25 BEST Colleges for Men Basketball

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Colleges for Men Basketball

NCAA’s March Madness – it is the main event in the world of the colleges’ basketball teams.

There are 68 teams that participate in this Division-I tournament and only one of them can become a National Champion.

But there is a question whether a National Championship is the best aspect to evaluate a basketball program offered in various colleges.

Are only the top-rated teams send lots of players to the NBA?

Do coaches use some extraordinary methods to make their players succeed?

How you can find a perfect college’s basketball team if you want to become an NBA player in the future?

During the past five years different teams become the NCCA champions: 

  • Duke;
  • Connecticut (twice);
  • Louisville;
  • Kentucky.

As a result, most people think that these teams should be at the top of our list.

Nevertheless, you’ll be quite surprised when you see the actual ranking.

Our list of the Best College Basketball Programs is based on the NBA Drafts for the last years.

Each of these drafts contains info on 60 players selected every year including criteria that were used.

With the help of these drafts, we were able to reveal those colleges that prepared the most number of NBA players.

In total, there 29 colleges that had 3 or more players selected for various NBA teams.

The University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

When it comes to the University of Kentucky, it is not a surprise for anyone that it is #1 in our rank.

In fact, Kentucky is a real powerhouse that held 8 National Championships.

Also, their success in most NBA Drafts for the last years is absolutely amazing and undeniable.

Two times for the last few years, the University of Kentucky prepared an unprecedented number of NBA players – six people including famous Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns.

Its coach, John Calipari, is famous for its incredible talent to recruit the best players and help them become better and develop their skills.

Average Draft Position: 22

Players Drafted: 19

Duke University, Durham, NC

The Duke University is a National Champion of 2015 and after that, they continue keeping high positions in ranks.

From the very foundation of Blue Devils, 86 players were recruited by professional teams.

In 1980, Mike Krzyzewski became a Head Coach of the team and helped the team achieved Final Fours 12 times and Nationa Championship 5 times.

For the last years, in the Duke’s team, there were such famous players as Kyrie Irving, Jabari Parker, and Jalil Okafor.

Average Draft Position: 22

Players Drafted: 12

University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

Nowadays, the team of the University of Kansas, Jayhawks hold their games in Allen Fieldhouse that were named after Phog Allen who’s known as the “Father of Basketball Coaching.”

The team’s coach Bill Self makes Jayhawks win not only on the court but also in the NBA Drafts.

Among the team’s members, there were such famous NBA players as Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Thomas Robinson, and Ben McLemore.

In fact, it is one of the best colleges for basketball players and during the last few years, it provided more than 15 NBA players.

Average Draft Position: 19

Players Drafted: 10

Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

All Syracuse fans still remember the 2002-2003 season, when Carmelo Anthony helped the team to achieve their first National Championship.

Starting that time, Head Coach Jim Boeheim did a good job and prepared 8 NBA players.

There are such great players as Dion Waiters and Michael Carter-Williams.

The Orange team was imposed with NCAA sanctions but they recruited a bunch of great young players and are ready to reload their success in NBA Drats.

Average Draft Position: 26

Players Drafted: 8

University of California, Los Angeles, CA

In the previous century, when John Wooden was the Bruins’ Head Coach, he led the team to the NCAA Championships 7 times.

Also, he trained such great players as Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

In the 2000s the situation changed significantly when Ben Howland couldn’t guarantee a Championship.

In 2013, it is Steve Alford who became the team’s coach.

One of the most know Lottery picks provided by the University of California for the last few years is Zach LaVine.

Average Draft Position: 29

Players Drafted: 8

University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ

In 1980 Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson started training the Wildcats and it was the time when the team became one of the constant contenders for NCAA Championship.

Also, starting back then the team had 39 NBA Draft Picks.

Now, it is Coach Sean Miller who trains the team and it reloads its success once again.

Nevertheless, they still need to do some hard work to achieve the Elite Eight.

Considering the fact that recently the team recruited some great player, we can expect to see it in the Final Four really soon.

Among the latest team players that were chosen in the Lottery, there are Derrick Williams, Aaron Gordon, and Stanley Johnson.

Average Draft Position: 20

Players Drafted: 7

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

The University of North Carolina’s program is exactly the one that produced famous Michael Jordan who is known as the Greatest Basketball Player of All Time.

Unfortunately, recently, the college team saw some hard times.

After becoming National Champions in 2005 and 2009, the team wasn’t able to achieve the Final Four since then despite all efforts of Head Coach Roy Williams.

Nevertheless, the team produced 7 players that were chosen to the NBA during the last few years.

The list includes Harrison Barnes, Kendall Marshall, John Henson, and Tyler Zeller.

Average Draft Position: 23

Players Drafted: 7

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

During the past few years, Coach John Beilein made the Wolverines flourish even despite their failer in the 2013 Championship.

The team was in the Elite Eight in 2014 but the next year they had some bad time and lost the NCAA Tournament for the first time in almost 5 years.

However, the team had a bunch of great players that were recruited by NBA teams.

There are such famous players as Nik Stauskas and Trey Burke.

Average Draft Position: 24

Players Drafted: 6

University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

UConn’s basketball team is a National Champion for the last five years.

Anyone may suggest that it is the team that should be #1 one in our rank nevertheless, UConn wasn’t able to provide lots of NBA talents recently.

Also, the old Big East Conference teams such as Syracuse, Pitt, Louisville, and Notre Dame started to restructure their programs recently.

As a result, there is a question of whether UConn will be able to achieve the same hights in the future.

Among the recent great Lottery picks, there are such great names as Kemba Walker, Andre Drummond, and Jeremy Lamb.

