basketball-men-d1 flag

Andy Wittry | | April 16, 2022

Colleges with the most players in the 2022 NBA Playoffs

Devin Booker highlights: 2015 NCAA tournament top plays

One-hundred and four colleges or universities are represented on the rosters of the 20 NBA teams that qualified for the 2022 NBA Playoffs and it shouldn't be a surprise that the five schools with the most players in the playoffs are blue bloods: Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, Kansas and North Carolina.

Three of those schools were present in New Orleans for the 2022 NCAA Men's Final Four, where Kansas beat North Carolina for its fourth national championship. Kentucky earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and it had the national player of the year in Oscar Tshiebwe, while UCLA made the Final Four in 2021.

Here is the complete breakdown of the schools with the most players in the 2022 NBA Playoffs. The data used in this story is based on official team rosters as of Monday, April 11. If a player transferred in college, we only counted the final school for which he played.

1. Kentucky

Number of players on rosters in the 2022 NBA Playoffs: 15

The Miami Heat earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and it did so with three former Kentucky players on its roster, including its second and third-leading scorers in Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro. There are four playoff teams with multiple former Kentucky players, but none has more than Miami's three former Wildcats.

Here is the full list of former Kentucky players in the 2022 NBA Playoffs:

Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat
Tyler Herro, Miami Heat
Mychal Mulder, Miami Heat
Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers
Rajon Rondo, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Knox II, Atlanta Hawks
Nick Richards, Charlotte Hornets
P.J. Washington, Charlotte Hornets
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
DeMarcus Cousins, Denver Nuggets
Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets
Jarred Vanderbilt, Minnesota Timberwolves
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
Brandon Boston Jr., Los Angeles Clippers
Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs

2. Duke

Number of players on rosters in the 2022 NBA Playoffs: 14

There's a former Duke player on the No. 2 seed in each conference โ€” Milwaukee's Grayson Allen and Memphis' Austin Rivers โ€” plus former Blue Devils on the No. 3 seed Boston Celtics (Jayson Tatum) and No. 5 seed Toronto Raptors (Gary Trent Jr.), so the chances are good that Duke will be represented in the conference finals in some capacity.

Here is the full list of former Duke players in the 2022 NBA Playoffs:

Grayson Allen, Milwaukee Bucks
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
Gary Trent Jr., Toronto Raptors
Seth Curry, Brooklyn Nets
Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets
Jalen Johnson, Atlanta Hawks
Mason Plumlee, Charlotte Hornets
Tyus Jones, Memphis Grizzlies
Austin Rivers, Denver Nuggets
Rodney Hood, Los Angeles Clippers
Luke Kennard, Los Angeles Clippers
Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
Tre Jones, San Antonio Spurs


Number of players on rosters in the 2022 NBA Playoffs: 9

Each of last season's NBA finals participants, the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns, has a former UCLA Bruin on their current roster, with NBA champion Jrue Holiday on the former and his younger brother Aaron playing for the latter.

Here is the full list of former UCLA players in the 2022 NBA Playoffs:

Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks
Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls
Zach Lavine, Chicago Bulls
Moses Brown, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
Aaron Holiday, Phoenix Suns
Kyle Anderson, Memphis Grizzlies
Kevon Looney, Golden Sate Warriors
Norman Powell, Los Angeles Clippers

T-4. Kansas

Number of players on rosters in the 2022 NBA Playoffs: 8

This number could grow in the near future, given that Kansas just won its fourth national championship. While Kansas' previous national championship team from 2008 had seven future NBA players, none of them are the 2022 NBA Playoffs.

Markieff Morris is on the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed, while the Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid just won the league's scoring title after averaging 30.6 points per game.

Here is the full list of former Kansas players in the 2022 NBA Playoffs:

Markieff Morris, Miami Heat
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Svi Mykhailiuk, Toronto Raptors
Kelly Oubre Jr., Charlotte Hornets
Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors
Udoka Azubuike, Utah Jazz
Marcus Morris Sr., Los Angeles Clippers
Devonte' Graham, New Orleans Pelicans

T-4. North Carolina

Number of players on rosters in the 2022 NBA Playoffs: 8

There's a former Tar Heel on the NBA team with the best record in the league: the Phoenix Suns' Cameron Johnson. Both the Chicago Bulls โ€” a franchise synonymous with former North Carolina great Michael Jordan โ€” and the Dallas Mavericks each have two former Tar Heels.

