The Top 75 Players in the History of March Madness

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIIDecember 13, 2012

The Top 75 Players in the History of March Madness

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    The NCAA made history on Tuesday by releasing a list of the greatest players in March Madness history. This was the first time the organization did so, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the event.

    The list was not ranked, however, and that's where I come in. I have made a ranking of all 75 players that the NCAA voted as the best in NCAA tournament history.

    While every player could have had an argument for a top spot in the list, I have ranked their performances solely in the tournament and have come up with these rankings. Enjoy.

75. Jamaal Wilkes, UCLA

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    Dominance Factor: Dominant was definitely the word to describe Jamaal "Smooth as Silk" Wilkes. He was deadly from the corner, rarely missing to the point that announcer Chick Hearn called it the 20-foot layup.

    Greatest Feat: Wilkes' best performances in the NCAA tournament came in 1972 and 1973. During those years he was a key factor as he helped lead UCLA to back-to-back national titles under John Wooden and may have been the best player on the team if a guy named Bill Walton wasn't right next to him.

    Bottom Line: The 6'6" wing was deadly with his jumper, and he used it to the tune of 15.0 points per game in college on 51.4 percent shooting from the field. However, he was far from one-dimensional, also grabbing 7.4 rebounds per contest.

74. Bobby Joe Hill, Texas Western

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    Dominance Factor: Bobby Joe Hill didn't seem like an intimidating player at just 5'9", but the point guard was one of the best point guards in college basketball history. His quickness and playmaking ability were unmatched at the time, and he led Texas Western (UTEP) to its only national title in school history.

    Greatest Feat: Hill led the team to its only Elite Eight in history in 1966, and he kept the team rolling until it made it all the way to the championship game. The Miners played a No. 1-ranked Kentucky team that started an all-white starting five, whereas the Miners had an all-black starting five.

    Hill led the team to a seven-point victory behind two clutch steals that came back-to-back in the game and gave the team a lead that it never let go of.

    Bottom Line: Hill wasn't just a great player—he was historic. It was a big victory for sports when he led the Miners to a title, as it helped desegregation in sports by showing that blacks are just as good as whites. Hill was the key to the run, and he is the only player on the team to make this list.

73. Gail Goodrich, UCLA

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    Dominance Factor: Another short player at just 6'1", Gail Goodrich was an elite point guard who could score and facilitate. His excellent court vision and scoring ability made him one of the best players in UCLA history.

    Greatest Feat: In his senior season he led UCLA to a second-straight title in 1965, scoring a whopping 42 points in the championship game. That record stood for eight years and remains the second-best even today. It also would have outscored Butler in the 2011 national championship game.

    Bottom Line: There's a reason why Goodrich finished as the leading scorer in UCLA history. He was a small guy but found different ways to score. He was an incredible leader, bringing UCLA to its first 30-0 season in 1964 and compiling a 78-11 record in his three years at point guard, including the school's first two national titles.

72. Chris Mullin, St. John's

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    Dominance Factor: Chris Mullin led St. John's to four-consecutive NCAA tournament appearances because of his scoring prowess. He shot 55 percent in the regular season of his career and posted similar numbers in March.

    Greatest Feat: Mullin's senior season was his best, leading St. John's to the Final Four by averaging 22 points per game. He finished as the tournament's leading scorer, thanks to his incredible accuracy from the field and the stripe.

    Bottom Line: Mullin was a three-time All-American, part of the 1984 Olympic basketball team while still in college and the 1985 National Player of the Year. He could truly score from anywhere within 35 feet of the basket.

71. Stacey Augmon, UNLV

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    Dominance Factor: Stacey Augmon was a good player on offense, but he was dominant on defense. There was simply no player like him at the time, as he racked up three Defensive Player of the Year awards.

    Greatest Feat: Augmon led the Rebels to a national title in 1990. His defense and 14.2 points per game were enough to lift the team to its only title in history.

    Bottom Line: There was no one who could shut down opponents like Augmon. He was simply unbeatable, but he was also an impressive player on offense. He averaged over 15.3 points per game in his last three seasons with the Rebels, not to mention 7.3 rebounds, as he helped the team to its best years in school history.

70. Antawn Jamison, North Carolina

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    Dominance Factor: Antawn Jamison was an elite scorer in the month of March, always turning it on at the end of the season. In his career with UNC, he averaged nearly 18 points per game during the NCAA tournament, as well as 10.8 rebounds.

    Greatest Feat: Jamison was a consistent player throughout his career, racking up seven double-doubles in 10 NCAA tournament games. However, the most impressive feat was his streak of five-consecutive double-doubles during the 1997 NCAA tournament, leading North Carolina to a Final Four berth.

    Bottom Line: He was very consistent in both scoring and rebounding, and if he hadn't decided to forgo his senior season and last NCAA tournament, he would have been much higher on this list. His ability to get a double-double in just about any game is what made him such a great player, as he always found a way to make an impact.

69. Dan Issel, Kentucky

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    Dominance Factor: Dan Issel was a spectacular scorer for Kentucky in his four years at the program. He was a double-double machine, averaging 25.7 points and 13.0 rebounds per game during his collegiate career.

    Greatest Feat: Issel's greatest feat came against 1970 when he dropped a Kentucky record 44 points in a single game. That record still stands today, despite the incredible talent that has played for the Wildcats.

    Bottom Line: Issel was a freak. He was extremely talented and still holds the Kentucky record for points (2,138) and points per game (25.7), but he never got much help. He went 3-3 in his NCAA tournament career but deserved a better record.

68. Shelvin Mack, Butler

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    Dominance Factor: Shelvin Mack was good during the regular season, but he wasn't great. In the NCAA tournament, however, he was one of the best, averaging 20.9 points per game to lead Butler to back-to-back championship game appearances.

    Greatest Feat: No one even knew who Butler was before the 2010 NCAA tournament. Sure, some people had a vague idea of who the Bulldogs were from the year before when they lost to LSU, but no one actually expected anything from them.

    Just like that, Mack took an unknown and brought it to the championship game twice in a row.

