On the 75th anniversary of the NCAA tournament, the best players from the past seven decades:
Groza, a 6-foot-7 center whose brother was famed NFL kicker Lou “The Toe” Groza, led the “Fabulous Five,” a group that won the 1948 and ’49 NCAA titles.
Russell’s Dons won 55 straight games en route to claiming the 1955 and ’56 NCAA titles. The soon-to-be Celtics great had more than 20 points and 20 rebounds in both finals.
Alcindor, who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, won three consecutive national titles from 1967 to 1969 — a streak that UCLA would extend to seven.
Walton is widely credited with the finest Final Four performance ever — 44 points on 21-for-22 shooting, plus 13 rebounds, sealing a 1973 title win against Memphis State.
Ewing took the Hoyas to three NCAA title games, in 1982, ’84 and ’85, winning one (over Houston, 84-75) and losing the other two by a total of three points.
Love him (Duke fans) or hate him (everyone else), Laettner led the Blue Devils to three straight national championship games, from 1990 to ’92, winning the final two.
Noah, who was named most outstanding player in 2006 — the first of Florida’s back-to-back titles in 2006 and ’07 — was the face of those teams.
The Washington Post