We started the year predicting a bunch of standouts for the 2022-23 men's college basketball season: coaches, sleeper teams, players. In a sport shaken by the movement of players between schools, would it be the transfers or the new recruits who would shine? What about those who have spent more than a year and have grown into their roles on and off the court?
Well, we watched them all. For four months, we saw the best players across all 32 Division I conferences add to their résumés and make a case for best player in their league.
It's now time to hand out the awards. In some cases, the races for these honors remain tight. In others, it has been a landslide for weeks.
Here are our picks for the player of the year in every league as the regular season nears an end -- and who still might surprise us all by running away with it.
Navigate to each league:
American | America East | ACC | ASUN | A-10| Big 12 | Big East | Big Sky | Big South | Big Ten | Big West | CAA | Conference USA | Horizon | Ivy| MAAC | MAC | MEAC | Missouri Valley | Mountain West | NEC | Ohio Valley | Pac-12 | Patriot | SEC | SoCon | Southland | SWAC | Summit | Sun Belt | WAC | West Coast
American Athletic Conference
Marcus Sasser | 6-3 | G | Houston Cougars
The best player on the No. 1 team in America, Sasser (17.9 PPG, 43% from 3 in AAC play) is also a catalyst on defense: Conference opponents recorded just 93 points per 100 possessions with Sasser on the floor, per hooplens.com.
Top competition: Kendric Davis | 6-0 | G | Memphis Tigers|22.9 PPG, 5.5 APG in league play
Finn Sullivan | 6-4 | F | Vermont Catamounts
With Sullivan (16.2 PPG, 37% from the 3-point line in league play) on the floor this season, the Catamounts connected on 61% of their attempts inside the arc and committed just one turnover for every 10 trips down the floor, per hooplens.com.
Top competition: Clarence O. Daniels II | 6-6 | F | New Hampshire Wildcats|14.1 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 76% from the free throw line in America East play
Armando Bacot | 6-11 | F | North Carolina Tar Heels
UNC's fall from preseason No. 1 to the bubble is well-documented, but the only reason the Tar Heels are even in the conversation around Selection Sunday is because of Bacot (16.5 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 55% clip from the floor in league play).
Top competition: Terquavion Smith | 6-4 | G | NC State Wolfpack|17.2 PPG, 1.3 SPG in league play
Darius McGhee | 5-9 | G | Liberty Flames
After leading Liberty to its fifth consecutive ASUN crown after averaging 22.5 PPG and connecting on 88% of his attempts from the charity stripe, McGee is set to win his third consecutive ASUN Player of the Year award.
Top competition: Jacob Ognacevic | 6-7 | F | Lipscomb Bisons|18.3 PPG, 71.3% clip inside the 3-point line in league play
DaRon Holmes II | 6-10 | F | Dayton Flyers
Holmes, who averaged 20.5 PPG in February, is top five in A-10 scoring (18.8 PPG), rebounding (8.0 RPG), blocked shots (1.6 BPG) and field goal percentage (62.2%).
Top competition: Josh Oduro | 6-9 | C | George Mason Patriots|17.9 PPG 9.2 RPG, 60% clip from the floor in league play
Big 12 Conference
Jalen Wilson | 6-8 | F | Kansas Jayhawks
Before the season, Bill Self challenged Wilson (18.3 PPG, 8.0 RPG) to play like an All-American to help the Jayhawks rise to the top of college basketball's hierarchy again. He hasn't disappointed.
Top competition: Markquis Nowell | 5-8 | G | Kansas State Wildcats | 19.8 PPG, 7.0 APG in Big 12 action
Tyler Kolek | 6-3 | G | Marquette Golden Eagles
Marquette's rise to the top of the Big East is tied to Kolek (14.6 PPG, 7.8 APG) -- the Golden Eagles registered 112 points per 100 possessions and shot 58.2% from inside the arc with him on the floor in league play -- and his consistency.
Top competition: Bryce Hopkins | 6-7 | F | Providence Friars | 17.4 PPG, 43% from beyond the arc in league play
Dillon Jones | 6-6 | G | Weber State Wildcats
You won't find many players in the country who finished top five in scoring, rebounding and assists in league play. Jones (18.0 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 4.1 APG) did.
Top competition: RaeQuan Battle | 6-5 | G | Montana State Bobcats | 16.9 PPG, 80% clip from the free throw line in league play
Drew Pember | 6-11 | C | UNC Asheville Bulldogs
The most dominant force in the Big South all season, Pember (21.7 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 1.9 BPG) is the reason UNC Asheville entered the Big South tournament with a 15-1 record in its past 16 games.
