March Madness: Top 10 NCAA Tournament players of all time
Grant Hill, Duke
Hill played four years in Durham and appeared in three NCAA Championship games, winning two. He was a key member of Duke’s 1991 and 1992 national title teams that made the Blue Devils the first Division I program to win consecutive titles since UCLA in 1973. In his senior season, Hill carried Duke to the championship game in 1994, losing a heartbreaker to Arkansas. While at Duke, Hill became the first player in ACC history to collect more than 1,900 points, 700 rebounds, 400 assists, 200 steals and 100 blocked shots.
(Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images)
David Thompson, NC State
After the Wolfpack were ineligible in 1973 because of NCAA sanctions, Thompson led NC State to the 1974 championship with a run that included a double-overtime victory over Bill Walton-led UCLA in the semifinals in which he had 28 points and 10 rebounds.
Tom Gola, LaSalle
Gola led the Explorers to two NCAA finals and a title in 1954 championship. Gola still holds the record for most career rebounds in NCAA history (2,201), and he is one of just two players to score more than 2,000 points and grab 2,000 boards. (AP Photo)
Jerry Lucas, Ohio State
Lucas helped lead the Buckeyes to three championship game appearances and one title. He had 33 points and 30 rebounds against Kentucky in the Elite Eight in 1961 for the only 30-30 game in NCAA Tournament history and was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four twice.
Bobby Joe Hill, Texas Western
Hill starred on perhaps the most important team that has ever played in the NCAA Tournament. In a title game much, much bigger than being for an NCAA championship, Hill was outstanding as Texas Western became the first team with an all-black starting five to win a national title as the Miners beat an all-white Kentucky team, 72-65, to win the 1966 national championship. Hill led all scorers with 20 points in the title game and also added 18 points and 11 rebounds in Texas Western’s Final Four triumph against Utah and 22 points in an overtime victory over Kansas in the Elite Eight.
Patrick Ewing, Georgetown
Ewing led the Hoyas to three NCAA championship games and won the title in 1984 when he was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player after sparking the Hoyas past Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Cougars. Georgetown’s back-to-back dream lasted until the 1985 National title game when Georgetown was upset by eighth-seeded Villanova.
Bill Russell, University of San Francisco
You know you’re good when the rules committee changes a rule because of you (they widened the lane from six to 12 feet after Russell’s sophomore season). Russell led the Dons to a 57-1 record with back-to-back national titles and a then NCAA record 60-game winning streak over his final two seasons. (AP Photo/Bill Streator)
Bill Walton, UCLA
Walton led the Bruins to a pair of national titles and another Final Four appearance in which UCLA lost to eventual champion NC State in overtime. Walton also had one of the best single-game performances in tournament history scoring 44 points on 21-of-22 shooting in the 1973 final against Memphis.
Christian Laettner, Duke
The only player to start in four consecutive Final Four games, Laettner closed his career in Durham with back-to-back national titles. He won the 1990 and ’92 East regional finals with buzzer-beaters, the latter against Kentucky being one of the most replayed plays in NCAA Tournament history in what is often described as the greatest tournament game of all time. Laettner the career-leading scorer in tournament history (407 points) and played in a remarkable 23 tournament games.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Lew Alcindor, UCLA
In three years in Westwood Alcindor lost two games and won three consecutive NCAA championships. In his six Final Four games, Alcindor averaged 25.7 points and 18.8 rebounds, and he is the only player to be named Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four three times. If freshmen were eligible during his time at UCLA its likely he would have been 4-for-4. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
The tournament has also made players into household names and this year players like Frank Kaminsky of Wisconsin, Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow from Duke, Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein, Stanley Johnson of Arizona and D'Angelo Russell from Ohio State all have a chance to become part of the legend of the NCAA Tournament.
The players mentioned above will all be trying to lead their teams to a title, and if they do, they might just break into the list of all-time greats that have played in the NCAA Tournament.