The award, created in 1976 to recognize college basketball's most outstanding player, will be revealed on ESPN's College Basketball Awards show broadcast April 7 on ESPN2.
Of the finalists, only Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss is still playing. The junior guard has helped lead the Bulldogs to their first-ever Final Four appearance. He leads the team scoring 16.7 points per game with 4.6 assists per game and is second in rebounding average with 5.9 per game.
Kansas guard Frank Mason III did his best to join Williams-Goss in Glendale, Arizona, for the Final Four. Instead, the Jayhawks came up short in the Elite Eight, so Mason will have to settle for joining him in Los Angeles for the award. The 5-foot-11 senior guard led the Jayhawks averaging 20.9 points and 5.1 assists per game.
Villanova guard Josh Hart is the other senior finalist. The 6-foot-5 guard led the conference with 18.7 points per game, led the Wildcats with 6.4 rebounds per game and was second on the team with 3.0 assists. Hart was not only the Big East Player of the Year, he also was named the league's co-Defensive Player of the Year.
Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan led the nation with 28 double-doubles. There were only seven games in which he didn't attain double figures in both scoring and rebounding. Swanigan's 12.5 rebounding average was also second nationally. The 6-foot-9 sophomore known as "Biggie" also led the Boilermakers with 18.5 points per game.
The lone freshman finalist is UCLA's Lonzo Ball. The 6-foot-6 guard led the nation in assists with 7.6 per game and set a Pac-12 record for assists by a freshman with 274. Under Ball's floor leadership, the Bruins ranked second nationally in scoring offense averaging 89.8 points per game and second in adjusted offensive efficiency.
The five finalists are also included in the Wooden Awards' All-American Team. Two of its top 10, North Carolina junior forward Justin Jackson and Oregon junior forward Dillon Brooks, will face off in the Final Four on Saturday.
The trio rounding out the All-American team -- it is not divided into first and second teams -- consists of Kansas freshman forward Josh Jackson, Duke sophomore guard Luke Kennard and Kentucky freshman guard Malik Monk.