Average Draft Position: 18

Players Drafted: 5

The University of Louisville, Louisville, KY

As well as UConn, Louisville is a Big East star team that was able to win a National Championship just before the Power 5 Conference restriction.

Nevertheless, they are still very strong contenders.

Hall of Fame Coach Rick Pitino was hired by Jim Boeheim and now he became one of the best NBA talents’ producers.

There were no Lottery pick players after Terrence Williams in 2009 but lots of Louisville great players were drafted during the past few years.

Average Draft Position: 34

Players Drafted: 5

Baylor University, Waco, TX

Fortunately, the Bears were able to recover after the scandal and NCAA sanctions.

Coach Scott Drew made the team recover and achieve an NCAA Tourney in 2008.

After it, the team was able to achieve 4 more NCAA bids.

As a result, three-team players were drafted by the NBA recently.

They are Perry Jones, Quincy Acy, and Quincy Miller.

Average Draft Position: 41

Players Drafted: 5

The University of Texas, Austin, TX

Coach Shaka Smart helped mid-major Virginia Commonwealth achieve the NCAA Tournament.

Now, he is the Longhorns coach and after his previous great achievements, there is a hope that the team will be able to show incredible results.

Previously, the Longhorns were known as a roller-coaster team but still, they were able to produce two great Lottery picks – Myles Turner and Tristan Thompson.

Average Draft Position: 18

Players Drafted: 4

The University of Washington, Seattle, WA

There is a great possibility that the Huskies and Coach Lorenzo Romar will return to NCAA’s listings very soon.

Their great player Terrence Ross was one of the latest team’s Lottery picks.

Average Draft Position: 30

Players Drafted: 4

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Coach Tom Iozzo helped the Spartans to achieve 18 straight NCAA Tournaments.

One of them is a Final Four run in 2015.

During this period, the team produced as much as 16 players that were in the NBA Drafts and 8 of them – in the 1st round.

Average Draft Position: 31

Players Drafted: 4

Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Due to Coach Thad Matta, the Buckeyes entered the 2007 National Championship and 6 NCAA Tournaments.

Also, they participated in a Final Four in 2012.

Among the recent picks, there is D’Angelo Russell

Average Draft Position: 33

Players Drafted: 4

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

Louisiana State University basketball program produced two of the greatest NBA players – Pete Maravich and Shaquille O’Neal.

After Coach Johnny Jones started working with the LSU team, the Tigers produced two players selected in two NBA Drafts.

Average Draft Position: 35

Players Drafted: 4

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

There were glorious times for the Gators when they entered National Championships in 2007 & 2008 and a Final Four in 2014.

Nevertheless,  coach Billy Donovan left the team and started working with BA’s Oklahoma Thunder.

Recently, one of the team’s players became a Lottery pick – Bradley Beal.

However, there is a question whether the new coach – Michael White – will be able to replace Donovan and show high results.

Average Draft Position: 36

Players Drafted: 4

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Previously, the Volunteers had 4 players that were selected in five Drafts in a row.

Nevertheless, there were issues with coaches as during three years the team changed 3 head coaches.

Now, it is Rick Barnes who became the head coach after helping Texas achieve 4 Draft picks.

Average Draft Position: 38

Players Drafted: 4

University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

The Tigers had 5 seasons in the SEC while been trained by Coach Kim Anderson for two years.

Previously, the team participated in the NCAA for 5 times and there is a hope for a big return.

Average Draft Position: 52

Players Drafted: 4

Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

The Hoosiers are one of the best teams when it comes to Draft positioning.

Moreover, it is the only team that has all its players being selected in the Lottery.

With the help of Coach Tom Crean, the Hoosiers were able able to achieve NCAA three times recently.

Among their Lottery picks there are Victor Oladipo, Noah Vonleh, and Cody Zeller.

Average Draft Position: 5

Players Drafted: 3

The University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

In 2015, there was Frank Kaminsky who was drafted from the Badgers trained by Coach Bo Ryan.

The team produced 5 players that were selected out of Wisconsin.

In 2015, the team quieted the NCAA Tournament after they lost to Duke in the Championship Game.

The team has lots of achievements and great results so we can expect more drafted players in the future.

Average Draft Position: 22

Players Drafted: 3

The University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

In 2011, it was Alec Burks who was selected from the Buffaloes team.

Coach Tad Boyle is working on a big return to the NCAA Tournament after a long shift.

During the whole history of the team, 32 Buffaloes’ players were drafted.

The most famous team’s Draft pick was Five-Time NBA All-Star, NBA Champion, NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups.

Average Draft Position: 25

Players Drafted: 3

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

After Sweet 16 appearance and SEC Championship, there were three Commodores players that were drafted in 2012.

Due to Coach Kevin Stallings who was training the team for about 16 seasons, the Vanderbilt achieved 11 post-season appearances and provided six NBA Draft picks.

Average Draft Position: 28

Players Drafted: 3

University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is the Bulldogs star-player that was drafted in 2013.

Just in two years, Coach Mark Fox was able to lead the team to a 21–11 record as well as their first at-large NCAA Tournament in more than 10 years.

During the whole team history, there were 37 players drafted and 5 of them were drafted in the few last years.

Average Draft Position: 31

Players Drafted: 3

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

In 2015-2016, the Cavaliers won 30 games in each of the past two seasons and as a result, the team was ranked pretty high.

Coach Tony Bennett helped the team to become ACC champions two seasons in a row.

There were 19 drafted players during the team’s history and the most famous of them is Pick Ralph Sampsom.

Average Draft Position: 32

Players Drafted: 3

Looking for a different sport?

See our list of Top 25 Football Colleges in the U.S.

Good luck!

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