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No. 1 overall seed UConn is the odds-on favorite to repeat as national champions, and an examination of its starting lineup in comparison to the other three Final Four teams suggests that frontrunner status is absolutely, positively warranted. The Huskies, who have yet to win a game by fewer than 17 points during the NCAA Tournament, have three of the top five starters in our annual investigation below, wherein I rank every starter in this year's Final Four. The lowest-ranked player from UConn falls to just outside the top 10. He is a projected lottery pick.

Good luck to the rest of the field.

Purdue, though, has the No. 1 overall player in our rankings: Zach Edey. The reigning player of the year (which he won emphatically) has somehow improved substantially and will surely repeat as winner. Coming off a career-best 40-point outing to take down Tennessee in the Elite Eight, he takes the Boilermakers to their first Final Four since 1980. His rank among the best players remaining in the field is without question. 

Only one other Purdue player cracked the top 10 of our list, but that was an even share with Alabama and NC State. Full rankings below: 

Ranking the projected Final Four starters
Zach Edey Purdue Boilermakers C
College basketball's leader in points, Player Efficiency Rating and Box Plus/Minus (among many, many others) gets the obvious nod at No. 1 here. Edey's 7-foot-4 frame has helped carry Purdue to within two wins of its first-ever men's college basketball championship.
Donovan Clingan Connecticut Huskies C
Mighty UConn might not be mighty UConn without Cling Kong. UConn is 15 points per 100 better with him on floor vs. him off the floor, and he is coming off one of his best performances of the season in a five-block game vs. Illinois.
Mark Sears Alabama Crimson Tide G
Sears had a great season for Alabama but has somehow stepped it up a notch in the NCAA Tournament for the lethal Tide attack. He's averaging a team-high 24.3 points per game this March Madness for the highest-scoring offense in college basketball.
Tristen Newton Connecticut Huskies G
On a deep and seemingly infallible team, Newton has been the most consistent player for the Huskies all season. He leads the team in scoring and assists, and he's averaging 13.8 points and 6.8 assists per game during the NCAA Tournament.
Cam Spencer Connecticut Huskies G
If you cloned UConn coach Dan Hurley and remade him as a current college player, you'd have Cam Spencer. He's a fiery, trash-talking competitor with the game to back it up. Lethal scorer who can be dynamic as a playmaker to boot.
DJ Burns Jr. NC State Wolfpack F
Twenty-nine points in the Elite Eight from DJ Burns spearheaded a huge upset of rival Duke. Burns has been on a bananas run for the Wolfpack as both a scorer and passer.
DJ Horne NC State Wolfpack G
An All-ACC performer this season, Horne led NC State in scoring and 3-point shooting. He has quietly been one of the best players this March with a combined 39 points in upsets over No. 2 seed Marquette and No. 4 seed Duke.
Braden Smith Purdue Boilermakers G
Purdue's No. 2-rated offense wouldn't function at the same level if not for Smith, the stellar sophomore who has been one of the best point guards on the season. He averages the second-most assists per game among all players at 7.5, and his improvement as a 3-point shooter has been a huge part of Purdue's postseason run.
Alex Karaban Connecticut Huskies F
With Karaban on the floor this season, UConn's offense has been 30.32 points per 100 possessions better than its opponents, per Pivot Analysis data, which is second on the team behind only Clingan. He's a knockdown shooter who has been cold from 3 during the tournament but is bound to bounce back soon.
Aaron Estrada Alabama Crimson Tide G
Estrada can be hot and cold, but he was crucial in Alabama's upset win over No. 1 seed North Carolina with 19 points on 9 of 17 shooting. Scoring, rebounding, passing -- he does it all for this Tide team.
Stephon Castle Connecticut Huskies G
It's fitting that Castle is Stephon's last name, because when he's on a moat defending, he's unflappable. He's a projected lottery pick with a big 6-foot-6 frame. His offense can come and go sometimes, but he has the flash to take over games when needed.
Grant Nelson Alabama Crimson Tide F
Nelson took control of the game vs. North Carolina and finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds. That's not really his game -- he's an overqualified role player with size, shooting and shot-swatting -- but that's an example of how good he can be for a team dependent upon matchup.
Latrell Wrightsell Jr. Alabama Crimson Tide G
Alabama's best 3-point shooter has missed the last two games with a head injury but is likely to assume his role back in the starting lineup this weekend. He's a 99th percentile spot-up threat for Alabama's high-flying offense, per Synergy data, and his shooting unlocks this attack.
Casey Morsell NC State Wolfpack G
No player has nailed more tough mid-range shots during this NCAA Tournament than Morsell, per my total guess after watching him in person last week in Dallas. He's been a key cog for this Wolfpack team in its magical March run.
Rylan Griffen Alabama Crimson Tide G
With teammate Wrightsell sidelined, Griffen soaked up a bigger role within Alabama's offense and acquitted himself well in the process. He's coming off a career-high eight-assist game vs. Clemson in the Elite Eight and has hit half of his 22 3-point attempts during the NCAA Tournament.
Lance Jones Purdue Boilermakers G
Jones was a key offseason acquisition for Purdue who has given this team scoring punch and an edge with his demeanor on the floor. One of many weapons on the perimeter for the Boilermakers, who are key in their lethal 3-point attack surrounding Zach Edey.
Fletcher Loyer Purdue Boilermakers G
Loyer jumped from a 32.6% 3-point shooter as a freshman to a 44.1% 3-point shooter as a sophomore, entrenching himself in the process as one of the sport's best catch-and-shoot threats. He's one of three Purdue players to finish the season shooting 40% or better from long range.
Mohamed Diarra NC State Wolfpack F
With Burns turning into a mini Nikola Jokic this postseason, Diarra's role has mostly stayed the same. The big man had six blocks in the first three NCAA Tournament games and is an automatic bucket if you get the ball to him within the paint.
Michael O'Connell NC State Wolfpack G
O'Connell has three games during the NCAA Tournament in which he's logged six or more assists -- including an eight-assist game vs. Oakland in the second round. He's coming off a career-best 11-rebound showing vs. Duke and seemingly always finds a way to make an impact on winning for the Wolfpack.
Trey Kaufman-Renn Purdue Boilermakers F
Kaufman-Renn's been essential to Purdue's success all season and had some huge moments in this NCAA Tournament as well. He had 18 points and eight boards vs. Utah State in the second round and has the game to produce big numbers if called upon.