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March 28, 2007The final Wooden Award ballot has been in the hands of voters for a few weeks now.
It is composed of 22 players ? nine seniors, nine juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen (click here for the full list). It's only the second time in Wooden Award history that freshmen have appeared. The first was North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough a year ago.
The guys who follow him have been two of the biggest stories all season, Texas' Kevin Durant and Ohio State's Greg Oden. There's an excellent chance one will become the first to win one of college basketball's top honor.
They were 1-2 on my ballot.
I waited until the last day to fill out my ballot (I did it online on Monday) because I place great importance on postseason play. To the credit of my 1,000-plus fellow voters, only three of the 22 finalists for the Wooden Award played on teams that didn't make the NCAA Tournament. I cast a vote for just one of the three.
You won't find any Florida Gators on my ballot. While they very well may become the first team to repeat as national champion since Duke in 1992, no one individual stood out enough to me. The Gator I believe had the best season, Al Horford, didn't make the list of finalists. Teammates Taurean Green, Joakim Noah and Corey Brewer did.
Here is my ballot for the 2007 Wooden Award and why I voted the way I did:
Bob McClellan is the college basketball editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.