Want to know the 10 best NCAA basketball players ever? March Madness! It's when the best NCAA basketball players come alive. It's when sports fans from all over gather to see who's clutch, and who needs more seasoning before moving on to the NBA. Below are the most clutch, prolific, best NCAA basketball players of all-time.
- Kareem Abdul Jabbar. It's impossible to have a list of the ten best NCAA players ever without including the man formerly known as Lew Alcindor, who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul Jabbar. While at UCLA, Abdul Jabbar led the Bruins to three consecutive NCAA Championships from 1967-69, and was also a three time All-American.
- Pete Maravich. In his first game as a college player at LSU, "Pistol" Pete Maravich scored 50 points, fourteen rebounds, and eleven assists, starting a college career that would make him one of the best NCAA players of all-time. In his four NCAA seasons from 1966-70, Maravich averaged an amazing 44.2 points per game.
- Bill Russell. When thinking of the best NCAA defenders of all time, Bill Russell's name must be brought up. That's because, while playing at the University of San Francisco, he led his team to a shocking 56 consecutive victories, and the 1955-56 NCAA Championships.
- Bill Walton. When you're a three-time NCAA Player of the Year, you're a lock to become one of the best NCAA players ever. From 1972-74, Walton achieved such a feat with UCLA, culminating in two National Championship titles in 1972-73.
- Oscar Robertson. The man could do it all, and that's precisely why he's one of the best NCAA basketball players of all time. Nicknamed "The Big O," Robertson averaged an amazing 33.8 points per game and 15.2 rebounds while leading the Cincinnati Bearcats to two Final Four appearances in his three years.
- Christian Laettner. While leading the Duke Blue Devils to the Final Four in all four of his college years, Laettner became one of the best NCAA basketball players ever. Nicknamed "Mr. Clutch," Laettner is most known for his buzzer-beating, game-winning shot over Kentucky in the East Regional Final of the 1992 NCAA tournament, a tournament Duke would go on to win. Named NCAA National Player of the Year in 1992, Laettner was also the only player on the famed 1992 Olympic "Dream Team" to have never played an NBA game at the time.
- Larry Bird. Easily one of the best NCAA players ever, Bird managed to put Indiana State University on the nation's radar in 1979 when he led the Sycamores to the NCAA Championship game against the Michigan State Spartans, led by his famed foe Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Despite only playing three NCAA seasons, Bird finished as the fifth highest scorer in NCAA college basketball history.
- David Thompson. After finishing his college career as a three time All-American, and leading North Carolina State to the 1974 NCAA Championship, Thompson became one of the best NCAA basketball players ever. In four college seasons, Thompson averaged 26.8 points per game and 8.1 rebounds.
- Michael Jordan. When thinking of best players in the history of basketball, his name always comes up. While only a freshman at the University of North Carolina, Jordan hit the game-winning shot in the 1982 National Championship Game against Georgetown. Two years later, in 1984, he was named College Player of the Year, and he was also an Olympic gold medalist.
- Danny Manning. The two-time, first team All-American from Kansas is a shoe-in for one of the best NCAA players ever. While leading the Kansas Jayhawks to the 1988 NCAA Championship, Manning averaged 24.8 points per game and shot a staggering 58% from the field.