggling offense or brings the defensive intensity needed in late stretches. DJ “You’ve Been Funder-struck” Funderburk has made a solid case for being a solid piece off the bench for the Pack, averaging just a tick over 9 points and 4 rebounds a game. He also leads NC State in free throw percentage at 79%, which is wild to think that a big man could be your best free throw shooter.

Nassir Little of UNC could be another possibility as he’s their best player off the bench. The freshman phenom shoots at 46% on the season and is a top 5 scorer for the Heels behind the trio of Cam Johnson, Coby White and Luke Maye.

However, the clear favorite for ACC Sixth Man of the Year is Florida State’s own Mfiondu Kabengele. The sophomore from Canada hasn’t started a single game all season, yet leads the ‘Noles in scoring and is second in rebounding behind Terrance Mann. If you do not already know, he is Dikembe Mutombo’s nephew and honestly he plays like his uncle, if only his uncle could shoot mid-range jumpers like Fi can.

All ACC Defensive Player of the Year

I could spend time making arguments for other nominees, but let’s be real here, there is only one true winner of DPOY this season. Zion Williamson is the clear cut favorite and I will be shocked if I am wrong with this. Nay, I will want you to tweet at me (@kinchen1andonly) and let me know that my bold (or in my opinion not so bold) prediction was wrong. Zion, other than being a complete freak of nature physically, has been wreaking havoc on offenses ever since he set foot in Durham. He is in the top 10 in the ACC for rebounding, blocks and steals. And just remember, he has not played since his shoe exploded on national television back in February yet he’s still top of the top statistically. I may or may not have given away who my ACC Player of the Year is, but I think if you have either known me or read some of these Korner 3’s, it’s all but a done deal for my ballot.  ***Editors Question: It’s Markell Johnson? Really?***

Favorite Tournaments to Watch Besides the ACC Tournament

When March begins, so does my love for watching Mid-Major basketball postseason tournaments. Now, I’m not breaking my neck to catch an 8-9 match-up in the Atlantic Sun, but these are a few tournaments that I’ll keep an eye on other than the ACC Tournament in the next week and a half:

  • Missouri Valley Conference aka Arch Madness: They call their tournament Arch Madness. What’s not to like about that? My prediction who wins it this year: Drake beats out the Cinderella darling of last year, Loyola Chicago in a close one. Also I secretly want Drake to wear a Drake shirt.
  • Big South: I feel like a hipster when I talk about Chris Clemons. I remember last year when I saw him play and thought to myself, “why is nobody talking about this guy, he’s amazing.” Now since Campbell won the conference and is hosting the tournament, the nation might be able to witness the greatness that is the Pride of Millbrook who is steadily climbing up the All time Scoring Leader List. I like the Camels but it will be hard to beat Radford three times in one season.
  • SoCon Tournament: The Southern Conference has had a lot of buzz this season. Furman started out hot, Wofford is turning into a media darling (they’ve at least been Mychal’s favorite) as of late, and I feel like neither one of those teams might win their conference tournament. UNCG is a sneaky good team behind Head Ball Coach Wes Miller. I like the Spartans to will their way into the Tournament, mainly because Eff it, it’s March, anything can happen.
  • Big 12 Tournament: It’s been mainly the Kansas Invitational, but since their 14 year Regular Season title streak has been snapped, anything is possible this year. Little side note, since 2005, other than Kansas, only Iowa State and Missouri (who is not even in the Big 12 anymore) have won the Big 12 Tournament. So, my favorite or favorites to win this year is Kansas and Iowa State. I’ll make the same bet with you guys, tweet at me and tell me that I am loud wrong if Kansas or Iowa State neither one win their tournament.
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