The REAL All-Time NCAA Tournament Team

Basketball, Bull City — By on March 30, 2012 at 4:00 am

Power Forward – Larry Johnson

Enforcers make a difference when it comes to the hoop game. The enforcer has to be a force in the paint, a monster on the boards, and one of the most feared players on both ends of the court. No enforcer has made a mark on the game like Larry Johnson brought us from the Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV. Johnson was the cog in the Runnin’ Rebel machine. Johnson led the team with 22.7 points per game and 10.9 rebounds. He wasn’t only the best player on this team; he’s the greatest in program history. Johnson was the co-Player of the Year in 1991, and his legacy will forever be as the man who led a slew of college stars to back-to-back Final Fours at a school that’s not supposed to do that sort of thing. The 1990 Rebels remain the last team from outside a major conference to win a title.

Center – Christian Laettner

The big fella has to make you remember who they are. In college basketball, the big fella can be versatile. He can be explosive in the paint or possess a mid-range game that leaves you thirsty for more. He should also have the ability to use the glass from the elbow like a shooter, and then he back you down and throw it down on you with a vengeance. Christian Laettner is probably one of the best players to ever grace the college basketball court. Love him or hate him, in the end, you had to respect him. As the Rev put it, “I hate Christian Laettner. I’ve always hated Christian Laettner. And I will always hate Christian Laettner. Yet, I believe that to this day, Laettner is the best college basketball player I’ve ever seen, and if anyone leaves him off their all-NCAA Tournament team, their ballots should be null and void. He is one of only four players ever to play in four straight Final Fours, starting in all four of them for Duke, winning the 1991 MOP and winning two titles for the Blue Devils.”

Position Player School
PG Ed Cota (3) UNC Tar Heels
SG Anderson Hunt (2)
Miles Simon (2)
UNLV Runnin’ Rebels
Arizona Wildcats
SF Carmelo Anthony (2) Syracuse Orangemen
PF Larry Johnson (2) UNLV Runnin’ Rebels
C Christian Laettner (3) Duke Blue Devils

How we picked them:

Kenny Masenda
Rev. Paul Revere
The House That Glanville Built
Jason Clinkscales
The Exchange
Joe Simmons
Bull City State of Mind
Eddie Maisonet
PG Ed Cota Ed Cota Juan Dixon Ed Cota Tony Delk
SG Anderson Hunt Miles Simon No Choice Anderson Hunt Miles Simon
SF Jamal Mashburn Carmelo Anthony Carmelo Anthony Glen Rice John Wallace
PF Larry Johnson Christian Laettner Christian Laettner Larry Johnson Keith Van Horn
C Chris Webber Marcus Camby Lew Alcindor (???) Christian Laettner Joakim Noah

There were others that were worthy of consideration of the team and great arguments were made. The most compelling argument for a player that didn’t make the list was made by Ed for Joakim Noah.

Here are the real deal facts about Joakim Noah’s time at Florida. Two-time NCAA champion, 2006 NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and the catalyst for Al Horford and Corey Brewer to return to Gainesville and have their team repeat as champions in 2007. Noah’s leadership, defense, headiness and all-out hustle as a member of the Bulls has now become commonplace, but watching Noah’s antics at Florida made him simultaneously loathed and loved. I root hard for Noah, because any basketball team would die to have him on their team, and that’s the ultimate sign of respect for a player.

Here’s our All-Tournament team, but what’s your favorite all-time tournament team? Let us know in the comments section!

Joe Simmons

Color Commentator for Time Warner Cable Sports Network NC/SC/OH and NCCU Sports Network. Washed up athlete who used to ball, now I write and call.

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  • Scott says:

    I am really surprised that no one chose any of the O’Bannon brothers. They had a great run. I like the picks of Laettner and Ed Cota. Not sure about Melo since he only played one year.