Here is the full list of former North Carolina players in the 2022 NBA Playoffs:

Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers
Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls
Coby White, Chicago Bulls
Day'Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets
Ed Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns
Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks
Theo Pinson, Dallas Mavericks

These conferences have the most players in the 2022 NBA Playoffs

Thanks in large part to Kentucky's 15 former players in the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the SEC leads the way with 59 former players from its current member schools in this year's playoffs. However, it's not just Kentucky that has produced pros. On average, the conference's 14 schools are responsible for 4.2 players in the NBA playoffs per school and the average is nearly 3.4 per school if you ignore the Wildcats.

The average number of players per school is based on each conference's current members, even if a player's school has since changed its conference affiliation since he played in college.

Conference Number Avg. Per School
SEC 59 4.2
ACC 50 3.3
Pac-12 45 3.8
Big 12 32 3.2
Big Ten 28 2.0
Big East 24 2.2
Mountain West 10 0.9
American 9 0.8
WCC 7 0.7
OVC 5 0.5
A-10 3 0.2
C-USA 3 0.2
Big South 2 0.2
CAA 2 0.2
Horizon 2 0.2
Patriot 2 0.2
Sun Belt 2 0.2
ASUN 1 0.1
Big West 1 0.1
MAC 1 0.1
WAC 1 0.1

Here's every school represented in the playoffs

Below is the complete list of every school that is represented in the 2022 NBA Playoffs, listed in descending order of the number of players per school, then alphabetically.

School Number
Kentucky 15
Duke 14
Kansas 8
North Carolina 8
Louisville 7
Michigan 7
Southern California 7
Texas 7
Arizona 6
Florida State 6
Washington 6
Alabama 5
Florida 5
Marquette 5
Michigan State 5
Tennessee 5
Texas A&M 5
Arkansas 4
Auburn 4
Baylor 4
Georgetown 4
Indiana 4
Iowa State 4
Oregon 4
Stanford 4
Villanova 4
Virginia 4
Colorado 3
Georgia Tech 3
Gonzaga 3
Memphis 3
Miami (FL) 3
Mississippi State 3
Nevada 3
Ohio State 3
Saint Mary's 3
San Diego State 3
UConn 3
Vanderbilt 3
DePaul 2
Georgia 2
Illinois 2
Iowa 2
Kansas State 2
Maryland 2
Missouri 2
Murray State 2
Oklahoma 2
Pittsburgh 2
Seton Hall 2
Utah 2
Wake Forest 2
Wichita State 2
Arizona State 1
Belmont 1
Boston College 1
Butler 1
California 1
Cincinnati 1
Creighton 1
Davidson 1
Florida Gulf Coast 1
Houston 1
John A. Logan College 1
Lehigh 1
Little Rock 1
Louisiana 1
Louisiana Tech 1
Loyola (MD) 1
Marshall 1
Minnesota 1
Morehead State 1
Nebraska 1
New Mexico 1
New Mexico State 1
Ohio 1
Oklahoma State 1
Oregon State 1
Penn State 1
Pepperdine 1
Providence 1
Purdue Fort Wayne 1
Radford 1
Saint Joseph's 1
South Carolina Upstate 1
Tennessee State 1
Texas Tech 1
Truman (DII) 1
UC Santa Barbara 1
UNC Wilmington 1
Washington State 1
West Virginia 1
Western Kentucky 1
Wheeling (DII) 1
William & Mary 1
Wyoming 1
Xavier 1

College basketball's milestone anniversaries, over the past 80 years

2023 is a year to celebrate the present state of college basketball, with more senior stars than ever and a burgeoning women's game, but also a fitting occasion to look back on its impactful anniversaries that helped build the game. Mike Lopresti looks back on 80 years of college basketball history:

1 stat to know for each team after another wild Champions Classic

Mike Lopresti breaks down this year's highlights and major moments from the 2023 Champions Classic โ€” featuring Duke-Michigan State and Kentucky-Kansas showdowns.

Ryan Crookham's win over Vito Arujau headlines a wild weekend in men's college wrestling

Lehigh's Crookham topped 2023 senior world champ Vito Arujau in one of several notable matches this weekend. Here's what you need to know about the wild weekend in its entirety.

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from and our partners