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Sporting News ranks the top 75 NCAA Tournament players

To help celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Final Four, the NCAA put together a list of the top NCAA Tournament players in history. But, the problem was, they didn’t rank them. They took the easy way out and listed the players in alphabetical or chronological order.

Well, Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News didn’t like that one bit. He took the project one step further, ranking the top 75 NCAA Tournament players in history. Naturally, some Kentucky players made the list:

22. Anthony Davis, Kentucky. It’s not easy to judge players who only spent a single year in college against those whose careers were much longer. But when the player was this dominant, he must be mentioned prominently.

41. Jack Givens, Kentucky

61. Tony Delk, Kentucky

74. Dan Issel, Kentucky

Only some players, such as Davis, get blurbs to go with their name, but the list is pretty impressive. Even more so since DeCourcy didn’t take the easy way out and put Christian Laettner at #1, an honor that goes to Lew Alcindor, AKA Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, instead (Laettner came in second).

How would you rank Kentucky players based on their performance in the NCAA Tournament? Does the list need more Shepperd or Alex Groza?

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

28 Comments for Sporting News ranks the top 75 NCAA Tournament players



  1. John Calipari's Amazing One And Done Flying Circus
    1:35 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    Corliss Williamson over Anthony Davis. LMAO



  2. UKBlue1!
    1:37 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    Goose Givens should be ranked higher. 41 points in the title game unbelievable performance. It’s hard to imagine too many others having this type of game in the final four….maybe 3-4 more? GOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE



  3. daniel
    1:37 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    Where is wayne turner star in 98 tourney prominent role on 97 runner up99 elite 8 and contributor in 96 title



  4. Brandon Knight
    1:38 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    No guys, it’s cool I didn’t wanna be on this list anyway



  5. Bob Loblaw
    1:42 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    Laettner is ranked too high in my opinion. I couldn’t imagine putting him over Bill Russell and Bill Walton.



  6. CollegeStudent
    1:43 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    I am currently posting on KSR during a College English Final. #Winning



  7. Mike Summers
    1:44 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    Issel was the greatest player in history but did not do much in the tournment.



  8. asdf
    1:52 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    Where’s Alex Groza? TWO TIME “most outstanding player” of the NCAA’s. Doesn’t that earn him a spot in the top four or five?



  9. redandyz
    2:02 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    Hoosiers have 7 on the list.. UK has four. FACE! lol



  10. seriously learn the history of our program (I'm not Sean Woods...or Shawn Woods)
    2:03 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    Who the hell is Shepperd? Is he friends with Terrance Jones?



  11. CliffFrankLou
    2:05 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    No love for J. Sheppard in ’98? Primary reason for result.



  12. BIsonpainter
    2:07 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    Groza should be on. Goose should certainly be much higher. But definitely don’t think Laettner is too high…let’s be honest



  13. SexnNursinHomes
    2:11 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    6- proud of ya. Now smack the professor’s ass on your way out.



  14. JT
    2:12 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    Really? The program with 8 national titles has zero players in the top 20? No credibility.



  15. Blue Goggles
    2:20 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    Yes, the Goose should definitely be higher and I am surprised no UK players made it in the Top 20, but I think a lot of you all are missing the point of these rankings. Its not for dominant teams, but dominant players. I bet a lot of you want a representative from each UK championship team to be on this list, but thats not how this exercise works.



  16. Jamal Mashburn
    2:22 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    How am I not on here? I’m maybe the most dominant college basketball player ever and almost single handedly beat the Fab Five in the Final Four.



  17. Alex Groza
    2:28 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    And how am I not included? Most outstanding player of the NCAA tournament in 1948 and 1949, winning national titles both years. Laettner only won “MOP” once at Duke. Alcindor won it three times, so I still defer to him at # 1…



  18. "You Can't Handle The Truth"
    2:29 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    Issel averaged 26 and 33 his final 2 years, he should be higher no doubt.



  19. MJ4UK
    2:41 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    How can Jeff Shepherd not make this list???…he was the tournament MVP.



  20. Season Never Ends
    2:48 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    This list is simply a hits grab and is not valid. Not only is it devoid of Alex Groza but also Ralph Beard, another two-timer (to say nothing of Wah-Wah Jones) from the late ’40s. Based on Danny Manning’s one NCAA run, I don’t see how Jeff Sheppard (1998 MOP) can be left off this list. Umm, Shelvin Mack at #51? I do believe Ron Mercer had 20 in the ’96 NCAA title game and carried UK to the 1997 title game as well. Jack Givens had 41 and is 41st. Wayne Turner played in three Final Fours. And I’m leaving out a few as well. I refuse to let this ruin my day.



  21. barn
    3:07 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    laetner #2? chamberlain not in the top 10? what was the criteria for this list?



  22. Brandon Knight
    3:12 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    I played in one NCAA Tournament and hit two game-winning shots against Princeton and the top-seeded team Ohio State. Also scored 30 points against WVU and had 20+ in a losing effort in the Final Four



  23. Pistol Pete
    3:38 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    I hate laettner but 2 is about right, kid balled in the tourney. Davis is way to high, as great as he is they’re probably 7 or 8 from UK who preformed better in the NCAA then he did. Got to have Turner on this list somewhere. I don’t remember seeing pistol Pete high on the list. I might have looked over him because you can’t have any all time players list that doesn’t include him. Pete was arguably the BEST NCAA player in history.



  24. UK Freshmen
    6:08 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    FAIL.

    Bobby Joe Hill #57. What a joke list. Didn’t Givens bugger young girls?



  25. UK Freshmen
    6:11 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    Hahaha. Mashburn ALMOST beat the Fab Five. Almost.



  26. Typical UK Fan
    6:22 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    What about Jay Scheidler?? White Lightning was awesome. He led the team against a powerful Duke team.



  27. Troy
    6:54 pm December 11, 2012 Permalink

    Mashburn ?



  28. lou eaton
    9:57 am December 12, 2012 Permalink

    Media bias??? Indy vs KY…come on…how about Dwayne Wade??? No Mashburn????????????? Joke!!!!!!!!!!!!