    Bottom Line: Mack was at his finest in March. He always put on a show in the Big Dance, scoring double-digit points in all 13 tournament games. Mack even went for 30 against Pittsburgh in the 2011 tourney, as the Bulldogs won the game by a single point and went on to win three more games before falling to UConn in the title game.

67. Lennie Rosenbluth, North Carolina

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    Dominance Factor: Lennie Rosenbluth was one of the best scorers in college basketball history. He frequently netted 25 or 30 points in a game, and that didn't end in March.

    Greatest Feat: Rosenbluth was a great player in all of his NCAA tournaments, but the one that stands out was 1957. He averaged 28.0 points per game in that tourney, with the biggest 20 coming in a 54-53 triple-overtime win against Wilt Chamberlain's Kansas team in the final game to win it all.

    Bottom Line: Rosenbluth was always among the nation's best players. His superlative scoring ability made him impossible to defend, and he let every opponent know what that feels like in the Big Dance.

66. David Robinson, Navy

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    Dominance Factor: David Robinson stood at an impressive 7'0" by the time he graduated college, and he used his size to become the best player Navy has ever had. He owned the paint, plain and simple.

    Greatest Feat: Robinson's top moment came in the 1987 NCAA tournament. He scored 50 points, which set a school record—that still stands today—for most points in an NCAA tournament game, doing so on 22 made field goals.

    Bottom Line: Robinson was next to unstoppable. He killed it in March because of his size, which was practically an unfair advantage. He was tough to beat on defense and even tougher to stop on offense.

65. Elvin Hayes, Houston

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    Dominance Factor: Elvin Hayes was a beast. He absolutely dominated inside for Houston, being arguably the best big man in school history against Hakeem Olajuwon.

    Greatest Feat: Hayes had many great feats but none bigger than in a Final Four rematch with Lew Alcindor's UCLA Bruins in 1968. In the game Hayes went for 39 points and 15 boards, while holding Alcindor to just 15 points. The team won the rematch but would lose again in the third and final game, with both losses coming in the Big Dance.

    Bottom Line: He holds the school's NCAA tournament single-game records for points (49), field goals (20) and rebounds (28). He also consistently went for 20-20 games in March, leading Houston to two of the greatest seasons in school history.

64. Steve Alford, Indiana

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    Dominance Factor: Steve Alford did a lot of things right but none better than his ability to score. He could seemingly get the ball through the hoop from anywhere on the court, shooting 53 percent from three in the only season the stat was recorded.

    Greatest Feat: Alford's senior season came in 1987, which you may know as one of the years Indiana won it all. He helped IU to an impressive tournament run that culminated in the Hoosiers beating Syracuse 74-73.

    Bottom Line: Alford was one of the greatest players at one of the greatest schools in college basketball history. He set the scoring record while at Indiana, averaging 19.5 points per game in his career and 22.2 per game in his last two seasons. In fact, coach Bob Knight thought so highly of him that he was being thrown out of practice as a freshman.

63. Artis Gilmore, Jacksonville

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    Dominance Factor: There are those who dominate the paint, and then there is Artis Gilmore. Not only did he score 24.3 points per game in his career, but he also averaged an NCAA record 22.7 rebounds per game too.

    Greatest Feat: Gilmore played just two years at Jacksonville after using two years of eligibility at a junior college, but in 1970 he led the Dolphins all the way to the championship game, scoring at least 100 points per game before being stopped by UCLA in the title game. It remains one of just five trips to the Big Dance for the Dolphins, and their best by far.

    Bottom Line: At 7'2" it was almost unfair for Gilmore to be playing basketball. He was a one-man wrecking crew, and he led Jacksonville to the most success it has ever had.

62. Johnny Dawkins, Duke

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    Dominance Factor: Johnny Dawkins was Duke's go-to-guy from the minute he stepped on campus. He somehow led the Blue Devils in scoring all four years he was there, even against some of the best players in school history.

    Greatest Feat: Dawkins' senior season ended with Duke making it to the 1986 championship game, as he averaged 25.3 points per game throughout the tournament. He scored at least 24 points in all six games, nearly helping Duke win it all.

    Bottom Line: Dawkins was simply one of the best scorers to ever play the game. When he left Duke, he was the team's all-time leading scorer and helped the Blue Devils achieve a 37-3 record in the 1985-86 season.

61. Anthony Davis, Kentucky

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    Dominance Factor: He only played one year at Kentucky, but Anthony Davis won just about every award under the sun. He earned National Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-American and Most Outstanding Player honors.

    Greatest Feat: Davis only played in one NCAA tournament, and while his three double-doubles were impressive, his greatest feat came in the championship game. Davis was held without a field goal for most of the game, and he finished with just one. However, he found other ways to impact the game, going for 16 rebounds, six blocks, five assists and six points.

    Bottom Line: Davis was simply a freak. The freshman played like a senior throughout the tournament, and his MOP award shows that.

60. Clyde Drexler, Houston

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    Dominance Factor: Clyde Drexler was known for his play above the rim, as he was part of Houston's "Phi Slama Jama" basketball fraternity and initiated new members.

    Greatest Feat: Drexler helped Houston to back-to-back Final Fours, but his best performance came against Louisville in his junior season. He went for 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists, as he led the Cougars to the national championship game in his junior season.

    Bottom Line: Drexler was an incredible athlete who happened to play basketball. He was known for rocking the rim with some sick dunks, and he always put on a show. He never won a title with the Cougars, but he led the team to two of the best seasons in school history and might have won a championship if he had returned for his senior season.

59. Grant Hill, Duke

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    Dominance Factor: Grant Hill could do it all. On offense or on defense, he was capable of absolutely anything, becoming the first player in ACC history to rack up more than 1,900 points, 700 rebounds, 400 assists, 200 steals and 100 blocked shots.

    Greatest Feat: Hill's greatest feat did not come on a scoring play, but on a pass. We all know that Christian Laettner was the one who made the shot that beat Kentucky to go to the Final Four, but without Hill's pass it would have been pointless. That's logistics.

