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Daniel Wilco | NCAA.com | November 19, 2020

College basketball teams with the most NBA 1st-round draft picks

NBA Draft: Zion Williamson's top NCAA tournament highlights

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

Rank College Conference First-round picks
1 Kentucky Southeastern 54
2 North Carolina Atlantic Coast 52
3 Duke Atlantic Coast 48
4 UCLA Pac-12 39
5 Kansas Big 12 33
6 Michigan Big Ten 27
7 Indiana Big Ten 26
8 Arizona Pac-12 24
8 Louisville Atlantic Coast 24
8 Syracuse Atlantic Coast 24
11 Ohio State Big Ten 23
12 Michigan State Big Ten 21
13 Notre Dame Atlantic Coast 20
13 Connecticut American Athletic Conference 20
13 Maryland Big Ten 20
16 Georgia Tech Atlantic Coast 19
17 Texas Big 12 18
18 North Carolina State Atlantic Coast 16
18 Minnesota Big Ten 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
1 Duke Atlantic Coast 4
2 Kentucky Southeastern 3
3 North Carolina Atlantic Coast 2
3 UCLA Pac-12 2
3 Kansas Big 12 2
3 Indiana Big Ten 2
3 Michigan Big Ten 2
3 Maryland Big Ten 2
3 Nevada-Las Vegas Mountain West 2
3 Louisiana State Southeastern 2
3 Georgetown Big East 2
3 Utah Pac-12 2
3 Houston American Athletic Conference 2
3 Cincinnati American Athletic Conference 2
3 Purdue Big Ten 2
3 Kansas State Big 12 2
3 West Virginia Big 12 2
3 Texas-El Paso Conference USA 2
3 Duquesne Atlantic 10 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.

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