Oscar Tshiebwe and Ochai Agbaji title the finalists of the Wooden Award

Oscar Tshiebwe of Kentucky and Ochai Agbaji of Kansas are among the five finalists competing for the 2022 John Wooden Award.

The five finalists for the Wooden Award for college basketball’s most outstanding player were announced Wednesday, with some big hitters vying for the honor.

Ochai Agbaji from Kansas, Johnny Davis from Wisconsin, Keegan Murray from Iowa, Drew Timme from Gonzaga and Oscar Tshiebwe from Kentucky are still in the running.

Coming to the NCAA tournament, Tshiebwe was considered the favorite to win the award. He’s averaged 17.4 points and 1.6 blocks this season while recovering at a ridiculous rate of 15.1 per game average.

However, Tshiebwe and Kentucky were stunned by Saint Peter’s No. 15 in the first round, putting a damper on his candidacy. Voting ended on March 21st after the big surprise on opening day of the tournament.

Agbaji is averaging 18.9 points for Kansas and could snag the award if Tshiebwe doesn’t get enough votes.

Oscar Tshiebwe and Ochai Agbaji are finalists for the Wooden Award

The Wooden Award winner will be announced Tuesday, April 5 on ESPN.

Candidates on the ballot who did not make it include Duke’s Paolo Banchero, Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn, Villanova’s Collin Gillespie, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, Purdue’s Jaden Ivey, UCLA’s Johnny Juzang, and Auburn’s Walker Kessler Jabari Smith, Ohio State’s EJ Liddell and Arizona’s Benedict Mathurin.

Of the 15 candidates on the ballot, only Agbaji, Banchero and Gillespie managed to keep their teams in March Madness through the final weekend of promotions. Agbaji will lead his Jayhawks against Gillespie’s Wildcats in Saturday’s Final Four, leaving one of them fighting for the national championship this year. Banchero must get Duke past rival UNC to compete in the title game.

The Wendy’s All-American team, also announced Wednesday, consists of the top voters for the Wooden Award. The five finalists were joined for the honor by Cockburn, Holmgren, Ivey, Mathurin and Smith.

For more NCAA basketball news, analysis, opinion and features, visit the FanSided College Basketball section to keep up with the latest promotions. Oscar Tshiebwe and Ochai Agbaji title the finalists of the Wooden Award

John Verrall

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