    Bottom Line: Frankly put, Hill was a winner. Forget about his 14.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.7 steals per game in his career. Just remember that he led Duke to three national championship games and two titles in his four years.

58. Kenny Anderson, Georgia Tech

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    Dominance Factor: Kenny Anderson was one of the best players in college basketball in his day. He was a dominant force that was even more pronounced because he left after just two seasons (scoring 26 points per game in his sophomore campaign).

    Greatest Feat: Anderson was a clutch player, and in his freshman season against favorite Michigan State in the Sweet 16 he hit a buzzer-beater to force overtime. The team won the game and eventually made it to the Final Four because of it.

    Bottom Line: Although he was a young player, Anderson was simply better than everybody else. He was among the game's best despite being an underclassman, and if he had stayed for his final two seasons there is no telling what he could have done.

57. Danny Ferry, Duke

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    Dominance Factor: Danny Ferry was the type of player who could dominate a game in many ways. He could score, rebound or facilitate, exemplified by becoming the first player in ACC history to accumulate over 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists.

    Greatest Feat: Ferry's greatest feat was not a one-game moment but lasted over his entire career. He led Duke to an incredible three Final Fours in his four seasons, always putting up great numbers and helping the Blue Devils in March.

    Bottom Line: Ferry was the type of player that every team needs. He averaged 22.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.6 steals per game in his senior season, as he led Duke to that third Final Four.

56. Darrall Imhoff, California

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    Dominance Factor: As a 6'10", 235-pound center, Darrall Imhoff was big enough to dominate in college. He was a great shot-blocker, rebounder and scorer for Cal during his time in Berkeley, helping the team to two incredible seasons.

    Greatest Feat: Imhoff was Cal's go-to guy, and in the 1959 championship game he took the winning shot, nailing it with just 17 seconds left.

    Bottom Line: Imhoff was always a key player for the Bears. He was the leading rebounder on the 1959 championship team and the leading scorer and rebounder on the 1960 runner-up team. Now a part of the Cal Hall of Fame, he remains one of the best players in school history.

55. Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina

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    Dominance Factor: Tyler Hansbrough was simply a beast. He dominated at the college level, averaging 20.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in his career.

    Greatest Feat: Hansbrough might have averaged just 17.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game during the run, but he was vital in North Carolina's incredible 2009 title run in which the team won every game by at least 12 points.

    Bottom Line: Most fans still remember Hansbrough's dominance in the paint and his tenacity. He was not just a great player but also a great leader and teammate.

54. Ken Sailors, Wyoming

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    Dominance Factor: Ken Sailors was just 5'10", but he developed one of the great jump shots in early college basketball history. He was able to shoot over much taller players and became the best player in the country because of it.

    Greatest Feat: Sailors is the reason Wyoming won it all in 1943, carrying the team to its only national championship. He was also named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player because of it.

    Bottom Line: It was at an early age that Sailors developed his jumper against taller players. His 6'4" older brother was his main competition, and he eventually got used to shooting over big men. Thanks to a healthy amount of arc, he was rarely blocked and was selected as an All-American three times because of it.

53. Sidney Wicks, UCLA

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    Dominance Factor: Sidney Wicks played a year at Santa Monica College before going to UCLA, but in that time he became a dominant big man for the Bruins.

    Greatest Feat: Wicks was part of three national-championship squads in his three seasons in Westwood, but no tournament was more impressive than in 1970, when he won the Most Outstanding Player award, averaging 19.5 points and 17.0 rebounds per game in the Final Four.

    Bottom Line: Wicks was a winner. He never lost a game in the NCAA tournament with the Bruins and helped bring three titles to Westwood. Winning National Player of the Year honors in 1970 as well, he is in the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

52. Kent Benson, Indiana

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    Dominance Factor: Kent Benson was a 6'10" big man who was one of the best players in the history of Indiana basketball. He was able to control the paint throughout his career, averaging 17.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game in his final three seasons.

    Greatest Feat: Benson was part of the last truly great team in college basketball. He helped Indiana to an undefeated regular season and postseason in 1975-76, which still remains as the last team to do so.

    Bottom Line: Benson was given the chance to flourish in his last three seasons, and he did so. He finished his career as one of the most talented players to play under Bob Knight at Indiana, and he remains the second-best rebounder in school history.

51. Scott May, Indiana

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    Dominance Factor: Scott May was another part of Indiana's undefeated season in 1976, and thanks to his 22.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game the team was able to go an entire year without losing.

    Greatest Feat: May was the leading scorer on that undefeated team, and in that season he also won National Player of the Year honors.

    Bottom Line: May only played for one full postseason, and that came in 1976. He averaged 22.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in those five games, while carrying Indiana to a title. Who knows what the team could have done the year before if he hadn't broken his arm late in the season?

50. Tom Thacker, Cincinnati

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    Dominance Factor: Tom Thacker was lights out from the first time he stepped on the court. Most of his notable accomplishments came in his first two seasons because he was simply so good that he adjusted quickly.

    Greatest Feat: Thacker helped Cincinnati beat Ohio State in the national championship game in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. He averaged 18.0 points per game in the two contests, leading the Bearcats to their first two national titles.

    Bottom Line: Thacker led the team to two national titles and three championship games. He was an All-American and a leader for three of the best teams Cincinnati has ever had.

49. Larry Johnson, UNLV

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    Dominance Factor: Larry Johnson was a ferocious player, averaging 21.7 points and 11.1 rebounds per game in his career with the Rebels. After transferring from Odessa College, he became one of the best players in the country, winning a National Player of the Year award in 1991.

    Greatest Feat: Johnson was only with the Rebels for two seasons, but he helped the team to back-to-back Final Four appearances. In UNLV's historic 103-73 rout of Duke in the 1990 national championship game, Johnson helped lead the team with 22 points and 11 boards.

    Bottom Line: Johnson was a very talented player who had very little time on the national stage. He was dominant when he played for Jerry Tarkanian's Rebels, and he helped the school to its only back-to-back Final Four appearances in history.

