Everybody watched UConn complete an improbable run by knocking off Kentucky in the recently completed NCAA Tournament. And everybody has watched the Utah Jazz lose 13 of its last 15 games -- including a loss to Dallas on Tuesday, April 8.
But there is a bigger reason, a greater purpose to watching March Madness as the Jazz continue to lose more games with the 2013-14 NBA season about to come to a close.
The NCAA Tournament came into view for the past several weeks, a showcase through which players at competing schools -- mostly underclassmen -- it seemed were competing for the right to continue to play and impress NBA teams.
Some, like UConn senior guard Shabazz Napier, needed a good showing at March Madness to get the legions of naysayers off of his heavily tattooed back. This draft class is filled to the brim with underclassmen, mostly one-and-done’s who are only in college so that they can get that one year out of the way -- and be on their way to making millions in the NBA.
Others, like two-thirds of Kentucky’s roster -- particularly forward Julius Randle -- merely needed to play well but not great in order to ensure they were being taken in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft. Randle has been No.4 in most mock drafts for months.
College freshmen comprise seven of 10 potential draftees, ranging from Andrew Wiggins to Jabari Parker to Arizona forward Aaron Gordon.
But there were others who stepped up and answered the call at the NCAA Tournament, including UCLA sophomore forward Kyle Anderson who before March Madness was a late first round to early second round pick.
Since that time the draft stock of Kyle Anderson has boosted to the point where this rare 6-foot-9-inch point guard in a forward's body is being considered as a lottery pick -- ahead of teammates Zach LaVine and Jordan Adams.
In the middle of the first round of mocks you have a pair of freshmen in Syracuse guard Tyler Ennis, Kentucky guard James Young -- and a slew of sophomores including Kyle Anderson -- waiting to hear their names called.
College juniors and seniors seem to co-habitate toward the end of most first round mock drafts -- but let’s be clear about something: not everyone -- especially Wiggins and Parker -- did a thing to impress scouts at the NCAA Tournament. But others did, and here’s how they could factor into the Jazz’ decision on Draft Day.