As part of the 75th anniversary of March Madness, the NCAA has put together a list of what they have determined to be the top 75 All-Time March Madness Players. From the NCAA:
The list of the Top 75 Players was compiled and researched by the NCAA’s basketball and statistics staffs, who consulted with the NCAA’s media partners and selected members of the USBWA. From a pool of over 100 former players, NCAA staff analyzed statistical data compiled exclusively from performances in NCAA tournament games [e.g., points, rebounds, field goals, free throws, three-pointers (since '87), assists, steals, blocks] to determine the 75 finalists.
Now the process begins to narrow it down to a Top 15, which will be announced during the 2013 Men’s Final Four. Fan voting will account for 50 percent of the tally, and a combination of the media/coaches/various NCAA committees will comprise the other 50 percent. The media voting ended yesterday and Rhody Rampage has cast it’s vote. And while there were no URI players on the list, we looked for any connection we could when we submitted our media ballot and lo and behold, there it was: Bobby Hurley. Before we just blindly cast a homer vote, however, we decided to look at the numbers. Is Hurley really one of the Top 15 March Madness players ever?
Hurley averaged 12.4 points, 7.7 assists, and 1.4 steals in his career at Duke University, spanning from 1989-1993. His numbers in NCAA Tournament games were pretty much the same – 12.0 points, 7.3 assists, and 1.6 steals. Not great scoring numbers, but bear in mind that he was on the same team as Grant Hill and Christian Laettner. Obviously, those assist numbers are phenomenal, and as most Rhody (and Duke) fans know, Hurley is the all-time NCAA D-I leader in assists with 1,076 dimes over his four-year career. As a point guard, Hurley led the Blue Devils to three Final Fours in his career, including two National Championships (back-to-back, 1991 and 1992). In the ’92 Championship run, Hurley was named both the Final Four Most Outstanding Player and the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Since 1980, only three point guards (Mateen Cleaves and Isaiah Thomas being the other two) have been named as MOP of the NCAA Tourney. Guard play is vitally important in the Big Dance, and Hurley made the Duke teams go, and then some. Based on the back-to-back tourney wins, the amazing assists record, and the various awards and accolades, he has to be considered one of the best (if not the best) college point guard of all time.
Here’s our full ballot:
Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)
Disagree with any of it? Let us know in the comments, and cast your fan vote here. Voting is open until Sunday, March 24.