48. Elgin Baylor, Seattle

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    Dominance Factor: Elgin Baylor only played two seasons at Seattle, but the 6'5" Baylor made a huge splash, averaging 31.2 points and 19.8 rebounds per game.

    Greatest Feat: Baylor's greatest feat came when he led the school to the 1958 national championship game. He was the sole reason the team made it that far, obliterating opponents until Kentucky finally limited the damage and beat Seattle.

    Bottom Line: Baylor's career was a short one due to transfers, academic ineligibility and a few other unfortunate circumstances, but it was a great one. He has to be considered Seattle's best player in history. In 1958 he was the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player, averaging 24.0 points and 20.5 rebounds per game in the two contests.

47. Glen Rice, Michigan

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    Dominance Factor: There are few scorers like Glen Rice who ever played college ball. He was simply unstoppable and remains Michigan's all-time leading scorer.

    Greatest Feat: The 1989 NCAA tournament essentially became the Glen Rice Show. He scored a record 184 points in the tournament, leading Michigan to a title and earning MOP honors for his 29.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game in the Final Four.

    Bottom Line: Rice was a scoring threat from anywhere on the court, and he still owns nearly every Michigan record for scoring. He might be the greatest pure scorer in tournament history, and his 1989 tourney bolsters that argument.

46. Juan Dixon, Maryland

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    Dominance Factor: Juan Dixon's effort is what got him to Maryland, and it is also what helped him work his way up from a solid freshman to an All-American.

    Greatest Feat: Dixon led Maryland to its first Final Four in his junior season, and he returned to lead the Terps to their first national title in 2002. His 25.5 points and 3.5 steals per game helped him earn MOP honors as a senior, but I'm sure the title was what mattered most to him.

    Bottom Line: Dixon was the type of player who coaches love and every player should be. He put forth all the effort, and it paid off for him in the long haul. He was an All-American, an ACC Player of the Year and a champion when he left Maryland after averaging 19.5 points per game in his final two seasons.

45. Butch Lee, Marquette

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    Dominance Factor: Butch Lee is one of the biggest figures in Marquette basketball despite his 6'0" frame. He was a quick point guard who weaved in and out of the lane to find easy shots.

    Greatest Feat: In the 1977 semifinal game against UNC-Charlotte, Lee threw a full-court pass to find teammate Jerome Whitehead for a buzzer-beater to win the game 51-49. The team went on to beat North Carolina in the championship game, and Lee won MOP honors.

    Bottom Line: Lee is the biggest reason Marquette has its only national title, as his heroics against UNC-Charlotte and 19 points against North Carolina led the team. He commanded the offense and was a tight defender, becoming the type of player that everyone else looked to for leadership and inspiration.

44. Tony Delk, Kentucky

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    Dominance Factor: Tony Delk was a lights-out shooter who was one of the SEC's best. In the 1996 Final Four, he shot an impressive 8-of-16 from three en route to his best performance as a Wildcat.

    Greatest Feat: 1996 was a great year for Delk. He helped Kentucky reach the national championship game and went off for 24 points in the game, leading the Wildcats to their sixth title.

    Bottom Line: Delk racked up the awards during his stint in Lexington, winning All-SEC honors three times, SEC Player of the Year once, being named an All-American and winning MOP honors once. He was a gifted shooter whose scoring prowess led the Wildcats to one of their eight championships.

43. Clyde Lovellette, Kansas

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    Dominance Factor: Clyde Lovellette was a tall, physical center who was a very imposing presence on the court. He was able to get the ball inside and become a high-scoring monster for Kansas.

    Greatest Feat: Lovellette's greatest feat encompassed the entire 1952 season, as he became the first and only player in history to lead the nation in scoring and win an NCAA tournament. He will likely be the only player to ever do so.

    Bottom Line: Lovellette was a tough man to stop. He was so big that even getting in his way didn't always help, and he just kept getting better. He went from averaging 21.8 points per game as a sophomore to 28.6 as a senior and 33.0 in the 1952 Final Four, earning MOP honors.

42. Sean Elliott, Arizona

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    Dominance Factor: Sean Elliott was the type of player who could come into a new system and immediately become the focal point. Even as a freshman he averaged 15.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

    Greatest Feat: Elliott always impressed but never so much as to set one example ahead of any others. However, I would say that his greatest accomplishment was bringing the Wildcats to their first Final Four in 1988.

    Bottom Line: Elliott was one of the best players Arizona has ever had. He was a two-time All-American, a National Player of the Year and left as the school's all-time leading scorer.

41. Keith Smart, Indiana

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    Dominance Factor: Keith Smart was a solid player throughout his career, but what made him special was his ability to come up clutch in March.

    Greatest Feat: The best example of Smart's ice-cold shooting came against Syracuse in the 1987 championship game. He drilled a jumper to give Indiana a one-point lead, and the Hoosiers went on to win the game because of it.

    Bottom Line: The 6'1" guard is not the type of player who could blow you away with his 12.2 points per game in his career, but boy did he come up big for Bob Knight's squad in the 1987 tournament.

40. Ralph Sampson, Virginia

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    Dominance Factor: Ralph Sampson was the definition of dominant. He was so good in the paint that no one could truly shut him down, as he racked up 2,000 points and 1,500 rebounds in his career.

    Greatest Feat: The best thing Sampson did was not collect awards but lead his team deep in the NCAA tournament. In his four years he went to three Elite Eights and two Final Fours with Virginia

    Bottom Line: The three-time Naismith Player of the Year and first two-time John R. Wooden Award winner was a beast. He is regarded as one of the best players in the history of the game after averaging at least 15 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks per game in all four seasons with the Cavaliers.

39. George Kaftan, Holy Cross

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    Dominance Factor: George Kaftan played a long time ago, but he is still smeared across the pages of college basketball lore. He wasn't known for his play in the regular season but turned it on in the Big Dance.

    Greatest Feat: In 1947 he led Holy Cross to a national championship, averaging 21 points per game during the tournament. He also won MOP honors in the process.

    Bottom Line: Kaftan dominated the 1947 tournament, and that performance has him listed as one of the greats in the month of March.

