Orlando Magic 2022 NBA Draft: 3 rising, 3 falling after the NCAA Tournament

Ochai Agbaji and Kansas celebrated a national championship and made a statement ahead of the NBA Draft. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Ochai Agbaji and Kansas celebrated a national championship and made a statement ahead of the NBA Draft. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ochai Agbaji, Kansas Jayhawks
Ochai Agbaji is the rare senior who is making noise in the NBA Draft process. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

The Kansas Jayhawks were down 15 at the half against the North Carolina Tar Heels on Monday night. It felt like the Tar Heels’ season of destiny, going from 8-seed to ending rival Mike Krzyzewski’s incredible career in the Final Four, was going to end in a title.

Cinderella finally saw the clock strike midnight as Bill Self’s Kansas team methodically broke the lead down. The final plays came down to David McCormack’s pair of hook shots on deep post-ups to give the Jayhawks a three-point lead.

North Carolina ran out of magic, missing two 3-pointers in the final minutes as the team tried to get a grip back on the game and the lead.

It was a wildly entertaining end to a wildly entertaining tournament. And Kansas, quietly going through the season all year, quietly went through the NCAA Tournament and picked up their first title since 2008.

Now the attention in the basketball world turns to the upcoming NBA Playoffs. The basketball never stops.

With the NCAA Tournament now over, the NBA Draft enters a new phase as teams evaluate the complete seasons and weigh how much these pressure games matter in the evaluation.

For the college players, their focus will now turn to the upcoming NBA Draft as they prepare for their offseason.

The Orlando Magic already seem focused on that part. The team is in a sink to the bottom to secure not just the top odds but the worst record in the league. Or at least it feels that way. The Magic’s future will be on the back of some ping pong balls.

And so the end of the college basketball season allows everyone to close the book on the draft prospects. The next time everyone focuses on these players — the players who may well shape this franchise’s future — will be at the NBA Draft Combine in mid-May.

The NCAA Tournament is the most visible moment for all of the prospects entering the NBA Draft. More eyes are on them for those games as NBA fans take a break for the pageantry of the tournament. It is always a bad idea to put too much stock into these games.

But they still reveal something. After all, everyone wants to see how these players perform in high-pressure situations. And everyone likes players who win.

They may be moving up only a spot with a good performance or down a spot with a bad one on various big boards. But that could be the difference when it is your turn to pick.

The Magic are obviously focused a lot on the top of the board. But there are plenty of players who showed out at the NCAA Tournament. And plenty of players who had more questions raised about them.

With Kansas finishing off cutting down the nets. Let’s take a look at three players who rose and three players who left some questions as the NCAA Tournament closes.