The first round of the NBA Playoffs kicks off on Saturday as more than 200 players across 16 NBA teams will vie for the championship.
UCLA – 13 players
The Bruins have more men's basketball national championships than any other school and they are considered one of the premier programs historically, so it shouldn't be surprising that UCLA is high on this list. However, it might come as a surprise to some college basketball fans that Duke, North Carolina or Kansas isn't the most-represented school in this year's NBA Playoffs.
Nine of the 16 teams in the playoffs have a former UCLA athlete on their roster, including the Toronto Raptors (No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference), Houston Rockets (No. 1 seed in the Western Conference) and Golden State Warriors (No. 2 seed in the West), so there's a very good chance UCLA fans will be able to watch one of their former college stars help win an NBA title this summer.
|Player||NBA Team||Position||Year(s) at UCLA|
|Norman Powell||Toronto Raptors||Guard/Forward||2011-15|
|Kevin Love||Cleveland Cavaliers||Forward/Center||2007-08|
|Ike Anigbogu||Indiana Pacers||Center||2016-17|
|Darren Collison||Indiana Pacers||Guard||2005-09|
|TJ Leaf||Indiana Pacers||Forward||2016-17|
|Shabazz Muhammad||Milwaukee Bucks||Guard/Forward||2012-13|
|Trevor Ariza||Houston Rockets||Guard/Forward||2003-04|
|Luc Mbah a Moute||Houston Rockets||Forward||2005-08|
|Kevon Looney||Golden State Warriors||Forward||2014-15|
|Russell Westbrook||Oklahoma City Thunder||Guard||2006-08|
|Larry Drew II||New Orleans Pelicans||Guard||2012-13|
|Jrue Holiday||New Orleans Pelicans||Guard||2008-09|
|Kyle Anderson||San Antonio Spurs||Forward||2012-14|
Kentucky – 13 players
It's almost surprising there aren't more former Wildcats in the NBA Playoffs considering the New Orleans Pelicans have five on their roster alone. Seven teams in the playoffs have a former Kentucky player on their roster; the Thunder and Wizards join the Pelicans as playoff teams with multiple former Wildcats.
Amazingly, six of the 13 Kentucky players in this year's NBA Playoffs played together under coach John Calipari during the 2009-10 season, when the Wildcats went 35-3. John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Darius Miller, Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins comprised UK's typical starting lineup that season, averaging more than 63 points per game between them.
|Player||NBA Team||Position||Year(s) at Kentucky|
|Alex Poythress||Indiana Pacers||Forward||2012-16|
|Bam Adebayo||Miami Heat||Forward/Center||2016-17|
|Eric Bledsoe||Milwaukee Bucks||Guard||2009-10|
|Jodie Meeks||Washington Wizards||Guard||2006-09|
|John Wall||Washington Wizards||Guard||2009-10|
|Dakari Johnson||Oklahoma City Thunder||Center||2013-15|
|Patrick Patterson||Oklahoma City Thunder||Forward||2007-10|
|DeMarcus Cousins||New Orleans Pelicans||Center||2009-10|
|Anthony Davis||New Orleans Pelicans||Forward/Center||2011-12|
|DeAndre Liggins||New Orleans Pelicans||Guard||2008-11|
|Darius Miller||New Orleans Pelicans||Forward||2008-12|
|Rajon Rondo||New Orleans Pelicans||Guard||2004-06|
|Karl-Anthony Towns||Minnesota Timberwovles||Center||2014-15|
Duke – 12 players
Like UCLA, nine teams in the playoffs feature a former Duke player, including five teams in the Eastern Conference. Look at the table below and you'll notice the infusion of young Duke players into the NBA this decade. Ten of the 12 former Blue Devils in the NBA Playoffs arrived at Duke in 2010 or later.
|Player||NBA Team||Position||Year(s) at Duke|
|Kyrie Irving||Boston Celtics||Guard||2010-11|
|Jayson Tatum||Boston Celtics||Forward||2016-17|
|J.J. Redick||Philadelphia 76ers||Guard/Forward||2002-06|
|Rodney Hood||Cleveland Cavaliers||Guard||2013-14|
|Justise Winslow||Miami Heat||Forward||2014-15|
|Jabari Parker||Milwaukee Bucks||Forward||2013-14|
|Marshall Plumlee||Milwaukee Bucks||Center||2012-16|
|Quinn Cook||Golden State Warriors||Guard||2011-15|
|Kyle Singler||Oklahoma City Thunder||Forward||2007-11|
|Frank Jackson||New Orleans Pelicans||Guard||2016-17|
|Amile Jefferson||Minnesota Timberwolves||Forward||2012-17|
|Tyus Jones||Minnesota Timberwolves||Guard||2014-15|
Kansas – 9 players
Perhaps the most surprising statistic about the list of Kansas players in the NBA Playoffs is that three of them – Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins and Tarik Black – played together in Lawrence, Kan., during the 2013-14 season, when the Jayhawks lost 10 games – the most for a Kansas team this century.
|Player||NBA Team||Position||Year(s) at Kansas|
|Marcus Morris||Boston Celtics||2008-11|
|Joel Embiid||Philadelphia 76ers||2013-14|
|Markieff Morris||Washington Wizards||2008-11|
|Kelly Oubre Jr.||Washington Wizards||2014-15|
|Tarik Black||Houston Rockets||2013-14|
|Nick Collison||Oklahoma City Thunder||1999-03|
|Cheick Diallo||New Orleans Pelicans||2015-16|
|Cole Aldrich||Minnesota Timberwolves||2007-10|
|Andrew Wiggins||Minnesota Timberwolves||2013-14|
North Carolina – 7 players
Six of the seven Tar Heels who are on an NBA playoff roster won a national championship in college – in 2005, 2009 or 2017. There was a lot of overlap between players in Chapel Hill, as Danny Green was teammates with Wayne Ellington, Ed Davis and Tyler Zeller. The latter two later played with John Henson.
|Player||NBA Team||Position||Year(s) at North Carolina|
|Wayne Ellington||Miami Heat||Guard||2006-09|
|John Henson||Milwaukee Bucks||Center||2009-12|
|Tyler Zeller||Milwaukee Bucks||Center||2008-12|
|Ed Davis||Portland Trail Blazers||Forward/Center||2008-10|
|Raymond Felton||Oklahoma City Thunder||Guard||2002-05|
|Tony Bradley||Utah Jazz||Center||2016-17|
|Danny Green||San Antonio Spurs||Guard/Forward||2005-09|
Here are the other schools with at least four former players on an NBA playoff roster.
|School||Number of Players|