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Player of the Year or NCAA Championship?

Can’t we just split the Player of the Year two ways?


As tournament time approaches, legit candidates for Player of the Year begin to emerge. As a UK fan, we all know and appreciate the fact that it is more fun to have a season where one of the players wearing Big Blue is in serious contention. While it is fun to get the publicity, and we certainly want our man John Wall to win, what is the correlation between Player of the Year and winning an NCAA Championship?

I ran back over the past 10 11 years with three of the big POY Awards. Check it:


Year Wooden Naismith AP Champ
2009 Blake Griffin, Oklahoma Blake Griffin Blake Griffin North Carolina
2008 Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina Tyler Hansbrough Tyler Hansbrough Kansas
2007 Kevin Durant, Texas Kevin Durant Kevin Durant Florida
2006 J. J. Redick, Duke J. J. Redick J. J. Redick Florida
2005 Andrew Bogut, Utah Andrew Bogut Andrew Bogut North Carolina
2004 Jameer Nelson, Saint Joseph’s Jameer Nelson Jameer Nelson Connecticut
2003 T. J. Ford, Texas T. J. Ford David West, Xavier Syracuse
2002 Jay Williams, Duke Jason Williams Jason Williams Maryland
2001 Shane Battier, Duke Shane Battier Shane Battier Duke
2000 Kenyon Martin, Cincinnati Kenyon Martin Kenyon Martin Michigan State
1999 Elton Brand, Duke Elton Brand Elton Brand Connecticut


First, the level of group-think here is a bit much. I would have added more columns, but all the POY awards are pretty much the same. With the exception of David West/TJ Ford in 2003, every POY award seems to go to one particular player.

Second, Duke was the last team to have a POY winner and win the National Championship, and they did that way back in 2001 when Coach K could still recruit.

So take heart, Kentucky fans. If Evan Turner winds up with the award, that almost assures Ohio State won’t win the championship and increases UK’s chances of coming home with the big prize. Of course, if John Wall ends up with the hardware, forget this post ever happened.

Article written by Christopher Johns