March 2, 2013; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski on the sidelines against the Miami Hurricanes during the second half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

NCAA Iron Throne Elite Eight

College basketball fans have longed picked pride over objectivity when discussing which program has produced the greatest ballplayers. It is a debate that feels senseless and impossible to win or lose, until right now.

I have summoned the greatest players from the storied histories of the eight most prolific basketball schools in the country. They will do battle in the NCCA Iron Throne Elite Eight to prove once and for all which school truly produced the best of the best.

Coverage of the NCCA Iron Throne Elite Eight will begin with opening round coverage next week. Readers are encouraged to make predictions and illegally gamble on games.

Here is how the bracket broke down with keys to the series and rosters beneath:

  1. UCLA

vs. _________

  1. Indiana

Keys to matchup:

  • Kareem and Walton inside

  • Isiah’s ability to penetrate

  • Wooden vs. Knight game plan

    4. Duke

vs. _________

  1. LSU

Keys to matchup:

  • Shaq inside

  • Redick from downtown

  • Hill guarding Pistol Pete

    3. Kansas

vs. _________

  1. Kentucky

Keys to matchup:

  • Wilt inside

  • John Wall attacking the rim

  • Kentucky’s balanced attack

    2. UNC

vs. _________

  1. Ohio St.

Keys to matchup:

  • Jordan and Worthy in transition

  • Oden protecting the rim

  • Vince Carter off the bench


UCLA: 1 Seed

Center: Lew Alcindor

PF: Bill Walton

SF: Ed O’Bannon

SG: Reggie Miller

PG: Gail Goodrich

Bench: Jamaal Wilkes, Don Barksdale

Coach: John Wooden

UNC: 2 Seed

Center: Tyler Hansbrough

PF: Antawn Jamison

SF: James Worthy

SG: Michael Jordan

PG: Ty Lawson

Bench: Vince Carter, Larry Miller

Coach: Dean Smith

Kansas: 3 Seed

Center: Wilt Chamberlain

PF: Nick Collison

SF: Danny Manning

SG: Paul Pierce

PG: Jo Jo White

Bench: Mario Chalmers, Drew Gooden

Coach: Dr. Forrest “Phog” Allen

Duke: 4 Seed

Center: Elton Brand

PF: Christian Laettner

SF: Grant Hill

SG: J. J. Redick

PG: Jay Williams

Bench: Shane Battier, Bobby Hurley

Coack: Mike Krzyzewski

LSU: 5 Seed

Center: Shaquille O’Neil

PF: Bob Pettit

SF: Rudy Macklin

SG: Pete Maravich

PG: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (born Chris Wayne Jackson)

Bench: Glenn Davis, Stromile Swift

Coach: Dale Brown

Kentucky: 6 Seed

Center: Anthony Davis

PF: Jamal Mashburn

SF: Tayshaun Prince

SG: Tony Delk

PG: John Wall

Bench: Antoine Walker, Rex Chapman

Coach: Rick Pitino

Ohio State: 7 Seed

Center: Greg Oden

PF: Jerry Lucas

SF: John Havlicek

SG: Jim Jackson

PG: Gary Brads

Bench: Evan Turner, Robin Freeman

Coach: Thad Matta

Indiana: 8 Seed

Center: Walt Bellamy

PF: Alan Henderson

SF: Victor Oladipo

SG: Calbert Cheaney

PG: Isiah Thomas

Bench: George McGinnis, Kent Benson

Coach: Bob Knight

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