Since the NBA Draft's inception in 1947, around 1,500 players have been drafted in the first round. About 90 percent of those players came from a Division I school. Chances are, if you picked one at random, they'd have worn blue in college.
This year, the NBA draft started with Duke star Zion Williamson going No. 1 overall to the New Orleans Pelicans. Duke has the thirst-most number of first-round picks, behind only Kentucky and North Carolina.
Here’s how the top 20 schools stack up:
|2||North Carolina||Atlantic Coast||51|
|10||Ohio State||Big Ten||23|
|12||Michigan State||Big Ten||21|
|13||Notre Dame||Atlantic Coast||20|
|13||Connecticut||American Athletic Conference||20|
|15||Georgia Tech||Atlantic Coast||19|
|17||North Carolina State||Atlantic Coast||16|
|17||St. John's (NY)||Big East||16|
No big surprises there. The top 10 schools there account for more than half of the NCAA championships alone.
Since 1947, 68 top overall picks have come from NCAA Division I schools. Two have come from overseas, and three from high school.
No schools have seen more No. 1 picks than Duke, which has seen four.
Duke’s four is Art Heyman (1963, New York Knicks), Elton Brand (1999, Chicago Bulls), Kyrie Irving (2011, Cleveland Cavaliers) and now Zion Williamson (2019, New Orleans Pelicans).
In all, 45 schools have had at least one No. 1 pick taken.
Here’s how the top schools rank:
|Rank||College||Conference||No. 1 overall picks|
|3||North Carolina||Atlantic Coast||2|
|3||Nevada-Las Vegas||Mountain West||2|
|3||Houston||American Athletic Conference||2|
|3||Cincinnati||American Athletic Conference||2|
|3||Kansas State||Big 12||2|
|3||West Virginia||Big 12||2|
|3||Texas-El Paso||Conference USA||2|
Having North Carolina second in overall picks, and Duke with the most No. 1 picks, should clue you in to which conference reigns supreme in the NBA Draft.
Through 2019, the Atlantic Coast Conference has had an impressive 268 players drafted in the first round, approximately 20 percent of all Division I players drafted. The Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC are right behind the ACC.