It is widely held that the best college basketball programs are Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina. This belief is informed on the basis that these four storied programs year in year out dominant the college basketball scene whether its victories, NCAA championships or top recruiting classes. These four programs are the blue bloods of college basketball.

As I was watching the recently held NBA draft, I began to wonder about which of these programs have had the most players drafted. Below is a chart that looks at the programs from 2003-04 to 2017-18. This coincides with the return of Roy Williams to UNC as the head basketball coach and Bill Self taking over at Kansas. Also, John Calipari was hired to coach Kentucky beginning the 2009-10 season.

The chart outlines in detail the total first round picks as well as those picks that were top-10 picks. Some really interesting points that jumped off the page from the years 2004-2018:

Team Stats

* Winning percentage over these years:

  • Kansas 82%
  • Duke 80%
  • UNC 78%
  • Kentucky 77%

o (Kentucky has won 81% since John Calipari took over as Kentucky coach in 2009-10.)

* Total # of 1st Round Draft Choice:

  • Kentucky 27
  • Duke 22
  • UNC 18
  • Kansas 15

* Total # of Top 10 Picks

  • Kentucky 13
  • Duke 9
  • Kansas 5
  • UNC 4

* National Championships

  • UNC 3
  • Duke 2
  • Kentucky 1
  • Kansas 1


  • UNC has not had a top 5 pick since Marvin Williams went 2nd in the 2005 draft. A 13 year drought!
  • All of Kentucky’s top-ten picks (13) have been selected since John Calipari become head coach nine seasons ago.