March Madness is upon us once again and as we wait as to which collegiate team wins the NCAA Tournament championship this year, Let’s take a look at which five Universities are best represented in the current NBA season.
Please note that the basis here is the opening day roster of NBA’s 2017-18 season. Here are the Top 5 NBA factories out there:
5. University of California, Los Angeles ( 15 players )
The UCLA Bruins have a history of producing NBA superstars. Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Walton, Marques Johnson, Kiki VanDeweghe and Reggie Miller are among the few. Currently, the Bruins’ #1 alumnus is reigning MVP Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the most recent NBA draft, UCLA guard Lonzo Ball was picked 2nd overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. But let’s not talk about him anyway. Let’s go back to Russell Westbrook. Do you know who Russ’ roommate at UCLA was ? Kevin Love.
In fact, Westbrook and Love played on the 2007-08 UCLA team that also had Darren Collison and Luc Mbah Moute on its roster. This group reached the NCAA Tournament Final Four where they lost to Memphis 63-75. While they didn’t win it all that year, the Bruins own the record for most NCAA men’s titles with 15, an NCAA basketball record they share with the University of Connecticut Lady Huskies.
Chicago Bulls: Zach LaVine
Cleveland Cavaliers: Kevin Love
Golden State Warriors: Kevon Looney
Houston Rockets: Trevor Ariza
Houston Rockets: Luc Mbah a Moute
Indiana Pacers: Ike Anigbogu
Indiana Pacers: Darren Collison
Indiana Pacers: TJ Leaf
Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball
Minnesota Timberwolves: Shabazz Muhammad
New Orleans Pelicans: Jrue Holiday
Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook
Orlando Magic: Arron Afflalo
San Antonio Spurs: Kyle Anderson
Toronto Raptors: Norman Powell
Fantasy Starting Five: Ike Anigbogu- center, Kevin Love -power forward, Trevor Ariza- small forward, Jrue Holiday-shooting guard, Russell Westbrook- point guard.
4. University of North Carolina ( 15 players )
Who doesn’t know the University of North Carolina? This is only the school that produced the greatest basketball player of all-time, none other than the GOAT Michael Jordan himself. Jordan led the Tar Heels to the 1982 title and if you can remember that iconic image, MJ hit the ‘shot’ that won it all for UNC.
Right now, the Tar Heels don’t have a marquee star like the Bruins have Westbrook. However, they have the right to the Oldest active player in the NBA in Vince Carter. The 41 year old Carter was drafted in 1998 and is now in his 20th NBA season. Only Carter, Manu Ginobili, Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki are current and active NBA players who were born before 1980.
The University of North Carolina has produced a total of 48 first round picks, 16 of them under the program of Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams.
Brooklyn Nets: Tyler Zeller
Charlotte Hornets: Marvin Williams
Dallas Mavericks: Harrison Barnes
Detroit Pistons: Reggie Bullock
Los Angeles Clippers: Brice Johnson
Memphis Grizzlies: Brandan Wright
Miami Heat: Wayne Elllington
Milwaukee Bucks: John Henson
Oklahoma City Thunder: Raymond Felton
Philadelphia 76ers: James Michael McAdoo*
Portland Trail Blazers: Ed Davis
Sacramento Kings: Vince Carter
Sacramento Kings: Justin Jackson
San Antonio Spurs: Danny Green
Utah Jazz: Tony Bradley
Fantasy Starting Five: Tyler Zeller - center, John Henson- power forward, Wayne Ellington-small forward, Harrison Barnes-shooting guard, Reggie Bullock- point guard.
3. University of Kansas ( 16 players )
The Kansas Jayhawks don’t just have the third most players in the NBA’s 2017-18 season opening day rosters. They also have one of the youngest group of players currently in the league. 10 of Kansas’ 16 NBA players were drafted in 2013 or later. Four of these 10 players are Top 7 picks in the NBA draft. These include Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves ( #1 overall in 2013 ) and Joel Embiid ( #3 overall in 2014 ).
The oldest KU player in the league today? None other than the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Nick Collison who was the #12 overall pick in 2003 by the then Seattle Supersonics. As a trivia, the first coach in the history of the University of Kansas is none other than the inventor of basketball himself, Dr. James Naismith. However, Naismith stands as the only coach in Jayhawks’ history to have a losing record.
