5 Most Hated NCAA March Madness Players of All Time

Duke University Blue Devils
Duke University Blue Devils / Jonathan Daniel

Cover Photo: Getty Images

In college basketball, it's about the name on the front of the jersey more than the one on the back. However, there are some college basketball players that are most well known for their antics during the tournament, and it's not always in positive light, like Stephen Curry at Davidson.

There are those players that college basketball fans remember, mostly due to their utter dislike for them during March Madness. For every Cinderella, like Curry and Wally Szczerbiak at Miami of Ohio, there's three five-star recruits at Duke, UNC or another perennial top-25 program making headlines during the tournament.

It could be that those programs are seemingly there every year, but it's more the combination of a player's outspokenness along with them being so good that you simply love to hate them. Depending on your allegiance, there are surely lots of players that fall into the category of most hated players in college basketball, but it takes something special to make any top-5 list.

Here are arguably the five most hated players in March Madness history.

5. Marshall Henderson, Ole Miss

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images / MinuteMedia

Marshall Henderson is an outlier here, as he's the only player not from a Blue Blood program. But that's just how ridiculous he was as a player, and a perceived villain. He played a different style of basketball, throwing up 3-pointers as often as he could – and this was years before the 3-point revolution took over. But he also went out of his way to antagonize fans and opposing players alike. One prime example is the time he flipped up his jersey in front of the Auburn student section after a win. He was a lightning rod and made the Rebels incredibly interesting during his two seasons in Oxford. Henderson had such a strong personality that he played at three different stops (Utah, South Plains and Ole Miss) during his college career.

4. JJ Redick, Duke

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images / MinuteMedia

JJ Redick was an insanely good player in college, and he was in the spotlight throughout his career at Duke. His ability to drain shots from anywhere on the floor, combined with his perceived arrogance after draining three after three, often antagonized opposing teams' fans. Similar to the other players on the list, Redick's cockiness along with his team's winning ways makes him one of the most hated players in March Madness history.

3. Patrick Ewing, Georgetown

Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images / MinuteMedia

Compared to the antics of some of the other players on this list, Patrick Ewing probably pales in comparison. But while at Georgetown he knew he was going to be a future No. 1 pick and he wanted to make sure you knew it too. College basketball fans were often put off by his confidence on the court, and when you combine that with his very physical style of play, you get someone who seems like a dirty player, whether it's warranted or not. All in all, Ewing was the arguably the most hated NCAA player of the 1980s.

2. Tyler Hansbrough, UNC

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images / MinuteMedia

Tyler Hansbrough was known as "Psycho T" for a reason. The UNC big man went full speed on every play and that often led to hard fouls and rough play down low. He was also a constant trash talker, often engaging opposing fans, which made it all the more frustrating when UNC would inevitably beat its opponent. The only thing more annoying than a cocky player is a cocky player who can back it up, and that was something Hansbrough was able to do throughout his time with the Tar Heels. What took him to the next level is all of the accolades he collected while at UNC – a four-time first-team All-American, National College Player of the Year in 2008 and an NCAA championship in 2009. Imagine playing against someone who was so good and made sure you knew it, for four years, at one of the best college basketball programs of all time. Yep, that's Hansbrough for you.

1. Christian Laettner, Duke

Peter Read Miller /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
Peter Read Miller /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images / MinuteMedia

The G.O.A.T. when it comes to the most hated college basketball players is hands down Christian Laettner. He was so hated that there's an ESPN 30 for 30 about how much people hated him during his time at Duke. Laettner was a preppy looking kid, who was also one of the best players in the country. Those two traits got him plenty of hate, mainly due to others jealousy. But Laettner cemented his spot as the most hated college basketball player of all time in the 1992 NCAA Tournament when he stepped on Kentucky's Aminu Timberlake, and admitted doing so. It will be hard for any player to ever surpass Laettner when it comes to his hate-ability during March Madness, which is what puts him securely in the top spot on this list.

New customers will get 40/1 on any of the Final Four teams to win the tournament.

Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username itmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.