Top competition: DaQuan Smith | 6-1 | G | Radford Highlanders | 15.1 PPG, 1.2 SPG in Big South action
Zach Edey | 7-4 | C | Purdue Boilermakers
Edey (22.4 PPG, 13.1 RPG, 2.7 BPG) is set to win every reputable national player of the year award in America. His dominance in the Big Ten is exhibit A.
Top competition: Trayce Jackson-Davis | 6-9 | G | Indiana Hoosiers | 21.3 PPG 12.5 RPG, 3.0 BPG
Elijah Pepper | 6-4 | G | UC Davis Aggies
Pepper (23.5 PPG, 3.6 APG) already had nine conference games with 25 points or more when his team entered March and the final two league games of the season.
Top competition: Latrell Wrightsell Jr.| 6-3 | G | Cal State Fullerton Titans | 16.8 PPG, 42% from beyond the arc in league play
Colonial Athletic Association
Aaron Estrada | 6-3 | G | Hofstra Pride
It looks like Estrada will capture his second consecutive CAA Player of the Year award after averaging 19.5 PPG and leading Hofstra to a share of the league regular-season title.
Top competition: Jameer Nelson Jr.| 6-1 | G | Delaware Blue Hens | 21.1 PPG, 4.0 APG in league play
Jordan Walker | 5-11 | G | UAB Blazers
Yes, Walker (39% clip from beyond the arc in league play) missed five C-USA games due to injury. Since his return, he's averaged 21.0 PPG and UAB has amassed a 7-1 record entering its season finale at Charlotte on Saturday.
Top competition: Tylor Perry | 5-11 | G | North Texas Mean Green | 16.4 PPG, 44% from beyond the arc in league play
Antoine Davis | 6-1 | G | Detroit Mercy Titans
During his pursuit of Pete Maravich's all-time scoring mark (3,667 points), Davis averaged 30.1 PPG in league play and dominated the Horizon League again. Those numbers could also help his team finish in the league's top tier.
Top competition: Dwayne Cohill | 6-2 | G | Youngstown State Penguins | 19.1 PPG, 5.3 APG, 43% from beyond the arc
Jordan Dingle | 6-3 | G | Pennsylvania Quakers
Dingle averaged 22.8 PPG and connected on 38% of his 3-point attempts in league play as Penn commenced an eight-game winning streak and enters its season finale at Princeton in a three-way tie for first place in league play.
Top competition: Tosan Evbuomwan | 6-8 | C | Princeton Tigers | 16.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG in league play
Nelly Junior Joseph | 6-9 | F | Iona Gaels
With two games left on the regular-season slate, Rick Pitino's squad has already secured the MAAC title because Joseph (14.5 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 1.2 BPG) played at a level no other player in the league could match.
Top competition: Noah Thomasson | 6-3 | G | Niagara Purple Eagles | 20.3 PPG (No. 1 in the conference) in league play
Enrique Freeman | 6-7 | C | Akron Zips
Akron enters the final week of league action with a shot at the conference crown because of Freeman (18.5 PPG, 11.9 RPG, 1.3 BPG).
Top competition: Emoni Bates | 6-9 | G/F | Eastern Michigan Eagles | 19.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG in league play
Joe Bryant Jr., | 6-1 | G | Norfolk State Spartans
The reigning MEAC Player of the Year, Bryant Jr. (18.3 PPG in MEAC action) finished with six performances of 20 points or more in league play this season.
Top competition: Justin Wright | 6-2 | G | North Carolina Central Eagles | 16.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG
Tucker DeVries | 6-7 | F | Drake Bulldogs
With DeVries (19.2 PPG) on the court in MVC action this season, Drake has connected on 51% of its shots inside the arc and 37% of its 3-point attempts, per hooplens.com.
Top competition: Ben Sheppard | 6-6 | G | Belmont Bruins | 19.0 PPG, 41% from beyond the arc in league play
Omari Moore | 6-6 | G | San José State Spartans
Moore has not only averaged 19.7 PPG and 5.1 APG in Mountain West action, but he also made 81% of his free throw attempts in league play, too.
Top competition: EJ Harkless | 6-3 | G | UNLV Rebels | 20.5 PPG in MVC action
Jordan Minor | 6-8 | F | Merrimack Warriors
Minor, who averaged 17.3 PPG and 10.3 RPG in league play, led the Warriors to the NEC regular-season title after connecting on 55% of his shots at the rim, per hoop-math.com.