38. Paul Hogue, Cincinnati

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    Dominance Factor: Paul Hogue was a big fella. At 6'10" he was bigger than most other players in the early 1960's, and he was a tough man to beat.

    Greatest Feat: Hogue helped lead Cincinnati to back-to-back national championships against in-state rival Ohio State in 1961 and 1962, winning MOP honors in the second one.

    Bottom Line: He was a big guy who put his body to good use. He controlled the paint, earned two titles, MOP honors, National Player of the Year honors and the No. 2 overall pick in the 1962 NBA draft.

37. Corliss Williamson, Arkansas

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    Dominance Factor: Corliss Williamson was a 6'7" wing who was a very versatile player for Arkansas in the mid-1990s. He averaged 19.0 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game in his career during the regular season but stepped up when it mattered most.

    Greatest Feat: In March Williamson had a knack for coming up big. In 1994 he led the Razorbacks with 23 points as they beat Duke for the first national championship in school history. He was named MOP for his 26.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in the Final Four.

    Bottom Line: Williamson was good all year until he became great in March. He simply dominated in his three years at Arkansas, bringing the Razorbacks to some of the best years in school history, including a Sweet 16 and two national championship appearances.

36. Arnie Ferrin, Utah

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    Dominance Factor: Arnie Ferrin was dominant from start to finish at Utah, becoming the only Utes player in history to be named an All-American four times.

    Greatest Feat: In 1944 he led Utah to its first national championship, going for 22 points as the team rolled. He also led it to an NIT championship in 1947, a time when the NIT was just as big as the Big Dance.

    Bottom Line: Ferrin was a quick guard who loved to have the ball in his hands. He ran the offense well for Utah and brought the team to an unprecedented level of success.

35. Sean May, North Carolina

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    Dominance Factor: At 6'9" and 260 pounds, Sean May was one of the most powerful centers in college basketball history. He threw his body around in the paint at North Carolina to the tune of 15.8 points and 10.0 rebounds per game in the regular season in his career.

    Greatest Feat: May put the team on his considerably big back and carried it to the promise land. In 2005 he led the Tar Heels to a national title, scoring 26 points on 10-of-11 shooting and grabbing 10 boards in the championship game against Illinois. He also won MOP honors that year for his 24.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in the Final Four.

    Bottom Line: He was as good as he was big. May dominated in his three years at Chapel Hill, immediately helping the program and leading the team to a title before taking off for the NBA. He was a hero to UNC fans, and it is all because he had the size to bang down low.

34. Richard Hamilton, Connecticut

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    Dominance Factor: Richard Hamilton only played two seasons at UConn, but he is a big reason why the Huskies are a powerhouse today, putting the team on the map.

    Greatest Feat: "Rip" had a knack for theatrics, and no play was more of a heart attack than the final seconds of the team's 1999 Sweet 16 game against Washington. It took a few tries, but Hamilton snagged an offensive board and hit a fall-away jumper to give the Huskies a one-point victory and spark a run that ended with the team winning it all. Hamilton won MOP honors that year.

    Bottom Line: Hamilton was a sensational scorer who came up big when it mattered most. Averaging 25.5 points and six rebounds per game in the Final Four in 1999, he led the team to its first Final Four and national championship in school history.

33. Bobby Hurley, Duke

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    Dominance Factor: Bobby Hurley is the best point guard in college basketball history. He was an incredible facilitator and still holds the NCAA record for assists with 1,076.

    Greatest Feat: Hurley's ability to set up teammates was so good that he helped bring Duke to the greatest years in school history, going to three Final Fours and winning two national championships.

    Bottom Line: Hurley owned the month of March for Duke, helping the team to unprecedented success. He killed it in the Final Four in 1992, averaging 17.5 points and 5.5 assists per game, winning MOP honors. His greatest contribution was in the contributions of others, helping Christian Laettner and Grant Hill become some of the game's best.

32. Emeka Okafor, Connecticut

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    Dominance Factor: Emeka Okafor remains one of the most intimidating big men in college basketball history, absolutely owning the paint for UConn.

    Greatest Feat: Okafor's 2003-04 story was like a fairytale, as he overcame back issues that plagued him throughout the season to lead the Huskies to a national championship and won MOP honors for his 21.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in the Final Four.

    Bottom Line: The Big East Player of the Year, MOP, National Defensive Player of the Year and champion elevated UConn to its elite status, improving upon the work of "Rip" Hamilton. He was an incredible shot blocker and offensive threat, and he had one of the most complete games for a big man in history.

31. Miles Simon, Arizona

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    Dominance Factor: Let's put it this way: Miles Simon is the only member of a backcourt that also included Mike Bibby to make this list. He was a superlative scorer who was the best player Arizona had at the time and possibly ever.

    Greatest Feat: Simon was the leader of the 1997 team that beat three No. 1 seeds en route to a national championship, and he won MOP honors for his 27.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in the Final Four.

    Bottom Line: While Simon didn't have the NBA career that Bibby did, he was the better college player. He averaged 18.4 points and 4.7 assists per game during the 1997 regular season and played even better in the postseason. He is the reason why the school has its only national championship.

30. Isiah Thomas, Indiana

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    Dominance Factor: Isiah Thomas was a small player at 6'1" and 180 pounds, but the little guy had game. He became one of Indiana's quickest and most impressive point guards in history.

    Greatest Feat: Thomas was named a captain in his the 1980-81 season, and he responded well. He led Indiana to a national championship, scoring 23 points in the final game and earning MOP honors.

    Bottom Line: Thomas was an extremely talented player with an attitude problem. He and Bob Knight both had fiery personalities, but they meshed well together, and Thomas became one of the best point guards in the country under Knight.

29. Ed Pinckney, Villanova

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    Dominance Factor: Ed Pinckney was a fierce rebounder and a force inside.

    Greatest Feat: Pinckney helped lead the eighth-seeded Villanova Wildcats to the most impressive run in tournament history, upsetting Patrick Ewing's Georgetown Hoyas to win it all, setting an NCAA record for the lowest seed to ever do so. He also won MOP honors that year.

