Marshall Henderson, Mississippi. Flashy, mouthy punk who excels at scoring and antagonizing the other team’s fan base. Torrid early, cooled down when the spotlight was on him in January, then resurgent in the last week, leading the Rebels to a highly unlikely SEC title. How is a guy I greatly enjoy watching on the “most hated” list? Because he’s a clown and hilarious tweets like this rile up the masses. The crooked hat and pants sagging to his knees probably don’t help.
Cody Zeller, Indiana. Flopper. Floppy Mc Flop Flop. If he played for Duke, he’d probably be 1st on to his list. And Michigan State fans still think Zeller hit himself in the nuts during a decisive play late in East Lansing. Also, he’s the most recognizable player on the team that Las Vegas has favored to win the title for the majority of the season.
Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA. The NCAA isn’t a fan of his work. Even after the brackets were revealed Sunday, Muhammad said he thought the NCAA was “always holding something against me.” There was the silly backpack saga (which actually had people feeling sympathetic for him, briefly). And the time his teammate Larry Drew hit a game-winning shot and Muhammad looked irked he didn’t get the ball. Plus, nobody likes an elite recruit, right?
Aaron Craft, Ohio State. Inspires hatred for reasons I cannot fathom. Is it the rosy cheeks? The tiny frame? He’s a cross between Steve Wojo and Chris Collins, two Duke guards who would have made this list if we did it back in the day. If Craft were a baseball player, there’s no doubt he’d be a slapped with the “scrappy” tag. He’s the face of the Buckeyes, who reached the Final Four last year, lost their best scorer, and could be headed back.
Honorable mention: Peyton Siva, Louisville; Doug McDermott, Creighton, Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State.