NCAA Basketball March Madness

NCAA Tournament 2014: Ranking the 15 Teams With the Most NBA Talent

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NCAA Tournament 2014: Ranking The 15 Teams With The Most NBA Talent

Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports

Every season there are plenty of players in college that are capable of playing at the next level. Sometimes the talent is spread out across the country and sometimes it's more concentrated in certain areas and on certain programs. Whatever the case may be, there is a lot of talent going into the NBA out of college this season, perhaps more than we've seen since the 2003 draft.

Programs across the country are competing for a chance to win a national championship, but a byproduct of that is creating NBA-ready players. Some programs have one way of developing NBA talent and other programs have a different method. Generally, the two methods of doing this are either recruiting a bunch of one-and-done type players (Kentucky) or recruiting solid three and four-star recruits and molding them into five-star caliber players (Michigan State) over their four years in college ball.

Both methods of talent development seem to work pretty well based on past drafts, so neither method necessarily has the advantage over the other when it comes to developing NBA talent. There are several teams in the NCAA right now that employ both methods that will expect to lose some key players to the next level in 2014. Traditional powerhouses that always churn out NBA talent are at it again while some programs are new to the whole talent development process.

In the NCAA tournament this season, everyone will be getting a small taste of what's to come at the NBA level. How many top NBA prospects play under the pressure of the tournament will actually likely affect their draft stock. Teams want to see how they handle the bright lights and pressure of the win-or-go-home format of the tournament. That's something to watch for in March.

So most Division I programs have quite a bit of talent, but some clearly have more than others. Just because there's a lot of talent though doesn't mean that a lot of NBA prospects will come from one particular team. The skill sets required of NCAA basketball and NBA basketball are very different. That's why it can be difficult to develop NBA-ready talent while players are still in college. However, a lot of programs do that really well. Here are the 15 teams that do it better than anyone else.

Jacob Kornhauser is a writer for Add him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or add him to your Google+ network.

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15. Creighton

Jeff Hanisch - USA Today Sports

NBA Draft Prospects

Doug McDermott (12th overall)

Creighton is simply on this list because their best player is going to be a lottery pick in the NBA draft. McDermott is a pure scorer and NBA teams will always value that. As they build up their program, the Blue Jays are going to be able to develop even more NBA-caliber players.

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14. Connecticut

Howard Smith - USA Today Sports

NBA Draft Prospects

Shabazz Napier (36th overall)

Napier has a chance to be a steal in the draft as he has a high motor and strong initial skill set to work with. Perhaps teammate Ryan Boatright could be an even better NBA prospect next year, but that remains to be seen. Connecticut is used to developing talent so it will continue to turn out highly talented draft classes.

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13. Arizona State

Rick Scuteri - USA Today Sports

NBA Draft Prospects

Jahii Carson (48th overall)

Jordan Bachynski (56th overall)

Not a huge program in terms of college basketball, the Sun Devils have still managed to produce two players that are viewed as decent prospects by the NBA. Both Carson and Bachynski have work to do before they become major contributors on NBA teams, but the base is there and they will have a chance to compete at the next level.

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12. Baylor

Jerome Miron - USA Today Sports

NBA Draft Prospects

Cory Jefferson (40th overall)

Isaiah Austin (53rd overall)

Baylor has been riding a hot streak as of late and these two are a huge part of that. While neither is an elite draft prospect, both have a future at the next level if they're willing to work for it. They both have the size to make an impact on the NBA, especially Austin who is 7-foot-1. The raw talent is there, now both players just need to mold that in order to succeed in the league.

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11. Florida

Nelson Chenault - USA Today Sports

NBA Draft Prospects

Chris Walker (37th overall)

Casey Prather (59th overall)

Even though Walker is a freshman that has barely worked his way into the rotation this season, he could be headed to the NBA next season. He always looked like a one-and-done player and the fact that he isn't quite getting Florida's system right now could cause him to jump to the league despite the lack of playing time. Prather is a case of a great college player that could be average at the next level. Only time will tell what kind of impact he can make beyond college.

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10. Missouri

Dak Dillon - USA Today Sports

NBA Draft Prospects

Jordan Clarkson (14th overall)

Jabari Brown (30th overall)

The Tigers have an extremely talented trio of guards and their two juniors could be headed to the NBA in 2014. Clarkson is a projected lottery pick because he can drive and create his own shot off the dribble. He's also 6-foot-5 at point guard, which is hard to come by at the position. Brown is as pure a scorer as you'll see. He shoots the three-pointer well and uses off-ball screens to get himself open for mid-range jumpers. Those are just a few reasons that he leads the SEC in scoring.

