As Draymond Green prepares to take the court against the Toronto Raptors for the NBA title this week, his 2009 Michigan State squad won on a buzzer beater against the last team that Bobby Knight recruited at Indiana in the free basketball game I developed. That link includes player cards for the 42 teams listed in the standings below, as I've now played each team at least once.
The NBA Finals also feature Fred VanVleet, whose Wichita State 2013 team pulled a minor upset of Arizona in the expanded Pac-12 conference I created for the game (see standings below). However it is the Oregon 2017 team which lost 72-70 to the Memphis State 2008 team of John Calipari and Derrick Rose in the game but now has players on both sides of the NBA Finals with Oregon's Jordan Bell and Toronto's Chris Boucher. I still contend if Boucher were not injured for March Madness that year then the Oregon Ducks would be National Champs and they may well have won it a second time this year if Bol Bol were not injured (down a superstar in each year the lost by one to eventual champ UNC in the 2017 semifinals, then by four to eventual champ Virginia this year).
If you voted for the person in college basketball in the last 20 years who combined incredible talent with fiery competitiveness, you might start your list with Green and Knight, who I happened to talk with in New York a couple of years ago about the last undefeated team in college basketball (1976). When my program generated the cards - which measure each players ability to get open, score, draw fouls, rebound, block shots, steal and stop opponents on defense all adjusted precisely for their level of competition faced - I realized things such as four of the top six players on Indiana's 2002 Final Four team actually played on Knight's last team before his firing in 2000.
The criteria for consideration was making the Final Four or finishing in the top 5 in www.kenpom.com, and each school could only have one team. In this post I noted that six teams featured at least six future NBA players, while the three had none (George Mason 2006, VCU 2011 and Loyola 2016) but as fans know, sometimes NBA talent plays well and sometimes they are freshmen putting in one season to get to the pros.
|1||Kansas 2008||7||42||Big 12 (A10)||Brandon Rush 10, Darrell Arthur 10, Mario Chalmers 9, Cole Aldrich 8, Darnell Jackson 3, Sasha Kaun 1, Sherron Collins 1|
|2||UCLA 2006||6||51||Pac 12 (WCC, MVC, CUSA)||Arron Afflalo 11, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute 10, Jordan Farmar 10, Ryan Hollins 10, Darren Collison 9, Cedric Bozeman 1|
|3||Michigan 2013||6||48||Big Ten||Caris LeVert 11, Trey Burke 10, Nik Stauskas 9, Tim Hardaway 9, Glenn Robinson 7, Mitch McGary 2|
|4||Connecticut 2004||6||47||Big East (past & present)||Ben Gordon 11, Charlie Villanueva 11, Emeka Okafor 11, Hilton Armstrong 6, Josh Boone 4, Marcus Williams 4|
|5||North Carolina 2005||6||40||ACC (past & present)||Marvin Williams 13, Raymond Felton 13, Sean May 5, Rashad McCants 4, Jawad Williams 3, David Noel 2|
|6||Duke 2010||6||30||ACC (past & present)||Lance Thomas 7, Kyle Singler 6, Miles Plumlee 6, Mason Plumlee 5, Ryan Kelly 4, Nolan Smith 2|
I know most gamers play videos on TV or computer - but as someone who spends long hours most days working on my computer while monitoring TV news on the TV screen behind my computer, I prefer to leave the computer and TV off a good bit on a three-day weekend and go back to my dice and scoresheets for a change of pace. Luckily others at Facebook sites of Sports Simulations as well specific games like my first sports game love Statis-Pro baseball and I do get thousands of hits on my www.pudnersports.com and Value Add Sports Facebook page.
I am glad one of the Oregon Ducks will have a chance to get a ring with Toronto or Jordan Bell will get a second one with Golden State since that great 2017 team.
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