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.
In 2020, the NBA draft started with Georgia star Anthony Edwards going No. 1 overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Edwards is the first player from UGA to go No. 1 overall and the Bulldogs' ninth first-round pick.
Here’s how the top 20 schools stack up:
College basketball teams with the most NBA first-round draft picks
|2||North Carolina||Atlantic Coast||52|
|11||Ohio State||Big Ten||23|
|12||Michigan State||Big Ten||21|
|13||Notre Dame||Atlantic Coast||20|
|13||Connecticut||American Athletic Conference||20|
|16||Georgia Tech||Atlantic Coast||19|
|18||North Carolina State||Atlantic Coast||16|
|18||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, 69 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 are Art Heyman (1963, New York Knicks), Elton Brand (1999, Chicago Bulls), Kyrie Irving (2011, Cleveland Cavaliers) and Zion Williamson (2019, New Orleans Pelicans).
In all, 46 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 2020, the Atlantic Coast Conference has had an impressive 271 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.