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Purdue's Edey, Tennessee's Knecht, UNC's Davis headline the AP men's college All-America teams

For the second straight year, Purdue's Zach Edey is the unanimous headliner for The Associated Press men's college basketball All-America team.

The 7-foot-4, 300-pound senior topped all 62 ballots from AP Top 25 poll voters in results released Tuesday. The reigning AP national player of the year claimed all 58 votes last year.

Tennessee's Dalton Knecht and North Carolina's RJ Davis joined Edey (310 points) in a clear top trio. Knecht (298) was a first-team pick on 56 ballots, Davis (296) on 55 and both appeared among the top 10 players on every ballot.

Houston's Jamal Shead and Tristen Newton of reigning NCAA champion Connecticut rounded out the first team.

Edey leads the country in scoring at 24.4 points and ranks third in rebounding (11.7). Named the AP's Big Ten player of the year for a second straight time, Edey has the chance to be the first player to repeat as AP national player of the year since another 7-4 star: Virginia's Ralph Sampson in 1981, 1982 and 1983.

Edey became Purdue's career scoring leader during a loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament.

“The thing here is, at the end of the day, he won’t take credit for himself,” teammate Braden Smith said. “He’ll always point to us and say he got here because of us and we were helping him. Awesome accomplishment for him.”

Knecht, a 6-6 transfer from Northern Colorado, is the AP's Southeastern Conference player of the year. He is only the fourth Volunteer to earn first-team honors, joining Grant Williams (2019), Dale Ellis (1983) and Bernard King (1977) after averaging 21.1 points to help the Volunteers win their first SEC regular-season crown since 2008.

“His journey is one that you kind of read about, like fairy-tale type deals,” Vols associate head coach Justin Gainey said. “Just to see him get to this point and achieve what he's achieved, it's amazing. But it goes to his hard work, his work ethic, his mindset, his confidence and belief in himself.”

Davis, a 6-0 guard, led was named the AP player of the year for the Atlantic Coast Conference after averaging a league-best 21.4 points. He is UNC's first first-team AP All-American since 2017.

“RJ has been our closer, and in (close games) it's a huge luxury to know you can put the ball in our guard's hands and he'll either make the right shot or make the right play,” big man Armando Bacot said of Davis during the ACC Tournament.

Shead, a 6-1 senior, has been the floor leader for a Houston team that won the Big 12 regular-season crown in its first year in the rugged league. The honor for Shead, the AP player of the year in the Big 12, follows the Cougars having a first-team selection last year with guard Marcus Sasser.

Newton, a 6-5 graduate, has elevated his game to give UConn the look of a team that could become college basketball's first repeat champion since Florida in 2006 and 2007. With the departures of Final Four most outstanding player Adama Sanogo and Jordan Hawkins, Newton increased his scoring from 10.1 points last year to 15.2 points on the way to becoming the AP's player of the year in the Big East for the league champion.

Newton is UConn's first first-team AP All-American since Shabazz Napier in 2014.

SECOND TEAM

Marquette's Tyler Kolek headlined the second team and was the only other player to earn at least 10 first-team votes. The guard was an AP third-team All-American last season.

Alabama’s Mark Sears joined Kolek in the backcourt of that second quintet, which boasts an imposing front line with Dayton's DaRon Holmes II (6-10), Duke's Kyle Filipowski (7-0) and Kansas' Hunter Dickinson (7-2) — a second-team selection in 2021 when he was at Michigan.

THIRD TEAM

San Diego State's Jaedon LeDee led the third-team selections, joined by Auburn's Johni Broome, Pac-12 player of the year Caleb Love of Arizona and Creighton's Baylor Scheierman.

The final spot went to Illinois' Terrence Shannon Jr. (54 points), the nation's No. 3 scorer at 23 points per game.

HONORABLE MENTION

Kentucky's Antonio Reeves and Kansas' Kevin McCullar Jr. finished right behind Shannon to stand as the leading vote-getters among players who didn't make the All-America teams.

Players earned honorable-mention status if they appeared on multiple voters' ballots. While 21 players qualified, Reeves (52), McCullar (52) and Providence's Devin Carter (36) were the only players to get more than 15 points in voting from that group.

The honorable-mention list also included Bacot, a preseason All-American pick who was a third-team All-American last year.

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AP March Madness bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket and coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness