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10 Best NBA Players Who Played in NCAA National Championship Game

10 Greatest NBA Players to Play for NCAA Title

10 Greatest NBA Players to Play for NCAA Title
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The 2014 NBA Playoffs are in full swing and the league’s greatest are looking to capture a ring. However, there are a multitude of players in the NBA who had a chance at a ring in college before ever entering the Association as they played for an NCAA Championship. Who are the 10 best NBA players who played for a title in college?

10. Isiah Thomas

10. Isiah Thomas
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10. Isiah Thomas

10. Isiah Thomas
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While Isiah Thomas is certainly better-known for being a member of the “Bad Boy” Pistons and as train-wreck in the front office of the Knicks, he also played and won an NCAA Championship in 1981 with the Indiana Hoosiers. Obviously that was the precursor a remarkable career in the pros.

9. Bill Walton

9. Bill Walton
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9. Bill Walton

9. Bill Walton
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Bill Walton came out of UCLA having won two National Titles and looking like the league’s next superstar. When healthy, he was remarkable. However, injuries cut his career short. Nonetheless, Walton was still incredible in addition to being the one of the ultimate “what might’ve been” stories in the NBA.

8. John Havlicek

8. John Havlicek
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8. John Havlicek

8. John Havlicek
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Hondo is often overlooked when people are naming off all-time greats, but the Celtics legend was an enormous factor in their dynasty in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Havlicek also captured the 1960 NCAA Championship with Ohio State.

7. Hakeem Olajuwon

7. Hakeem Olajuwon
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7. Hakeem Olajuwon

7. Hakeem Olajuwon
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Hakeem Olajuwon is the one of only three guys on this list that didn’t actually win an NCAA Championship, but he was still there in 1983 and still won the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. He then went on to become one of the most talented and game-changing big men in NBA history.

6. Wilt Chamberlain

6. Wilt Chamberlain
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6. Wilt Chamberlain

6. Wilt Chamberlain
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Speaking of prolific big men, no one has ever put up stats at the level that Wilt Chamberlain was able to when he was in the NBA. Moreover, he’s the second guy on this list to not win a title in college, but he was still there with Kansas back in 1957.

5. Kareem Abdul Jabbar

5. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
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BOSTON - 1977: Kareem Abdul Jabbar #33 of the Milwaukee Bucks sits on the bench against the Boston Celtics during a game played in 1977 at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1977 NBAE (Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)

5. Kareem Abdul Jabbar

5. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
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From 1967-69, Lew Alcindor was dominating at UCLA on his way to three consecutive titles. He then went on to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and win six championships in the NBA. Kareem is undoubtedly one of the best to ever do it.

4. Larry Bird

4. Larry Bird
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4. Larry Bird

4. Larry Bird
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Larry Legend fell just short of an NCAA Championship in 1979 in his rivalry with Magic Johnson was born. He then went on to become a near-mythical figure for the Celtics and in NBA history for his ability, work-ethic, and his ability to trash-talk.

3. Magic Johnson

3. Magic Johnson
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3. Magic Johnson

3. Magic Johnson
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As I said, Magic was involved in one of the best NCAA Championship games ever against Bird, with Johnson coming out victorious. As we all know, Magic went on to just tear up the NBA and become one of the most dynamic and revolutionary players in the history of the league.

2. Bill Russell

2. Bill Russell
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2. Bill Russell

2. Bill Russell
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If Bill Russell wants to wear all of his NBA Championship rings, he’s going to have to double up on one finger. If you include his NCAA Championships from 1955-1956, he has 13 titles from his basketball-playing career. He’s one of the most dominant and revolutionizing big men in NBA history and he has the rings to prove it.

1. Michael Jordan

1. Michael Jordan
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1. Michael Jordan

1. Michael Jordan
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The legend of Michael Jordan all started in 1982 at North Carolina when he knocked down his famous baseline jumper against Georgetown. Once out of college, he only went on to become the greatest to ever play in the NBA. I suppose that’s pretty impressive.