    Bottom Line: Pinckney took on Ewing and got the better of him, leading Villanova to a title. His 14.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in the Final Four made him the Most Outstanding Player, as he led the most extraordinary run in college basketball history.

28. Kemba Walker, Connecticut

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    Dominance Factor: Everybody remembers Kemba Walker's magical run at UConn in 2011, and it was because of his clutch shooting and sensational scoring that the Huskies were able to make the run.

    Greatest Feat: Walker led UConn to an improbable Big East tournament championship, winning five games in five days to take the crown. He then continued the streak in the NCAA tournament, scoring over 23 points per game and being named the Most Outstanding Player as the team won the national championship game over Butler.

    Bottom Line: After going to the Final Four as a freshman, he was better than ever as a junior, averaging 23.5 points per game and leading UConn to an outstanding 11-0 postseason record.

27. James Worthy, North Carolina

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    Dominance Factor: James Worthy was simply magical. He was a good player during the regular season but became a mythological hero in March.

    Greatest Feat: Worthy led North Carolina to the 1982 Final Four as a junior, shooting 20-of-27 from the floor and score 21.0 points per game as he led UNC to a title and won MOP honors.

    Bottom Line: 14.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game during the regular season is nice, but it pales in comparison against his lights-out shooting throughout the entire 1982 NCAA tournament. He simply couldn't miss, as he was the hottest player in the nation.

26. Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State

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    Dominance Factor: Mateen Cleaves was a quick, little guard that no one liked to play against. He simply disrupted offenses with his ability to knock the ball free, while dishing out assists and finding ways to score on offense.

    Greatest Feat: Cleaves was the best player in the 2000 NCAA tournament, leading Michigan State to a title behind his 14.5 points per game in the Final Four. He was simply too good throughout the course of the tournament, and the Spartans couldn't have won it without him.

    Bottom Line: Cleaves is one of the most decorated players in MSU history: a captain three times, All-American status three times (the only Spartan to ever do so), the Big Ten Player of the Year twice, led the conference in career assists and is still Michigan State's all-time leading steals leader. However, his greatest feat in his three seasons of play was winning a championship, leading Sparty to its second title.

25. Darrell Griffith, Louisville

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    Dominance Factor: Darrell Griffith was arguably the best scoring guard Louisville has ever had, averaging 20.1 points per game. He left as the school's all-time leading scorer despite playing just 116 games in his career.

    Greatest Feat: In his senior season he led Louisville to the 1980 championship game against UCLA, dropping 23 points and leading the Cardinals to their first title in the 59-54 win. He averaged 28.5 points and 7.5 assists in the Final Four that year.

    Bottom Line: The two-time All-American, National Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player was crucial in building Louisville up. He led the team to the first of two national championships, and his No. 35 jersey is now retired because of it.

24. David Thompson, North Carolina State

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    Dominance Factor: David Thompson was one of the greatest athletes in college basketball history. His 48-inch vertical was unthinkable, and he is credited for inventing the alley-oop.

    Greatest Feat: Thompson led North Carolina State to an undefeated regular season in 1973, but perhaps even better was that he led the Wolfpack to their first ever championship. He averaged 24.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in the Final Four en route to being named the MOP.

    Bottom Line: Thompson's athletic ability helped him to become one of the best players in the history of the ACC. He was named the ACC Player of the Year three times thanks to his 26.8 points and 8.1 rebounds per game over his career. He was unstoppable because of his ability to elevate, as this 6'4" guard could block centers throughout his career.

23. Jack Givens, Kentucky

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    Dominance Factor: Jack Givens was a scoring machine, racking up over 2,000 points during his time at Kentucky and ranking as the third-leading scorer in school history.

    Greatest Feat: When Givens came to Lexington, UK had not won it all since the days of Adolph Rupp, but he led the Wildcats to two national championship appearances and scored 41 points in the second to lead Kentucky to a title over Duke. He was also named MOP that year for his 32.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in the Final Four.

    Bottom Line: Givens was not just a scorer but also a leader. He paved the way for the Wildcats, and his 41 points in the title game remains one of the most outstanding games in NCAA tournament history. The three-time All-SEC forward is still one of the heroes of arguably the most prestigious school in college basketball history.

22. Danny Manning, Kansas

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    Dominance Factor: There's a reason why the 1988 Kansas Jayhawks were dubbed "Danny and the Miracles." Danny Manning was simply the best player Kansas has ever had thanks to his ability to score and rebound like no other player.

    Greatest Feat: Manning and the 1988 squad were not pegged to win it all by anyone, but he led an improbable run that ended with him going for 31 points, 18 rebounds, five steals and two blocks against Oklahoma in the championship game to win the title.

    Bottom Line: Manning finished with one of the most impressive careers in college basketball history, racking up award after award and finishing with 2,900 career points. The 1988 MOP and two-time All-American was also named as the conference's Player of the Decade.

21. Bill Bradley, Princeton

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    Dominance Factor: Bill Bradley was an elite scorer, and he still holds the record for most points scored in a single Final Four game. He is the sole reason why Princeton was ever truly relevant in the college basketball world.

    Greatest Feat: Bradley's greatest came in a loss. In 1965 he scored an incredible 58 points against Wichita State, but the team lost in the Final Four. He was still named MOP, however, with 43.5 points and 12.0 rebounds per game in the Final Four.

    Bottom Line: Bradley decided to turn down a scholarship to Duke and pay his full tuition at Princeton. That was the greatest day in Princeton basketball history. He then led the team to the greatest years in school history and its only Final Four appearance.

20. Bob Kurland, Oklahoma A&M

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    Dominance Factor: Bob Kurland is recognized as one of the first players to dunk on a regular basis, and his size helped him become arguably the best player in college basketball in the 1940s.

    Greatest Feat: Kurland led Oklahoma A&M to unprecedented success, putting the team on his back and carrying it to back-to-back national championships in 1945 and 1946, while earning MOP honors in both tournaments as well.

