CALGARY, Alta. — A pair of Final Fours have been cut down to just two, while another has just been formed.
There may only be one game left in the 2016-17 college basketball season, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of reasons to come out and support your favourite players from across the country.
The College Court Report Fan Voted awards are winding down themselves, but not before crowning winners of their own.
After another week of voting, the Player of the Year field has now been trimmed to just four players. Early on in the bracket-style tournament, front-runners were identified from each regional. This past week, players were looking to win their respective regional finals and advance to the Final Four.
Across the three voting platforms, a record 29,108 votes were cast for the eight student-athletes still alive in the battle for the title of Player of the Year.
Below are the results from the four pairings in the Elite Eight.
The Final Four gets underway Monday, April 3rd at approximately 1:00am EST.
Alec Wintering Region
Quinton Hooker (North Dakota) – 72.16%
Trayvon Palmer (Chicago State) – 27.84%
In the Elite Eight of the Player of the Year Fan Vote, we had a Cinderella taking on the reigning Player of the Year, as Trayvon Palmer looked to knock off Quinton Hooker.
Palmer had been the biggest surprise of the contest, advancing to the Elite Eight despite not having a first-round bye. Support from the WAC itself propelled Palmer to the finals of the Wintering Region, but he ran into last year’s Player of the Year, who was on quite the roll once again this season. Palmer hung tight to open the week, but Hooker pulled away as the week wore on, thus putting an end to Palmer’s run at Player of the Year.
Damon Lynn Region
Rashawn Thomas (Texas A&M-CC) – 56.90%
LaVell Boyd (UMKC) – 43.10%
It was quite the week for Rashawn Thomas. He surpassed the 2,000-point mark with the Islanders, and helped them advance to the CIT Finals in the process. He was also invited to the Reese’s All Star Game as a part of Final Four weekend, but wasn’t able to attend due to playing in the CIT Finals on the same night. While his career came to an end on the hardwood by virtue of a one-point loss to the Saint Peter’s Peacocks, he was still vying for your support in the Player of the Year Fan Vote.
However, LaVell Boyd had the entire WAC behind him as he was looking to advance past Thomas and into the Final Four. This was by far the closest pairing of the week, as it went back-and-forth with each passing day. Over the final two days, Thomas’ supporters made a big push on both Twitter and in the online polls to propel the senior forward into the Final Four.
Dikembe Dixson Region
Mark Alstork (Wright State) – 53.67%
Kavin Gilder-Tilbury (Texas State) – 46.33%
Entering the Player of the Year vote back at the end of February, the Dixson region was the biggest question mark. With so many talented players garnering support right off the hop, any one of the 24 players in the region could have represented the group in the Final Four.
Two players who had huge support groups from the outset were Alstork and Gilder-Tilbury, so it was only fitting that they squared off with a spot in the Final Four on the line. Out of the gate, Alstork took a slim lead, and slowly saw it grow as the days passed. However, Texas State fans kept KGT within striking distance, but they were never able to get him back in front.
Antonio Campbell Region
DeWayne Russell (Grand Canyon) – 57.03%
Jaylon Brown (Evansville) – 42.97%
Over the past two weeks, no two players had seen a bigger increase in support than both Brown and Russell. With that in the rearview mirror, we knew that votes would be aplenty in this pairing, as both support groups looked to propel their beloved guard into the Final Four.
Brown saw a huge increase in votes via support on Facebook and in the online polls in comparison to week’s past, but supporters of Russell countered that with a heavy presence in terms of Twitter votes. Russell also held an edge in the polls, which ultimately propelled him to the victory and into the Final Four.
– T. Bennett