Jon Rothstein's 5 Favorite NCAA Tournament Players of All Time

Jon Rothstein
Jon Rothstein@JonRothstein
Jon Rothstein's 5 Favorite NCAA Tournament Players of All Time

This is March!

As Conference Tournament week gets going, let's take a look at my all-time favorite players in March Madness.

Note: This list is in no particular order.

Christian Laettner, Duke (1988-92)

The most accomplished college basketball player ever? It's hard to argue against Christian Laettner.

In four years, Laettner played in four Final Fours and three national title games -- two of which that he won. He also made two game-winning shots at the buzzer twice in the Elite Eight; one was against UConn in 1990, and, of course, the other was his famous shot against Kentucky in 1992.

Laettner also hit two free throws that helped the Blue Devils end UNLV's 45-game winning streak in the 1991 Final Four.

Bobby Hurley, Duke (1989-93)

Arguably the best point guard in the history of college basketball, Bobby Hurley was the Blue Devils' starting floor general as a freshman and never relinquished that role.

He was the Most Outstanding Player of the 1992 Final Four and went to three Final Fours in four seasons.

Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse (2002-03)

The best freshman in college basketball's modern era, the 6'8" Carmelo Anthony dragged the Orange to the 2003 national title. He had 33 points and 14 rebounds in the Final Four against Texas and averaged 22.2 points and 10 rebounds in his only season of college basketball.

Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina (2005-09)

"Psycho T" was a combined 14-3 in NCAA Tournament games during his four-year career, highlighted by a national title in 2009.

Perhaps no player was as synonymous with a program in the 2000s as Tyler Hansbrough was with the Tar Heels.

Shabazz Napier, UConn (2010-14)

Kemba Walker is the Huskies guard that most people think of when March Madness is discussed, but I've got a soft spot for Shabazz Napier.

He won a national title as a freshman in 2011 and as a senior in 2014, when he led UConn to the sport's highest honor as a 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

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Jon Rothstein is not a FanDuel employee. The reporting of Rothstein is not subject to FanDuel's verification and does not represent the views or input of FanDuel. Betting based on Rothstein's reporting will not guarantee a successful outcome. Always do your own due diligence and use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.

Rothstein has been a college basketball insider for CBS Sports since 2010 and a contributor to the CBS Broadcast Network since 2016. He joined FanDuel in 2022 as a Content Creator. Rothstein is also the host of the College Hoops Today Podcast via Compass Media Networks.