    Bottom Line: Kurland is the greatest player in school history. He was able to score 22.3 points per game in the Final Four, as he led the now-Oklahoma State Cowboys to their first NCAA tournament appearances in school history.

19. Joakim Noah, Florida

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    Dominance Factor: Joakim Noah was one of the best defensive big men in college basketball history, and he coupled that with a solid offensive game as well.

    Greatest Feat: Noah helped lead Florida to back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007. He set a championship-game record with six blocks in 2006. He was named MOP and averaged more than 11 points and 11 rebounds per game in the 2007 tournament.

    Bottom Line: Noah was key in Florida's two national titles under Billy Donovan. His defense was crucial down the stretch, as he controlled the paint and forced opponents to beat the Gators on the perimeter.

18. Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse

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    Dominance Factor: Carmelo Anthony was a larger-than-life figure in college basketball. As a freshman, he carried Syracuse to its only NCAA tournament championship in 2003.

    Greatest Feat: The Final Four really did become the Carmelo Anthony Show in 2003, as he averaged 26.5 points, 12.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game to win MOP honors.

    Bottom Line: Anthony is the only player from Syracuse on this list. Over guys like Dave Bing and Gerry McNamara, Anthony is the best tournament player in Orange history. His 22.2 points and 10.0 rebounds per game as a freshman were utterly ridiculous, as he owned college ball in 2003.

17. Pervis Ellison, Louisville

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    Dominance Factor: Pervis Ellison was an extremely mature player, and his ability to come up big in the clutch earned him the nickname "Never Nervous Pervis."

    Greatest Feat: In 1986 Ellison was just a freshman, but he was already the leader of a Louisville team that won it all. His 18.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per game in the Final Four earned him MOP honors, becoming just the second freshman to do so at the time.

    Bottom Line: Ellison started all four years at Louisville, thanks to his maturity. He was a great player from the minute he stepped on campus, and he left with three Sweet 16 appearances and a national championship under his belt.

16. Walt Hazzard, UCLA

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    Dominance Factor: Walt Hazzard was a leader for John Wooden during his time at UCLA, earning the trust of the greatest college basketball coach in history. Because of his maturity and his scoring prowess that led to 18.6 points per game, he became a favorite of Wooden's.

    Greatest Feat: In 1964 Hazard led the team to an undefeated regular season. He then carried it even more in the postseason, bringing it to the first complete perfect season in UCLA history, earning MOP honors in the process.

    Bottom Line: Hazzard couldn't lose. After going 89-3 in high school, he continued to win games at an unprecedented pace in Westwood. He racked up honor after honor in college, winning National Player of the Year, Most Outstanding Player and more.

15. Shane Battier, Duke

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    Dominance Factor: Shane Battier was a shutdown defender who won the Defensive Player of the Year award three times, but he was also able to keep pace with some of the best players in the country on offense as well.

    Greatest Feat: Battier brought Duke to two Final Fours, losing in the championship game to UConn in 1999 but coming back to win it all in 2001. He averaged 22.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game in the 2001 tournament, winning MOP honors as he led Duke all the way.

    Bottom Line: Battier was simply one of the most special players in history. He was not just a stingy defender or an elite scorer. He was both. In 2001 he won every major national award, including Defensive Player of the Year, National Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player.

14. Jerry West, West Virginia

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    Dominance Factor: Jerry West was the most aggressive 6'2" player in history. Despite his small size, he scored in bunches and even snagged 16.5 rebounds per game as a senior.

    Greatest Feat: West never won it all with West Virginia, but he did help the team to the 1959 Final Four, where he averaged 33.0 points and 12.5 rebounds per game to win MOP honors, but the team lost in the national championship game.

    Bottom Line: West was unbelievable. This little guy controlled the glass, scored nearly 30 points per game as a senior and led the Mountaineers. He went for 30 double-doubles in 31 games in his final season and racked up 2,309 points and 1,240 rebounds in his career.

13. Jerry Lucas, Ohio State

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    Dominance Factor: In Jerry Lucas' three varsity seasons, he led the Buckeyes to three consecutive national championship games. He was a tough man to beat in March thanks to his scoring and rebounding ability.

    Greatest Feat: Lucas made it to three championship games, winning two MOP awards (1960, 1961) and one title in 1960. He simply dominated the Final Four and became the only player to ever go for 30 points and 30 rebounds in a single NCAA tournament game against Kentucky in 1961.

    Bottom Line: Lucas remains the best player in Ohio State basketball history even today. He averaged 24.3 points and 17.2 rebounds per game in his career, cleaning up the glass and dropping 30-point performances left and right.

12. Patrick Ewing, Georgetown

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    Dominance Factor: Patrick Ewing was truly a man among boys. He was so big and talented that even as a freshman he was dominating opponents inside.

    Greatest Feat: Ewing led the Hoyas to three national championship appearances, winning MOP honors in 1984 as the team won the title.

    Bottom Line: Averaging 15.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game, Ewing was an intimidating frontcourt presence on both sides of the court. He could dunk on anyone in the country or block any shot. He was the core of Georgetown basketball for all four years he played for the Hoyas.

11. Austin Carr, Notre Dame

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    Dominance Factor: Austin Carr is the best scorer in the history of the NCAA tournament. There is absolutely no denying that since he had three of the top-five scoring records for single game performances in the Big Dance.

    Greatest Feat: When Carr played against Ohio State in 1970, it was expected that he would have a big day, but no one expected him to drop an NCAA tournament record 61 points against the Buckeyes. That record will likely never be broken.

    Bottom Line: Carr was the best scorer ever. He holds all kinds of scoring records, in addition to his All-American and National Player of the Year honors. If he had had the benefit of a three-point line, he could have raised his ridiculous scoring totals.

10. Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati

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    Dominance Factor: Oscar Robertson was a freak. "Big O" was just 6'5", but he played like a seven-footer and could also pass. He played extremely well inside, scoring and rebounding to the tune of 35.1 points and 15.2 rebounds per game as a freshman.

    Greatest Feat: Robertson led Cincinnati to two Final Fours, becoming one of just three players to record a triple-double in the Final Four, and he dropped 43 points against Kansas in 1960.

