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Andy Wittry | | April 14, 2018

These colleges have the most players in the NBA Playoffs

  Five members of Duke's 2014-15 national championship team are on an NBA playoff roster.

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.

We broke down all of the playoff teams' rosters, using their official NBA rosters online, to figure out which schools are most represented in the postseason.

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.

  Former UCLA teammates Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Darren Collison and Luc Mbah a Moute are all on NBA playoff rosters.

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.

  Former Kentucky center Karl-Anthony Towns led the Wildcats to a 38-0 start in the 2015 season.
Imagine the discussions you could have if you got these 13 players to sit around a table and debate which of their Kentucky teams was the best. Was it the 2010 team that was loaded with future NBA players? Was is the Anthony Davis-led 2012 team that won the national championship? Or, was the '15 edition of the 'Cats the greatest because of its 38-0 start to the season?

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.

  Jayson Tatum averaged 13.9 points per game in his first season with the Celtics after playing one season for Duke.
Six of the players listed below won a national championship at Duke, including the quintet of Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones, Quinn Cook, Amile Jefferson, and Marshall Plumlee in 2015.

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.

  Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins were teammates at Kansas.
Twins Marcus and Markieff Morris could face each other in the Eastern Conference Finals if the Celtics and Wizards both win their first two playoff series. As juniors in their final season with the Jayhawks, they were the top two players in both scoring and rebounding as Kansas won the Big 12 and went to the Elite Eight.

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.

  Tony Bradley helped North Carolina win the 2017 NCAA national championship. He now plays for the Utah Jazz.
Henson and Zeller are now teammates on the Bucks, setting up a possible matchup with Ellington and the Heat in the second round.

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
Arizona Six
Texas Six
Florida Five
Syracuse Five
UConn Four
Gonzaga Four
Louisville Four
Michigan Four
Oregon Four
Wake Forest Four

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