Top competition: Josh Cohen | 6-10 | F | St. Francis (PA) | 21.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG in NEC play
Jr. Clay | 6-0 | G | Tennessee State Tigers
With Clay (20.3 PPG, 6.1 APG, 1.7 SPG) leading the league in scoring and assists, Tennessee State secured its first conference record over .500 since 2017-18.
Top competition: Ray'Sean Taylor | 6-1 | G | SIU Edwardsville Cougars | 17.1 PPG, 37% clip from the 3-point line in league play
Jaime Jaquez Jr.| 6-7 | F | UCLA Bruins
Jaquez Jr. (17.2 PPG, 8.8 RPG in Pac-12 action) aims to lead UCLA to a top seed in the NCAA tournament and a Final Four appearance after winning the regular-season title, the program's first since 2013.
Top competition: Azuolas Tubelis | 6-11 | F | Arizona Wildcats | 19.5 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 55% clip inside the arc in league play
Jalen Rucker | 5-10 | G | Army Black Knights
Despite the Black Knights finishing the season in fourth place, Rucker (16.9 PPG in Patriot League play) aims to lead them to a tournament championship and the first NCAA appearance in school history.
Top competition: Tucker Richardson | 6-5 | G | Colgate Raiders | 12.2 PPG, 5.7 APG (No. 1 in league play)
Brandon Miller | 6-9 | F | Alabama Crimson Tide
Despite being mired in controversy related to being named in a criminal investigation, Miller (19.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 42% from the 3-point line) remains the front-runner for the league's top honor.
Top competition: Oscar Tshiebwe | 6-9 | C | Kentucky Wildcats | 16.4 PPG, 12.8 RPG, 1.0 BPG, 1.6 SPG
Jalen Slawson | 6-7 | F | Furman Paladins
Slawson (16.2 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 59% clip inside the arc, 39% from the 3-point line) helped Furman win the SoCon title after securing six double-doubles in league play.
Top competition: Mike Bothwell | 6-3 | G | Furman Paladins | 16.3 PPG, 85% from the free throw line in league play
Isaac Mushila | 6-5 | F | Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
A year after leading his team to a Southland tournament title, Mushila (15.1 PPG, 9.6 RPG) has led his team to a regular-season title.
Top competition: Demarcus Sharp | 6-3 | G | Northwestern State Demons | 20.9 PPG in league play (No. 1 in the conference)
Max Abmas | 6-0 | G | Oral Roberts Golden Eagles
As the Summit League preseason Player of the Year, Abmas (23.5 PPG, 40% from the 3-point line in league play) has lived up to the hype and continues his reign as one of the most impressive mid-major players in Division I history, leading ORU to an 18-0 record in league action.
Top competition: Zeke Mayo | 6-3 | G | South Dakota State Jackrabbits | 21.1 PPG, 42% from the 3-point line in league play; 14 league games with 18 points or more
Taevion Kinsey | 6-5 | G | Marshall Thundering Herd
Thriving in Dan D'Antoni's system, which orchestrated a top-10 pace nationally, Kinsey (22.9 PPG, 5.4 APG in league play) dominated this season and has helped his team contend for the league title.
Top competition: Jordan Brown | 6-11 | C | Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns | 19.3 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 58% clip inside the arc
Jeremiah Kendall | 6-6 | C | Alcorn State Braves
Alcorn State enters the final week of the regular season with a chance to win its second consecutive conference title, thanks to Kendall averaging 14.6 PPG and 8.0 RPG in league play while also connecting on 57% of his shots inside the arc.
Top competition: Cameron Christon | 6-6 | F | Grambling Tigers | 13.2 PPG, 37% from the 3-point line in league play
Qua Grant | 6-1 | G | Sam Houston Bearkats
With Grant (14.6 PPG in league play), a Wichita State transfer, on the floor this season, Sam Houston has connected on 50% of its shots inside the arc and 38% of its 3-point attempts, per hooplens.com.
Top competition: Rayshon Harrison | 6-4 | G | Grand Canyon Lopes | 20.2 PPG in league play
West Coast Conference
Drew Timme | 6-10 | F | Gonzaga Bulldogs
Believe it or not, Timme (20.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG) is eligible to return for another season and lead Gonzaga to another West Coast Conference championship.
Top competition: Logan Johnson | 6-2 | G | Saint Mary's Gaels | 17.7 PPG, 1.5 SPG