The NCAA championship game will be played today, the culmination of American college basketball’s biggest tournament. There are currently three players in the VTB United League who competed for an NCAA title.
Andrew Harrison, Khimki
Team: University of Kentucky
Before going to college, Harrison and his twin Aaron were ranked among the top-five high school players in the country. Future NBA players Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Julius Randle were the only guys ahead of them. Harrison and his brother both decided to attend Kentucky and played two years at the school.
In March 2014, the Wildcats stormed through March Madness, knocking out the two finalists from a year before: Louisville and Michigan. In the Final Four semifinal, Kentucky got past Wisconsin thanks to a 3-pointer from Harrison’s brother in the final seconds, 74-73. Andrew had nine points, four assists and four steals in 29 minutes.
Kentucky fell short, however, against Connecticut, 60-54. Andrew Harrison finished with eight points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals in 37 minutes.
The guard was drafted 44th by the Phoenix Suns a few months later.
Raymar Morgan, UNICS
Team: Michigan State University
After a successful high school career–Morgan set the school record for points–he chose to attend Michigan State, where he spent all four years. Morgan was named to multiple All-Conference teams, won a silver medal with the USA U-19 team and, of course, played in the Final Four.
The Spartans knocked out reigning champions Kansas and crushed Louisville to advance to the Final Four. Michigan State took down Connecticut, 82-73, in the semifinal, leading by as much as 11 points. Morgan, a junior, started and finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and five steals.
But MSU ran out of steam in the championship game vs. North Carolina, going down by 21 points in the first half. Morgan once again started, but managed only four points and one rebound in 19 minutes.
Golden State forward Draymond Green was one of Morgan’s teammates on that Final Four team.
Othello Hunter, CSKA
Hunter began his collegiate career at Hillsboro, playing two years there, before transferring to Ohio State. He made a good choice. In his first year as a Buckeye, OSU reached the championship game. The team had several close calls in the opening rounds, including vs. Xavier (78-71 in OT) and Tennessee (85-84).
But the Buckeyes reached the Final Four with a win over Memphis, before beating Georgetown 67-60 to advance to the championship. OSU came up short, however, in the final game against Florida 84-75. Hunter came off the bench, recording two points and four rebounds in the semifinal and two offensive rebounds in five minutes in the final.
The center doubled his season averages the following season, largely because Ohio State lost stars Greg Oden and Mike Conley, Jr. to the NBA Draft over the summer.