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NCAA March Madness 2014: Filling Out the Bracket and Figuring Out the Madness via the Players’ NBA Potential

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By James Patrick Quizon | March 17, 2014 5:22 PM EST

There are many ways to skin a cat as there are a million ways to fill up the NCAA bracket. March Madness is here which means chaos not only in college basketball but also in offices and homes around the world—most times, having different ranges of wagers in each bracket filled.

Reuters
NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Tournament Michigan State v Michigan

You could go to the usual, expected route (picking the favourite teams to advance and the hated teams to be upset in the first round) or the intellectual way (analyzing each match-up in-depth) but you will never ever predict a perfect bracket.

Well, there’s a one in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 chance actually, so never say never in the world of sports. (That’s over 9.2 quintillion possibilities).

Then again, you can just randomly pick the teams. If you win, just thank fate later because the basketball gods decided it was going to be your year.

Or you can take a somewhat subjective and unscientific approach: base the predictions on the NBA-level talent of each school!

The 2014 NBA Draft is projected to be one of the deepest rookie class since LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Darko Milicic, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade took the league by storm with talents like Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Marcus Smart and Joel Embiid among many others.

It’s safe to say if you have NBA-ready talent (or even, a potential to be an NBA star) then you might have what it takes to dance your team all the way to the Promised Land!

With the popular site nbadraft.net (whose rankings are also subjective), we’ve ranked the NCAA teams this year according to the number and rank of the projected NBA draftees.

We’ll include the predicted first-rounders only with 30 points to the No. 1 pick, 29 to the No. 2 pick all the way to 1 point for the 30th pick. Here are the top teams with the highest ranked prospects (aggregate score):

Kansas Jayhawks -73 points
3 NBA prospects - Joel Embiid 2nd pick, Andrew Wiggins 3rd pick and Wayne Selden 17th pick)

Duke Blue Devils – 53 points
2 NBA prospects - Jabari Parker 1st pick, Rodney Hood 8th pick

UCLA Bruins – 38 points
2 NBA prospects - Zach LaVine 11th pick and Kyle Anderson 13th pick

Syracuse Orange – 29 points
2 NBA prospects - Tyler Ennis 12th pick and Jeremy Grant 15th pick

Oklahoma State Cowboys – 27 points
1 NBA prospect – Marcus Smart 4th pick

Michigan State Spartans- 24 points
NBA prospects - Gary Harris 9th pick and Adreian Payne 29th pick

The Midwest is considered the “Region of Death” but the South can brag about its potential NBA-rich talent.

The madness will begin on Tuesday and if the basketball gods are nice this year, they’ll give the fans a starry and high-profile championship: Kansas versus Duke; Embiid and Wiggins taking on Parker in the national title game.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Tournament Michigan State v Michigan
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