    Good Post

  • Felicia says:

    I would have gone with:
    Tyus Edney
    Donald Williams
    Charles O’Bannon
    Chris Webber
    Christian Laettner

  • Joe Simmons says:

    I like this post. I would have gone different with a few choices though.

    Ed Cota
    Stephon Curry
    Jamal Mashburn
    Larry Johnson
    Marcus Camby

    This post almost needs a second five because of the number of players I would still like to add.

  • JAG says:

    You youngbloods have a great deal of nerve to call this an All – Time team and then only select players from the 90’s to the present? Ha Ha

    I respect that you don’t want to pick players that you didn’t actually see. Just call it “The All – Star Tournament Team from the last 20 years.

    Being a bit older, I might be able to stretch this list out a little more.

    PG – Nick Van Exel – Took two fairly talented but not great UC squads to the Final Four and Elite Eight. The Final Four team lost to the Fab Five and the Elite Eight team lost to eventual champion UNC in overtime. No shame there. He was poised and determined with rock solid decision making. Yes, his pro career was clouded with attitude problems but Nick was the man back in the day. (Um, maybe Isiah Thomas deserves a mention as well.)

    SG – Glen Rice shot Michigan to the title in the year 2B.F.F. (Before the Fab Five) Clyde Drexler – Leader of Phi Slamma Jamma, wasn’t joking around either.

    SF – I’ll go with Carmelo here. James Worthy and Dominique Wilkins weren’t too shabby.

    PF – Larry Johnson is a very good choice. It’s funny how some of our greatest NBA PF’s like Barkley, Malone and Duncan didn’t make noise in the NCAA tournaments.

    C – I’ve got to go with Patrick Ewing with Akeem as a close runner up. Webber deserves a mention also. If we’re just talking college, Ewing had the better career. According to Bill Simmons, if Ewing had come out early, he would have gone #1 to Houston and Portland would have taken Akeem. Michael’s fingers might be a little shorthanded if the Blazers had The Dream on those two Finals teams that challenged him.

    Great effort, fellas. Brings back memories to a time when a college career was something you could actually follow for 3-4 years. Now, they just love us and leave us. lol

  • Jeremy says:

    Here’s who I like:

    PG Ed Cota for sure

    SG Glen rice

    SF jamaal mashburn

    PF Larry bird (if I’m allowed to put him here)

    C lou Alcindor

  • JAG says:

    @Rev – You’re right. Laettner should be on the list. He loses points for not having much of a pro career and generally acting like a jerk. But that should not count against him if we’re just evaluating the greatest NCAA tournament players. His resume just about matches up with Alcindor and Walton and is better than Ewing, Akeem and Webber.

    • Ha, all subjective, I know. And believe me, I hate Laettner as much as anyone. But man, 4 straight Final Fours is nuts. All them picks are nasty though – Ewing, Akeem, Webber, Walton, Alcindor. I guess the list goes on and on.

  • As beastly as Webber was at Michigan, I don’t think you should be eligible for anyone’s vote if you make one of the most boneheaded plays in the history of sports. Just sayin.

  • JAG says:

    As an Ohio State alum, I would contend that the act of enrolling at the University of Michigan is one of the most boneheaded decisions of all time. It only went downhill from there.

  • Hey, this was tough for me as well. I took Alcindor, but it was a struggle to choose him over Ewing (*beats chest for the Knicks*) and Olajuwon.

    Since I wanted to stay with the natural positions, I had a surprsingly hard time picking a 2. I just couldn’t figure out if I should move a PG to the SG or leave it be since it was hard for me to think of one who stood out.

    Laettner: NBA power forward game with the elite prep star attitude. The best college player I’ve ever seen.

  • Jeremy says:

    This post has me trying to remember names and the same names keep popping up.

  • JT says:

    This was a super hard post,

    PG Jason Williams
    SG Jimmy Jackson or Miles Simon- Miles was my dog at Arizona
    SF Carmelo Anthony
    PF Larry Johnson
    C Patrick Ewing

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