Correlation between Tournament Champions and 1st Round Draft Picks

There’s an interesting article on CBS Sports NCAA BB that poses the question: How important is having a player picked in the first round of the NBA Draft to NCAA Tournament Champions?

Their study reveals that of the 45 men’s college basketball national champions since 1976, 44 featured at least one first-round pick in a future NBA Draft.  The 1987 Indiana Hoosiers (30-4), led by second-round selection Steve Alford, are the only team without a first-rounder.

The article does acknowledge the chicken-and-egg situation of whether NBA teams are attracted to players due to their emerging from a winning program.  Scrutinizing the list of first-round-picked NCAA champions provided by CBS, one can detect a few players whose draft stock was perhaps overly-inflated due to their March Madness run.

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