Winning an NCAA title without an NBA Lottery pick is more the exception than the rule.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – There's not a sure NBA Draft lottery pick on the 2013 University of Louisville basketball roster. Even Rick Pitino understands there was nobody in his rotation ready to squeeze Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore or the other top prospects off the top of the draft board.
Not Gorgui Dieng, who projects in the 20-to-30 range. Not Russ Smith, who likely won't crack the first round, if he is really gone. Not Peyton Siva, who will be fortunate to hear his name called in the 60 picks over two rounds.
Contrast that with the University of Michigan team that the Cardinals defeated, 82-76, for the NCAA title Monday night in the Georgia Dome. If you trust the work of several of the established mock drafts, the Wolverines had one sure lottery pick (point guard Trey Burke), two other possible lottery picks (Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary) and another second-rounder (Tim Hardaway Jr.).
Talent, talent, talent.
How unusual is it for a team to win the NCAA title without a lottery pick?
Here are some interesting numbers:
Of the last 20 NCAA champs, 15 had at least one lottery pick. Here are the five exceptions: Arkansas, 1994; Arizona, 1997; Kentucky, 1998; Florida, 2006 and Duke 2010.
Even those numbers are misleading. Why? That Florida team put three players in the lottery in 2007 after the Gators won their second NCAA title. The 1997 Arizona team had two lottery picks – Michael Bibby and Michael Dickerson – a year after they won the title. And Corliss Williamson, star of the 1994 Arkansas NCAA champs, was taken in the 1995 NBA Draft Lottery.
So only two of the last 20 NCAA champs did not produce a lottery pick.
A look back at the last 20 NCAA champs and how they were represented in the NBA Draft in the year after they cut down the nets.