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March Madness 2018 picks based on each school adding their best current NBA alum

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Joel Embiid back to Kansas? Kyrie Irving to Duke? Anthony Davis to Kentucky? Kevin Durant to Texas? Let’s do it.

NBA: Orlando Magic at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

March Madness officially starts on Thursday, and the 68 best teams in the country (for the most part) will face off in a tournament for the NCAA title. But what could possibly make this tournament a little bit more interesting? How about bringing back ghosts of college teams’ passed?

We found each NCAA Tournament team’s best current NBA player and added them to their respective teams. That means Joel Embiid goes back to Kansas, Anthony Davis to Kentucky, James Harden to Arizona State, and so on and so forth. Fun, right?!

Here’s the player pool:

Kansas — Joel Embiid
Kentucky — Anthony Davis
Duke — Kyrie Irving
Florida — Bradley Beal
Villanova — Kyle Lowry
North Carolina — Harrison Barnes
Nevada — JaVale McGee
Texas — Kevin Durant
Davidson — Stephen Curry
Michigan State — Draymond Green
Ohio State — Mike Conley
Virginia — Malcolm Brogdon
Creighton — Doug McDermott
Kansas State — Michael Beasley
Arizona — Lauri Markkanen
Miami — Shane Larkin
Loyola Chicago — Milton Doyle
Tennessee — Tobias Harris
Cincinnati — Lance Stephenson
Georgia State — R.J. Hunter
Missouri — Jordan Clarkson
Xavier — David West
Florida State — Jonathan Isaac
South Dakota State — Nate Wolters
Gonzaga — Domantas Sabonis
Houston — Jonathon Simmons
San Diego State — Kawhi Leonard
Michigan — Caris LeVert
Texas A&M — DeAndre Jordan
Providence — Kris Dunn
Oklahoma — Blake Griffin
Rhode Island — Xavier Munford
Bucknell — Mike Muscala
Arizona State — James Harden OR Syracuse — Carmelo Anthony
Clemson — Trevor Booker
New Mexico State — Pascal Siakam
Seton Hall — Isaiah Whitehead
N.C. State — T.J. Warren
Purdue — E’Twaun Moore
Butler — Gordon Hayward
Arkansas — Joe Johnson
St. Bonaventure — Andrew Nicholson
Marshall — Hassan Whiteside
Wichita State — Fred VanVleet
Murray State — Cameron Payne
Virginia Tech — Malcolm Delaney
Alabama — JaMychal Green

And here are the teams with no current NBA players, which, well, are basically out of luck:

Buffalo
Wright St.
UNC Greensboro
Montana
Auburn
Iona
Charleston
Penn
Radford
LIU Brooklyn
Stephen F Austin
Lipscomb
Texas Southern
UMBC
NC Central
West Virginia
TCU

Here’s how the NCAA Tournament bracket looks now with an updated roster:

Congratulations on your 2018 NCAA Championship victory, Kansas and Joel Embiid!

I know you have questions. Here are a few answers

  • Why does Missouri beat No. 1 seed Xavier? Easy. Jordan Clarkson can hoop.
  • San Diego State makes the Final Four? Yes. Kawhi Leonard is that damn good.
  • How does Texas not go all the way? That was a tough one, but I think Kentucky with Anthony Davis is better than Texas with KD. Let’s argue about it
  • Oklahoma doesn’t beat Duke? This was also tough. I think Trae Young and Blake Griffin would do some marvelous things together. I also think Kyrie Irving is a crunch time robot who bleeds opponents’ tears. That’s also why Duke beats Michigan State with Draymond Green.
  • Why does Joel Embiid have to win? Trust the process.