Previously Denzel Valentine was awarded the title of AP Player of the Year behind numbers not seen on the collegiate level before. While some argued Buddy Hield should have been given the title, the senior picked up the Naismith Trophy a day after being eliminated from the NCAA Tournament. Splitting the share of major honors 5-4 in favor of Valentine heading into Friday, only the Wooden Award remained unclaimed.
The six traditional, major awards:
Associated Press: Valentine
Naismith Award: Hield
National Association of Basketball Coaches: Valentine
Oscar Robertson Award: Hield
Sporting News: Hield
Wooden Award: Hield
POY awards from mainstream outlets:
CBS Sports: Hield
USA Today: Valentine
Sports Illustrated: Valentine
As fans looked on in Los Angeles, finally a name was called. That name was none other than the Oklahoma Sooners' Buddy Hield. Adding the Wooden Award to a collection growing in number, Hield evened the score 5-5 with Michigan State Spartan, Valentine. Could the post season have helped Hield's cause? Only the voters have the answer to that question.
Regardless, the performance put on by both contenders will be remembered for years to come.