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9. Louisville

Frank Victores - USA Today Sports

NBA Draft Prospects

Montrezl Harrell (27th overall)

Russ Smith (60th overall)

Neither Cardinal is an elite draft prospect, but Harrell's potential upside makes him an interesting first round option. Smith may have trouble at the next level because of his size, but he posses a similar skill set as Kemba Walker who has experienced success in the NBA so far in his career.

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8. Arizona

Ron Chenoy - USA Today Sports

NBA Draft Prospects

Aaron Gordon (23rd overall)

Nick Johnson (31st overall)

The Wildcats have two borderline first-round draft prospects on their team and that's part of the reason they've been a top five team this season. Both Gordon and Johnson can make an impact in the NBA. Gordon seems to have more upside and superstar potential, but both are equally capable of impacting an NBA roster relatively quickly.

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7. Michigan State

Sandra Dukes - USA Today Sports

NBA Draft Prospects

Gary Harris (8th overall)

Adreian Payne (26th overall)

Keith Appling (41st overall)

Not generally known as an NBA talent generating program, the Spartans have several prospects this season. Harris, who is projected to go in the top 10, is particularly interesting because of his array of skills. Payne combines size and shooting to make him a first round prospect and Appling is more than capable of contributing to an NBA roster starting next season.

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6. Oklahoma State

Alonzo Adams - USA Today Sports

NBA Draft Prospects

Marcus Smart (7th overall)

Markel Brown (24th overall)

Smart may have been better served going into the draft last season, but he is still a projected top 10 pick for a reason. He has the size and athleticism to make a difference in the NBA right away. Figuring out his apparent issues with frustration will be a major hurdle, but he will have millions of reasons to try. Brown is less highly touted, but his ability to shoot is intriguing to numerous NBA franchises.

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Cary Edmondson - USA Today Sports

NBA Draft Prospects

Zach LaVine (11th overall)

Kyle Anderson (15th overall)

Both top prospects on the Bruins' roster are borderline lottery picks for the upcoming NBA draft and for good reason. Anderson has elite guard skills for his size and he has proven he can put the ball in the bucket. LaVine has proven the same thing while actually playing a guard position. His 6-foot-5 frame projects well at the next level.

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4. Syracuse

Mark Knoezny - USA Today Sports

NBA Draft Prospects

Jerami Grant (10th overall)

Tyler Ennis (13th overall)

C.J. Fair (35th overall)

There's a reason that the Orangemen started the season 25-0. They have plenty of NBA talent on their roster. Their leader Fair is their third best draft prospect and that's because Grant and Ennis both project well at the next level as indicated by their projected lottery pick status. How these players perform in March could move each up or down a few spots. Don't underestimate how NBA scouts judge players when they're under pressure.

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3. Duke

Mark Dolejs - USA Today Sports

NBA Draft Prospects

Jabari Parker (2nd overall)

Rodney Hood (9th overall)

Andre Dawkins (57th overall)

Always a powerhouse when it comes to competing for national championships and grooming NBA talent, the Blue Devils are at it again this season. Parker was the top college prospect for a reason and he will be a top three pick in this year's NBA draft. Hood is underrated, perhaps because of Parker's presence, and could be a steal for a team picking in the top 10 this season. The less heralded Dawkins has some work to do before he can contribute at the next level, but the base is there.

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2. Kentucky

Mark Zerof - USA Today Sports

NBA Draft Prospects

Julius Randle (4th overall)

James Young (18th overall)

Willie Cauley-Stein (25th overall)

The Wildcats have gotten used to large roster turnover since coach John Calipari took over and they will have to deal with that again this season. They are going to lose three players to the draft, all of whom look like first round picks. Randle is a force of nature that is a typical Calipari one-and-done. Young presents a more broad skill set that could play well at the next level and Cauley-Stein's size and length make him a likely contributor in the NBA as a solid role player.

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1. Kansas

Denny Medley - USA Today Sports

NBA Draft Prospects

Joel Embiid (1st overall)

Andrew Wiggins (3rd overall)

In all likelihood, the Jayhawks will have two of their players taken in the first three picks of the draft. That's crazy to think about and should be a great recruiting point in the future. Embiid, who has burst onto the scene this year, has great length and the ability to block shots on a consistent basis. The fact that he hasn't even scratched the surface of his offensive potential is scary. Wiggins figured to be a top freshman this season and he hasn't disappointed. His combination of size, speed and ability to score and rebound make him a potential superstar in the NBA.