by Jackie Nash and Robbie Imes, 10 min read
This year's March Madness more than lived up to the annual hype. Sixty-seven games were played over three weeks, which was a lot of energy — and bandwidth — even for the most hardcore fans. Reliable internet from AT&T Fiber meant fans got to catch every upset and buzzer-beating shot - but more on that shortly.
Now, with the NCAA tournament complete, the 2021 NBA Draft has taken center stage for many talented NBAprospects, and it's time to crank up the heat ahead of this year's highly anticipated draft lottery, scheduled for June 22.
We've got the top three draft picks ahead of the annual NBA event (players have either declared or are expected to declare).
1. CADE CUNNINGHAM
G | 6'8 | 220 lbs | OKLAHOMA STATE | FRESHMAN
After a historic freshman season at Oklahoma State, star point guard Cade Cunningham is officially NBA bound — and he's widely considered the frontrunner for the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft.
While Cunningham generated a great deal of buzz for his perimeter scoring this season — he led the Big 12 in scoring with an average of 20.2 points per game and had seven games with 25 or more points — it's his phenomenal playmaking and passing that separate him from other top prospects. He could be a huge addition to a team like the Houston Rockets or Minnesota Timberwolves, who are focused on rebuilding this year.
"I could say with pretty good confidence he could have whatever seat in here he wants, including mine," said Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Boynton.
2. JALEN SUGGS
G | 6'4 | 205 lbs | GONZAGA | FRESHMAN
Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga's 6-foot-4 freshman phenom, put a stamp on his college career when he hit a 40-foot buzzer-beater — one of the most impressive shots in March Madness history — in overtime against UCLA in the Final Four, sending the Zags to the national championship.
While Gonzaga ultimately failed in its bid for a perfect season with its 86-70 loss to Baylor in the tourney final, Suggs stood out as one of the Zags' only players to record a decent game, scoring 22 points on 15 field goals, hitting a pair of clutch threes, and recording three assists and two steals. And he showed as much poise in articulating how he was going to save the Zags' historic season as he did in saving it.
"When dreams start to become realities ... those are things you've got to cherish," Suggs said. "You're never going to get another moment like this. You'll never be able to relive this."
Somewhat lost amid Suggs's rising hoops profile is a history as a multi-sport star athlete, including a football career once ripe with professional promise — he was Minnesota's Mr. Basketball and Mr. Football — adding an unequivocal "it” factor to his draft stock.
"He was one of the best natural football players I've ever watched live," said Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck. "He was truly a man amongst boys. He could do whatever he wanted."
With his maturity, poise, playmaking, powerful defense and intangibles during the 2020-21 season and NCAA tournament, Suggs has made quite a name for himself among NBA scouts and fans alike, and is projected as a top-three draft pick with the potential to clinch the top seat.
3. EVAN MOBLEY
C | 7'0 | 210 lbs | USC | FRESHMAN
Every NBA team has done its homework when it comes to Evan Mobley.
While Cunningham remains the favorite, Mobley has made a great play for the No. 1 spot with his quickness, massive defensive upside, 7-foot-5 wingspan and shot-blocking skills. He led USC to a 22-7 campaign and a surprise appearance in the Elite Eight this season, recording a whopping 95 blocks along the way and finishing first nationwide for the highest box plus-minus — beating out Player of the Year Luka Garza.
Mobley isn't afraid to step outside the block and is a highly skilled, open-floor ball-handler for his size, drawing comparisons to LaMarcus Aldridge and Chris Bosh. He also has a promising shooting touch.
The dynamic 19-year-old center would be a great pickup for a team looking to strengthen its defensive presence like the Cleveland Cavaliers.
HOW AT&T FIBER MADE MARCH MADNESS 2021 A SLAM DUNK
So, how did AT&T Fiber's bandwidth make March Madness even more enjoyable? With faster internet speeds, it made this season one where everyone had a ball.
For fans of college basketball, Fiber speed can help access the ultimate in courtside games.
Below are some of the big ways March Madness rocked us, all without the worry of low bandwidth or slow, unreliable connections.
No one missed a play
With AT&T Fiber, fans could stream all the b-ball action on multiple devices 1. They didn't miss a minute of the action, even if others at home were online. And if another member of the family wasn’t a basketball fan, but still wanted the benefit of fast internet access, no worries. They get the most from their streaming devices with the benefits of AT&T Fiber.
1 Number of devices depends on screen size/resolution
Fans scored big with smart internet
Wi-Fi 6 is the latest and greatest in Wi-Fi technology. With breakthrough Wi-Fi 6 speeds, fans with Wi-Fi 6accessed the fastest and most reliable connectivity in the entire home 1 and enjoyed the games with winning power. The new Gateway and Wi-Fi 6 delivers more coverage to more areas of the home than ever 3, so fans with Wi-Fi 6 didn't even need to worry about where to watch the game – any room in the house was court side.
1 Subject to eligibility. Optimal performance requires Wi-Fi 6 enabled devices. Whole-home Wi-Fi connectivity may require AT&T Smart Wi-Fi Extender(s) sold separately.
3 Faster Wi-Fi throughput for Wi-Fi 6 enabled devices.
Action the way it was intended
AT&T Internet service offers 99% reliability 4 to stream, surf, play and download all the entertainment families can watch. What does that have to do with the March Madness experience? It means even when fans' families are busy with schoolwork, of even online gaming, they can watch the games with reliable downloads to their favorite devices with the worry of lag. The ball was fully in your court.
4Based on network availability.
AT&T Fiber offers fans of March Madness – and so much more – an internet service that is fast and strong. Get in on the action now, as the next season is just around the corner!
Limited availability. May not be available in your area. Call or go to att.com/getfiber to see if you qualify.
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The information included within this article is AT&T sponsored content written by Currently Media editorial contributor Robbie Imes. The statements in this article are his own and don’t reflect the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T.