Sunday, March 17, 2024

Most NBA Talent on March Madness Rosters

One method for picking your brackets is going with the teams with the most NBA-level talent that can just take over in March Madness as superstar freshman reach that level.

The following is a list of all players in March Madness who are dominant enough to be likely to be drafted to play in the NBA either this year or next. These rankings will be explained in a story on

For each player we list his height, year in school, the position he plays right now for the school (or if he is out), then the position he would play in the NBA and what number his is expected to go in the draft (#1-60 means ready to do in this year's draft, while #61-120 means expected to go in the 2025 draft). 

Only 26 of 68 March Madness teams have even a single projected NBA draft pick, and only 12 teams have more than one starting this year.

School Player 

#1, Connecticut, NBA Points: 624 Cam Spencer, 6'4, Sr., (start SG), SG, NBA Pick #47 Tristen Newton, 6'5, Sr.,(start PG), SG, NBA Pick #44 Donovan Clingan, 7'2, So., (start C), C, NBA Pick #42 Alex Karaban, 6'8, So., (start PF) SF, NBA Pick #38 Stephon Castle, 6'6, Fr., (start SF) PG/SG, NBA Pick #9. Kentucky has a few more raw points, but several of their players are not playing much yet, while every UConn starter is projected to be picked to make them clearly the most talented team right now in college basketball.

#2, Kentucky, NBA Points: 797 Zvonimir Ivisic, 7'2, Fr., (start C), PF, NBA Pick #106 DJ Wagner, 6'4, Fr., (backup PG) PG/SG, NBA Pick #100 Justin Edwards, 6'8, Fr., (backup SF) SG, NBA Pick #97 Aaron Bradshaw, 7'1, Fr. (bench), PF, NBA Pick #93 Antonio Reeves, 6'6, Sr., (start SF) SG, NBA Pick #21 Rob Dillingham, 6'3, Fr., (start SG) PG, NBA Pick #6 Reed Sheppard, 6'3, Fr., (Start PG) PG/SG, NBA Pick #4 

#3, Duke, NBA Points: 469 Tyrese Proctor, 6'5, So., (start SF), PG, NBA Pick #96 Caleb Foster, 6'5, Fr., PG, NBA Pick #86 Jared McCain, 6'3, Fr., (backup SG, Inj) PG/SG, NBA Pick #26 Kyle Filipowski, 7'0, So., (Start C), C, NBA Pick #17 

#4, Colorado, NBA Points: 395 KJ Simpson, 6'2, Jr., (start PG) PG, NBA Pick #46 Tristan da Silva, 6'9, Sr., (start PF) PF, NBA Pick #34 Cody Williams, 6'8, Fr., (backup SF) SF, NBA Pick #1 

#5, Virginia, NBA Points: 331 Blake Buchanan, 6'11, Fr., (backup C) PF, NBA Pick #98 Reece Beekman, 6'3, Sr., (Start PG) PG, NBA Pick #53 Ryan Dunn, 6'8, So.,(Start PF) SF/PF, NBA Pick #35

#6, Arizona, NBA Points: 300 KJ Lewis, 6'4, Fr., (backup SF) SG, NBA Pick #102 Kylan Boswell, 6'2, So., (start PG) PG, NBA Pick #90 Keshad Johnson, 6'7, Sr., (start PF) PF/C, NBA Pick #52 

#7, Kansas, NBA Points: 279 Johnny Furphy, 6'9, Fr., (start PF) SG, NBA Pick #19 Kevin McCullar, 6'7, Sr., (Start SG-inj), SG, NBA Pick #13 

#8, Marquette, NBA Points: 245 Oso Ighodaro, 6'11, Sr., (Start C), PF, NBA Pick #41 Tyler Kolek, 6'3, Sr., (start PG-inj), PG, NBA Pick #40. While not as quite as many points as Baylor or Kansas, Marquette's future NBA picks includes the all-important position of point guard, as do the teams listed 1-7. Baylor and Illinois also both have 2 players, but on the front line they must rely on others to handle the ball and set the offense.

#9 North Carolina, NBA Points: 194 Elliot Cadeau, 6'1, Fr., (start PG), PG, NBA Pick #112 Harrison Ingram, 6'7, Jr., (start PF), SF, NBA Pick #50 . Likewise we move UNC past Baylor and the Illini due to Cadeau as starting point guard.

#10, Baylor, NBA Points: 265 Yves Missi, 7'0, Fr., (start C), C, NBA Pick #43 Ja'Kobe Walter, 6'5, Fr. (start SF), SG, NBA Pick #8 

#11, Illinois, NBA Points: 252 Coleman Hawkins, 6'10, Sr., (Start C), PF, NBA Pick #54 Terrence Shannon, 6'6, Sr. (start SF), SG, NBA Pick #12 

#12, Alabama, NBA Points: 158 Jarin Stevenson, 6'11, Fr., (Start PF), SF, NBA Pick #119 Rylan Griffen, 6'6, So., (start SF), SG, NBA Pick #108

One NBA Player only:

Another 14 March Madness teams start one player projected to start for them, so we rank them 13-26 based on how high that one player should go in the draft:
#13, Tennessee, NBA Points: 149 Dalton Knecht, 6'6, Sr. (start SF), SG, NBA Pick #3 

#14, Creighton, NBA Points: 134 Trey Alexander, 6'4, Jr., (start SG), PG/SG, NBA Pick #24 

#15, Clemson, NBA Points: 126 PJ Hall, 6'10, Sr., (start C), C, NBA Pick #36 

#16, Purdue, NBA Points: 118 Zach Edey, 7'4, Sr.,(start C), C, NBA Pick #45 

#17, Texas, NBA Points: 114 Dillon Mitchell, 6'8, So.,(start PF) SF, NBA Pick #49 

#18, Dayton, NBA Points: 108 DaRon Holmes, 6'10, Jr.,(start C), PF, NBA Pick #56 

#19, Oregon, NBA Points: 104 Kwame Evans, 6'9, Fr.,(start PF) PF, NBA Pick #77 

#20, Michigan State, NBA Points: 100 Xavier Booker, 6'11, Fr.,(backup PF-inj) PF, NBA Pick #89 

#21, Wisconsin, NBA Points: 98 AJ Storr, 6'7, So.,(start SF), SG, NBA Pick #92 

#22, BYU, NBA Points: 221 Collin Chandler, 6'4, So., (LDS Mission Trip), PG, NBA Pick #99 Jaxson Robinson, 6'7, Sr., (start PF), SG/SF, NBA Pick #32. Note they have two players, but actually only one playing since Chandler is on his Mission Trip for the Latter Day Saints.

#23, Iowa State, NBA Points: 87 Milan Momcilovic, 6'8, Fr.,(Start SF), PF, NBA Pick #104 

#24, Washington State, NBA Points: 84 Jaylen Wells, 6'8, Jr., (start SF),SF, NBA Pick #107 

#25, Auburn, NBA Points: 80 Aden Holloway, 6'1, Fr., (backup PG), PG, NBA Pick #114 

#26, Florida, NBA Points: 77 Riley Kugel, 6'5, So., (SF-inj), SG, NBA Pick #117

Teams 27 through 68 March Madness teams have no players projected to be drafted by the NBA this year or next.

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