Thursday, March 10, 2011

You Need At Least One Superstar to Win the NCAA Title

Over the last 15 years, no team has won the NCAA Title without a future first round pick on the roster. (Duke projects to have at least two first rounders from the 2009 team although none has officially declared yet for the draft.)

It stands to reason that the best teams would have the best players.

Check out this chart which identifies the players picked highest in the draft following a title:

1996 Kentucky Walker Mercer Delk McCarty Anderson
1997 Arizona Bibby Terry
1998 Kentucky Mohammed Magloire
1999 Connecticut Hamilton
2000 Michigan State Richardson Cleaves Peterson
2001 Duke Williams Dunleavy Boozer Battier Duhon
2002 Maryland Wilcox Blake Dixon
2003 Syracuse Anthony Warrick
2004 Connecticut Gordon Okafor Armstrong Villanueva Boone
2005 North Carolina Williams May Felton McCants
2006 Florida Noah Brewer Horford
2007 Florida Noah Brewer Horford Speights
2008 Kansas Aldrich Rush Arthur Chalmers
2009 North Carolina Hansbrough Lawson Ellington Davis
2010 Duke Smith Singler Plumlee

What does that mean? Well, using ESPN's Top 100 Rankings, we can safely assume one of the following teams will win this year's title:

Team ESPN Rank - Top Prospect
Ohio State 3 - Sullinger
Arizona 4 - Williams
North Carolina 6 - Barnes
Kentucky 8 - Jones
Texas 12 - Thompson
San Diego State 13 - Leonhard
Connecticut 15 - Walker
Brigham Young 16 - Fredette
Kansas 17 - Robinson
Morehead State 18 - Faried
Duke 19 - Plumlee
Colorado 21 - Burks
Florida 25 - Young
Georgia 28 - Thompkins
Florida State 31 - Singleton
Richmond 32 - Harper
Tennessee 35 - Harris
Purdue 38 - Johnson
Texas A&M 39 - Middleton

Not exactly rocket science, but it helps to eliminate some teams (Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, and Wisconsin to name a few) thought to be contenders.

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