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February 11, 2011
Megargee: Possible Cinderella stars to watch
It happens every March.
After starring in relative obscurity for most of the season, a standout performer from a low-major conference finally bursts onto the national scene by delivering a huge performance in the NCAA tournament.
Remember how Louis Dale and Ryan Wittman helped send Cornell to the Sweet 16 last season? Or how Siena's Ronald Moore hit two huge 3-pointers in a first-round victory over Ohio State two seasons ago? Valparaiso's Bryce Drew and Weber State's Harold "The Show" Arceneaux had their shining moments more than a decade ago, yet their names inevitably get mentioned at some point during the first week of the tournament when a lower-seeded team threatens to pull an upset.
Who will be this year's Drew or Arceneaux?
We decided to take a guess by listing 10 top players from traditional one-bid leagues. We also have included their season statistics and where their teams ranked in their respective conference standings through Thursday's games.
You won't find Hofstra's Charles Jenkins on this list because the Colonial Athletic Association often sends more than one team to the NCAA tournament. You also won't see Cleveland State guard Norris Cole here because the Vikings have a legitimate shot at earning an at-large bid even if they don't win the Horizon League tournament.
All the guys on this list play for teams that almost certainly won't earn NCAA bids unless they win their respective conference tournaments. And all of these players are good enough to carry their teams to conference tournament titles, even if their teams aren't necessarily atop their league standings at the moment.
Some of the players on this list already have delivered big performances in previous NCAA tournaments. Some of them are seeking their first taste of March Madness. But even if some of these players aren't familiar to you now, you just might hear their names quite a bit next month.
Oakland C Keith Benson
Wofford F Noah Dahlman
Morehead State F/C Kenneth Faried
Texas Southern F Kevin Galloway
Iona F Michael Glover and Siena F Ryan Rossiter
College of Charleston G Andrew Goudelock
Lipscomb F/C Adnan Hodzic
Central Connecticut State F Ken Horton
Lehigh G C.J. McCollum
Montana C Brian Qvale
Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.