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Bucky’s Fan Favorite Tournament Final Four: (1) Devin Harris vs. (3) Nigel Hayes

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Buckle up. The Final Four is here, and the matchups are juicy.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 05 Minnesota at Wisconsin Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With COVID-19 crushing everyone’s March Madness vibe, we at B5Q crafted our own tournament to determine which basketball player from the past 20 years was the biggest fan favorite.

After four rounds of voting, only a quartet of players remain.

For the Final Four, we will only hold one matchup a day. We at B5Q will state the case for each player, and then it is up to you the fans to vote and ultimately decide who moves on, and who is eliminated.

The Final Four players remaining in the field.

You can check out the complete bracket here...Bucky's Fan Favorite Tournament - Bracket.pdf.


First up is a showdown between the winner of the South Region in Devin Harris, and the winner of the Midwest Region in Nigel Hayes.


19 March 2004: Devin Harris of the Wisconsin Badgers during the Badgers 76-64 victory over the Richmond Spiders in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WI. Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

The case for Devin Harris:

While Wauwatosa native Devin Harris only spent three seasons at Wisconsin, he was still a part of three championship teams. Harris and the Badgers won the 2002 and 2003 B1G regular season championship, as well as the 2004 B1G Tournament. Harris was the 2004 B1G Player of the Year and a B1G Tournament Most Outstanding Player and was also a Wooden Award All-American that season.

During Harris’ sophomore season, Wisconsin won the B1G title outright, for the first time since 1947. In the title-clinching victory over No. 14 Illinois Harris won the game, hitting a free throw with four-tenths of a second left.

Harris appeared in three NCAA Tournaments, reaching the Sweet 16 as a sophomore, while losing in the second round the other two seasons.

For his career Harris averaged 14.8 points, four rebounds, three assists and shot 45 percent from the field in 96 contests.

During his junior campaign — his final season in Madison — he averaged 19.5 points per game and over four assists per game.

One of the most dynamic playmakers to play for the Badgers, Harris was a pivotal cog in the early years of Bo Ryan’s tenure at Wisconsin. Harris would later go on to have a stellar 15+ season career in the NBA after being taken with the fifth pick in the 2004 draft.

Central Arkansas v Wisconsin Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The case for Nigel Hayes:

One of the better forwards in program history, Nigel Hayes was a four year impact player for the Wisconsin Badgers.

Part of the back-to-back Final Four runs, Hayes was an integral part of the teams success from 2013 to 2017 thanks to his versatile skill set inside and outside on the offensive end.

Hayes won the Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year award in 2014 as a freshman, before becoming a full-time starter for the following three seasons in Madison.

Hayes earned All-Conference honors each season on campus, averaging 12.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game in his career.

A smart and funny presence, Hayes contributed to collegiate athletics beyond the court as well. He was outspoken about issues surrounding the lives of athletes and racial justice during his time in Madison to boot.

Nigel is also one of the most beloved players in the past decade for his likeable attitude that accompanied his great play. Particularly he was known for some post game fun, including the epic stenographer chat had in the NCAA Tournament interview sessions early in his career.

Poll

(1) Devin Harris or (3) Nigel Hayes?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    (1) Devin Harris
    (386 votes)
  • 35%
    (3) Nigel Hayes
    (215 votes)
601 votes total Vote Now