Boston Celtics: Marcus Morris
Dallas Mavericks: Jeff Withey
Denver Nuggets: Darrell Arthur
Houston Rockets: Tarik Black
Memphis Grizzlies: Mario Chalmers
Memphis Grizzlies: Wayne Selden
Memphis Grizzlies: Ben McLemore
Minnesota Timberwolves: Cole Aldrich
Minnesota Timberwolves: Andrew Wiggins
New Orleans Pelicans: Cheick Diallo
Oklahoma City Thunder: Nick Collison
Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid
Phoenix Suns: Josh Jackson
Sacramento Kings: Frank Mason
Washington Wizards: Kelly Oubre Jr.
Washington Wizards: Markieff Morris
Fantasy Starting Five: Joel Embiid-center, Markieff Morris-power forward, Kelly Oubre Jr.-small forward, Andrew Wiggins-shooting guard, Mario Chalmers- point guard.
2. Duke University ( 20 players )
The Blue Devils of Duke are the second most represented school in the NBA today with 20. Leading the way is superstar point guard Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics. Irving was a one and done freshman at Duke in 2010-11 before he was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 1st overall pick in 2011.
Aside from Irving, Duke boasts of young superstars like Jabari Parker, Brandon Ingram and Jayson Tatum. As to elder statesmen Duke has the likes of J.J. Redick of the Philadelphia 76ers and Luol Deng of the Los Angeles Lakers. Duke has appeared in 11 NCAA title games and has won a total of five, fourth all time behind UCLA, North Carolina and Kentucky.
Atlanta Hawks: Miles Plumlee
Boston Celtics: Kyrie Irving
Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum
Dallas Mavericks: Seth Curry
Dallas Mavericks: Josh McRoberts
Denver Nuggets: Mason Plumlee
Detroit Pistons: Luke Kennard
Los Angeles Clippers: Austin Rivers
Los Angeles Lakers: Luol Deng
Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram
Miami Heat: Justise Winslow
Milwaukee Bucks: Jabari Parker
Minnesota Timberwolves: Tyus Jones
New Orleans Pelicans: Frank Jackson
New York Knicks: Lance Thomas
Oklahoma City Thunder: Kyle Singler
Philadelphia 76ers: Jahlil Okafor
Philadelphia 76ers: JJ Redick
Sacramento Kings: Harry Giles
Utah Jazz: Rodney Hood
Fantasy starting five: Mason Plumlee- center, Brandon Ingram- power forward, Jayson Tatum- small forward, J.J. Redick-shooting guard, Austin Rivers-point guard.
1. University of Kentucky ( 25 )
Considered as the most successful NCAA Division 1 school in men’s basketball, the University of Kentucky has the most wins all-time ( 2,256 ) and best winning percentage ( .755 ). They are also ranked 2nd in terms of NCAA championships with 8. They also hold the record for most players drafted in the NBA ( 121 ) and #1 overall picks ( 3 ).
Of the 25 Wildcats on the NBA’s opening day roster, four come from both the New Orleans Pelicans and the Phoenix Suns. There are several franchise players in this group, including John Wall of the Washington Wizards, Karl Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans and Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns.
Fantasy starting five: DeMarcus Cousins-center, Anthony Davis- power forward, Michael Kidd Gilchrist-small forward, Devin Booker- shooting guard, John Wall-point guard
Charlotte Hornets: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Charlotte Hornets: Malik Monk
Dallas Mavericks: Nerlens Noel
Denver Nuggets: Trey Lyles
Denver Nuggets: Jamal Murray
Los Angeles Lakers: Julius Randle
Memphis Grizzlies: Andrew Harrison
Miami Heat: Bam Adebayo
Milwaukee Bucks: DeAndre Liggins
Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns
New Orleans Pelicans: DeMarcus Cousins
New Orleans Pelicans: Anthony Davis
New Orleans Pelicans: Darius Miller
New Orleans Pelicans: Rajon Rondo
Oklahoma City Thunder: Dakari Johnson
Oklahoma City Thunder: Patrick Patterson
Phoenix Suns: Eric Bledsoe
Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker
Phoenix Suns: Tyler Ulis
Phoenix Suns: Brandon Knight
Sacramento Kings: Willie Cauley-Stein
Sacramento Kings: De'Aaron Fox
Sacramento Kings: Skal Labissiere
Washington Wizards: Jodie Meeks
Washington Wizards: John Wall
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