    Bottom Line: Robertson led the NCAA in scoring all three seasons he played at Cincinnati. He was a beast, averaging 33.8 points, 15.2 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game in his career. He won every award except for a national championship, but he is still one of the greatest players to ever pick up a basketball.

9. Larry Bird, Indiana State

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    Dominance Factor: Larry Bird is the only reason anyone knows who Indiana State is. Outside of the state of Indiana, it was completely unknown until he went there and put on a show.

    Greatest Feat: Bird only played in the NCAA tournament once. In his senior year he led the Sycamores to their first tournament appearance, bringing the team all the way to the championship game before losing to Magic Johnson and Michigan State. The team finished 33-1 on the year.

    Bottom Line: Bird was a game-changer. He came to a program that was a complete unknown and became the USBWA, Naismith and AP National Player of the Year in 1979, leading the team to success that wasn't thought possible before he came to town.

8. Michael Jordan, North Carolina

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    Dominance Factor: You may have heard of Michael Jordan. He's the best player to ever touch a basketball.

    Greatest Feat: Jordan won the 1982 championship game by hitting a jumper with 16 seconds left that put North Carolina ahead and gave the team a lead that it would never relinquish.

    Bottom Line: Jordan's college career was not quite as spectacular as his NBA career, but it was still filled with magical moments. He was the guy Dean Smith counted on to win the title game, and he came up huge in one of the best moments in March Madness history.

7. Wilt Chamberlain, Kansas

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    Dominance Factor: Wilt Chamberlain was big before big was in style. He was simply larger than everyone else, and that is what helped him become the most dominant player in history.

    Greatest Feat: Chamberlain was constantly defended by two or three guys, but he always came up big. He led Kansas to the 1957 championship game, where his team lost to North Carolina in triple overtime because he was always guarded by three defenders.

    Bottom Line: Chamberlain never won it all, but in 1957 he earned MOP honors for his 27.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game in the Final Four despite having three guys on him at all times. He was unstoppable by any single player, exemplified by his 100-point performance in the NBA.

6. Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston

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    Dominance Factor: Hakeem Olajuwon was another member of Phi Slamma Jamma. He was a force in the paint at Houston and was one of the best big men in the history of basketball.

    Greatest Feat: Olajuwon took the Cougars to back-to-back national championship games, leading the tournament in rebounds both times and winning MOP honors for his 20.5 points and 20.0 rebounds per game in the 1983 Final Four.

    Bottom Line: Olajuwon was arguably the most exciting player in basketball at the time. He was certainly on the most explosive team and was a huge reason why the Cougars were able to be so successful during his time there. His 15.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.4 blocks per game in his final two seasons helped him become one of the most-feared players in college.

5. Magic Johnson, Michigan State

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    Dominance Factor: There was only one Magic Johnson. He was a huge point guard who did it all for Michigan State, averaging 17.1 points, 7.9 assists and 7.6 rebounds per game in his Spartan career.

    Greatest Feat: Magic brought a title to MSU in 1979, recording a triple-double against UPenn in the Final Four before taking down Larry Bird's Indiana State team in the finals. He was awarded MOP honors for his performance.

    Bottom Line: Johnson was supremely talented in all facets of the game. He could do anything that was asked of him, and his versatility is what made him one of the best players ever.

4. Bill Russell, San Francisco

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    Dominance Factor: Bill Russell was such a game-changer that the NCAA needed to change rules because of him. He could simply make sure that every shot went in, which made the organization ban offensive goaltending.

    Greatest Feat: Russell led San Francisco to back-to-back national championships in the 1955 and 1956, winning MOP honors in 1955.

    Bottom Line: Russell was an incredibly dominant player. He holds the record for rebounds in a Final Four game with 27 and was able to secure two titles for the Dons. Known for his strong defense as well as his unfair advantage on offense, he once blocked 13 shots in a game. He also helped USF to a 55-game winning streak.

3. Bill Walton, UCLA

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    Dominance Factor: Bill Walton absolutely owned the month of March, winning two titles and two MOP awards.

    Greatest Feat: Walton led UCLA to an 88-game winning streak, which remains the longest in men's college basketball history today. During that time he helped the Bruins beat Memphis in the championship game by scoring 44 points on 21-of-22 shooting in 1973.

    Bottom Line: Walton's two MOP awards came due to his 26.5 points and 20.5 rebounds per game in 1972 and his 29.5 points per game on 28-of-34 shooting in 1973. He was able to dominate the college game, and in doing so he won multiple National Player of the Year awards during his stint with the Bruins.

2. Christian Laettner, Duke

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    Dominance Factor: Christian Laettner was a gritty, gutsy player for Duke in the early 1990s. He was a scoring threat who crashed the boards, but he is most known for his heroics.

    Greatest Feat: In case watching the best player in college basketball history once on the Grant Hill slide wasn't enough, I'll show it to you again.

    Bottom Line: Laettner is most well-known for his shot against Kentucky in the Elite Eight that led Duke a another title in 1992, but he also helped the Blue Devils win it all in 1991, winning MOP honors for his 23.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in the Final Four that year. He finished his Duke career with two titles in his last two seasons and four NCAA tournament records for the most games by a player, most points scored, most free throws attempted and most free throws made.

1. Lew Alcindor, UCLA

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    Dominance Factor: Lew Alcindor, better known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, was one of the first great players in college basketball. At 7'2" he absolutely dominated in the paint and may be the best college player ever.

    Greatest Feat: In three seasons at UCLA, he led the Bruins to an 88-2 record, culminating in three national championships, and he won three MOP awards. He remains the only player to ever win the award three times.

    Bottom Line: Alcindor was an animal. In his career he averaged 26.4 points and 15.5 rebounds per game. In the Final Four he averaged 25.7 points and 18.2 rebounds per game against the best players in the country. He was the first-ever recipient of the Naismith Player of the Year award, in addition to his two USBWA National Player of the Year awards and three from the Helms Foundation (the only player to ever win three).


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