To Win an NCAA Title, You Almost Always Need Some Help from McDonald's

Some sites like Yahoo do "Second Chance" bracket games. If you're the type to participate in those, here's an additional piece of knowledge you might want to add into your picks. Since 1979, just one team -- the 2002 Maryland Terrapins -- has won a national title without a McDonald's All-American on its roster. History is just that, but look at what it does to diagnosing those left starting with the Sweet 16. Nine of the remaining teams don't actually have a McDonald's All-American on the roster. Those nine teams are Syracuse, West Virginia, Purdue, Butler, Michigan State, Xavier, Northern Iowa, Saint Mary's and Cornell. ↵
↵
↵ ↵ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵ ↵
↵

↵Here's a look at the remaining teams with McDonald's All-Americans and how they stack up: ↵

↵
↵⇥Baylor (1): Tweety Carter ↵⇥
↵⇥Duke (6): Jon Scheyer, Lance Thomas, Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, Ryan Kelly, Mason Plumlee ↵⇥
↵⇥Kansas State (1): Wally Judge ↵⇥
↵⇥Kentucky (2): Patrick Patterson, DeMarcus Cousins ↵⇥
↵⇥Ohio State (1): William Buford ↵⇥
↵⇥Tennessee (1): Scotty Hopson ↵⇥
↵⇥Washington (1): Abdul Gaddy ↵
↵Particularly interesting is the fact that neither of the nation's top two players -- Ohio State's Evan Turner and Kentucky's John Wall -- are part of this list. Turner just wasn't as highly touted coming out of high school. In Wall's case, he didn't meet the eligibility requirements for the McDonald's game as a fifth-year prep player. ↵

↵When the Terrapins became the statistical outlier and won a title without a McDonald's All-American, they did so with Juan Dixon, who is arguably the most decorated player in Maryland history. There are some very good players on those teams without McDonald's All-Americans -- Da'Sean Butler, Wesley Johnson, JaJuan Johnson, Gordon Hayward and more -- but are any of them "all-timers" to transcend this trend? ↵

↵

↵This year's McDonald's game airs March 31 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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