14. Virginia Cavaliers
De’Andre Hunter, Malcolm Brogdon, Ty Jerome, Joe Harris, Mike Scott
Bench – Kyle Guy
With Hunter, Guy, and Jerome, you have three guys who just won a National Championship together. On top of that, Brogdon would be their best player and Harris provides scoring, while Scott provides toughness and adds more defense to an already defensive-minded team.
13. Michigan State Spartans
Draymond Green, Gary Harris, Jaren Jackson, Miles Bridges, Denzel Valentine
Draymond Green would be more than happy to share the court with his fellow Spartan alum, as these guys represent a significant improvement over the healthy Warriors team that is taking the floor this season.
12. Washington Huskies
Isaiah Thomas, Markelle Fultz, Dejounte Murray, Terrence Ross, Marquise Chriss
Bench – Matisse Thybulle, Justin Holiday
This is a very small, guard-heavy lineup but if Fultz, the #1 pick in 2017, can reach his potential with the Magic, they could skyrocket up this list in the coming years, especially with more and more talent continuing to come through Seattle and coach Mike Hopkins.
11. Michigan Wolverines
Tim Hardaway Jr, Glenn Robinson III, Caris LaVert, Trey Burke, Jordan Poole
Bench – Mo Wagner, Iggy Bradzekis, DJ Wilson
What would happen if the 2012-13 national champion runner ups re-assembled in the NBA? That’s basically what this team is. Hardaway, Burke, LaVert, and Nik Stauskas were all teammates at Michigan. Add in some guys from the Wolverines most recent title run, and you have a pretty solid team.
10. Villanova Wildcats
Kyle Lowry, Josh Hart, Mikal Bridges, Eric Paschall
Bench – Donte DiVincenzo, Jalen Brunson, Ryan Arcidiacono
That solid Michigan squad above? They lost to Villanova. Josh Hart and Kyle Lowry weren’t part of the Villanova championship run in 2018, but Hart helped them win it in 2016. Lowry left ‘Nova in 2006 and helped guide the Raptors to their first NBA title in 2019.
9. North Carolina Tar Heels
Coby White, Danny Green, Vince Carter, Harrison Barnes, Marvin Williams
Bench – Ed Davis, Wayne Ellington, Raymond Felton, Reggie Bullock
It’s weird seeing UNC so low on the list but the truth is they have been recruiting less one and done’s and NBA teams draft based on potential. Their recent 2017 championship team didn’t produce many viable pro prospects as it was largely an older team and NBA teams want younger players. This Tar Heels lineup is a bit older, but one that would still be competitive on a nightly basis. They certainly don’t lack shooting (Green, Ellington, Bullock).
8. UConn Huskies
Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lamb, Shabazz Napier, Rudy Gay, Andre Drummond
Walker, Lamb, and Napier all won a National Championship, while Gay’s Huskies went 30-3 before losing to George Mason and Drummond’s Huskies went 20-14 in 2011-12, his only season in Storrs.
7. Indiana Hoosiers
Victor Oladipo, OG Anunoby, Eric Gordon, Cody Zeller, Thomas Bryant
Bench – Noah Vonleh, Yogi Ferrell, Romeo Langford
Indiana has made just 6 NCAA Tournament appearances since 2006 and none since 2016. But they continue to churn out NBA talent. Minus Gordon, all of these guys are recent draft picks. Oladipo has evolved into a star and could carry this team to a few wins.
6. Kansas Jayhawks
Marcus Morris, Markief Morris, Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre, Joel Embiid
Bench – Josh Jackson, Ben McLemore
Wiggins and Embiid reunite after losing in the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament and the Morris brothers re-unite as well.
5. Arizona Wildcats
Andre Iguodala, Allonzo Trier, Lauri Markkanen, Aaron Gordon, DeAndre Ayton
Bench – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Stanley Johnson, Solomon Hill
This team has everything except a true point guard. Trier has been handling the ball on the Knicks and McConnell can play off the bench, but if you are starting the five best, you have a former Finals MVP (Iguodala), a terrific shooter (Markkanen), an athletic big down low (Ayton), and an athletic wing who can drive and shoot (Gordon).
4. UCLA Bruins
Lonzo Ball, Russell Westbrook, Jrue Holiday, Zach LaVine, Kevin Love
Bench – Norm Powell, Kevon Looney, Trevor Ariza
Remember when Russell Westbrook was a BACKUP to Darren Collison at UCLA? Funny times, in hindsight, though it obviously made sense and was the right move at the time. Westbrook reunites with Kevin Love and Lonzo and LaVine add youth and athleticism to a strong team.
3. Texas Longhorns
DJ Augustin, Avery Bradley, , Kevin Durant, Myles Turner, LaMarcus Aldridge
Bench – Mo Bamba, Jarrett Allen, PJ Tucker, Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph
What a HUGE team. Imagine a defensive lineup with Aldridge, Turner, Bamba, Allen, and Tucker?? Good luck ever scoring against them. Tristan Thompson is not a bad player, but he’s on the bench. Augustin is a serviceable point, but they are a legit point guard away, from vaulting into the top 2.
2. Duke Blue Devils
Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, RJ Barrett, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson
Bench – Marvin Bagley, Luke Kennard, JJ Redick, Austin Rivers, Justice Winslow
Depending on what happens with Zion and Barrett in the coming years, and how Zion progresses, you could potentially make an argument for them at #1 down the road. All of these guys are connected. Zion and RJ played together in 2018-19 and Zion and Ingram are now teammates with the Pelicans. Kyrie and Tatum were teammates with the Celtics from 2017-2019.
1. Kentucky Wildcats
Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, John Wall, De’Aaron Fox
Bench – Demarcus Cousins. Eric Bledsoe, Rajon Rondo, Julius Randle, Kevin Knox, Enes Kanter, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, Willie Cauley-Stein
This team is insanely loaded. If we put the bench as it’s own team, say Cousins, Bledsoe, Randle, Shai, and Herro, where would they rank on this list? You have amazing ball handling and passing with Wall and Fox, Booker is your shooter and Davis and Towns are your all-world everything (and Towns can be your shooter too!).