Three is the magic number: College basketball’s best trios

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Basketball teams have 15 players. Six to 10 of them get regular minutes. Three of them do the heavy lifting.

And the best teams are remembered for their Big Three

Jordan-Worthy-Perkins. Laettner-Hill-Hurley.

AFP contributor Jerry Carter, like the rest of us, has a lot of time on his hands right now, and decided to use some of it coming up with a 32-team Ultimate Big Three.

The goal: to figure out the best Big Three in college basketball history.

The ground rules: the field has men’s and women’s teams.

The panel: Jeff Burner, Jerry Carter, Chris Carter, Jeff Fife, Bill Meade.

We’ll play out the brackets over the course of the next couple of weeks on our Street Knowledge podcast, with recaps on AugustaFreePress.com.

Tune in today at 2 p.m. for a rundown of the field.

East Region

#1 1972 UCLA (30-0, national champs): Bill Walton (21.1 ppg, 15.5 rebs/g), Henry Bibby (15.7 ppg), Jamaal Wilkes (13.5 ppg, 8.2 rebs/g)

#2 1984 Georgetown (34-3, national champs): Patrick Ewing (16.4 ppg, 10.0 rebs/g, 3.2 blocks/g), David Wingate (11.2 ppg), Reggie Williams (9.1 ppg)

#3 2001 Duke (35-4, national champs): Jay Williams (21.6 ppg, 6.1 assists/g), Shane Battier (19.9 ppg, 7.3 rebs/g), Carlos Boozer (13.3 ppg, 6.5 rebs/g)

#4 1980 ODU (37-1, national champs): Anne Donovan (17.0 ppg, 12.9 rebs/g), Inge Nissen (17.4 ppg), Nancy Lieberman (15.2 ppg, 7.9 assists/g)

#5 1977 UNC (28-5, national runner-up): Phil Ford (18.7 ppg, 6.6 assists/g), Walter Davis (15.5 ppg, 5.7 rebs/g), Tommy Lagarde (15.1 ppg, 7.4 rebs/g)

#6 1990 Georgia Tech (28-7, Final Four): Kenny Anderson (20.6 ppg, 8.1 assists/g), Brian Oliver (21.3 ppg, 6.0 rebs/g), Dennis Scott (27.1 ppg, 6.6 rebs/g)

#7 1988 Arizona (35-3, Final Four): Sean Elliott (19.6 ppg, 5.8 rebs/g, 3.6 assists/g), Steve Kerr (12.6 ppg, 57.3% 3FG), Tom Tolbert (14.1 ppg, 5.8 rebs/g)

#8 1973 Providence (27-4, Final Four): Marvin Barnes (18.3 ppg, 19.0 rebs/g), Ernie DiGregorio (24.5 ppg, 8.6 assists/g), Kevin Stacom (17.8 ppg)

South Region

#1 1968 UCLA (29-1, national champs): Lew Alcindor (26.2 ppg, 16.5 rebs/g), Michael Warren (12.1 ppg), Lucius Allen (15.1 ppg)

#2 2006 Florida (33-6, national champs): Corey Brewer (12.7 ppg, 4.8 rebs/g, 3.3 assists/g), Al Horford (11.3 ppg, 7.6 rebs/g), Joakim Noah (14.2 ppg, 7.1 rebs/g, 2.4 blocks/g)

#3 1991 UNLV (34-1, Final Four): Larry Johnson (22.7 ppg, 10.9 rebs/g, 66.2% FG), Greg Anthony (11.6 ppg, 8.9 assists/g), Stacy Augmon (16.5 ppg, 7.3 rebs/g, 3.6 assists/g)

#4 2019 Virginia (35-3, national champs): De’Andre Hunter (15.2 ppg, 5.1 rebs/g), Kyle Guy (15.4 ppg, 4.5 rebs/g), Ty Jerome (13.6 ppg, 5.5 assists/g)

#5 1992 Virginia (32-2, Final Four): Dawn Staley (14.5 ppg, 5.6 assists/g), Tammi Reiss (16.4 ppg), Heather Burge (17.2 ppg, 8.4 rebs/g)

#6 1993 Michigan (31-5, national runner-up): Chris Webber (19.2 ppg, 10.1 rebs/g), Jalen Rose (15.4 ppg, 3.9 assists/g), Juwon Howard (14.6 ppg, 7.4 rebs/g)

#7 2002 UConn (39-0, national champs): Sue Bird (14.4 ppg), Diana Taurasi (14.6 ppg), Swin Cash (14.9 ppg)

#8 1982 Missouri (27-4, Sweet Sixteen): Steve Stipanovich (11.6 ppg, 8.0 rebs/g), Ricky Frazier (16.1 ppg), Jon Sunvold (12.2 ppg)

Midwest

#1 1982 UNC (32-2, national champs): Michael Jordan (13.5 ppg), James Worthy (15.6 ppg, 6.3 rebs/g), Sam Perkins (14.3 ppg, 7.8 rebs/g)

#2 2015 UConn (38-1, national champs): Breanna Stewart (19.4 ppg, 8.7 rebs/g), Morgan Tuck (13.7 ppg), Moriah Jefferson (12.6 ppg)

#3 1983 Houston (31-3, national runner-up): Clyde Drexler (15.9 ppg, 8.8 rebs/g), Hakeem Olajuwon (13.9 ppg, 11.4 rebs/g), Michael Young (17.3 ppg)

#4 1980 Louisville (33-3, national champs): Darrel Griffith (22.9 ppg), Derek Smith (14.8 ppg), Rodney McCray (7.8 ppg, 7.5 rebs/g)

#5 1981 Virginia (29-4, Final Four): Ralph Sampson (17.7 ppg, 11.5 rebs/g, 3.1 blocks/g), Jeff Lamp (18.2 ppg, 54.9% FG), Lee Raker (11.4 ppg, 52.9% FG)

#6 1978 Duke (27-7, national runner-up): Gene Banks (17.1 ppg, 8.6 rebs/g), Jim Spanarkle (20.8 ppg, 3.7 assists/g), Mike Gminski (20.0 ppg, 10.0 rebs/g)

#7 1980 Clemson (23-9, Elite Eight): Larry Nance (13.9 ppg, 8.1 rebs/g), Billy Williams (17.6 ppg, 4.0 assists/g), John Campbell (10.9 ppg, 6.4 rebs/g)

#8 1989 NC State (20-11, second round): Chris Corchiani (16.3 ppg, 9.6 assists/g), Rodney Monroe (27.0 ppg), Tom Gugliotta (15.2 ppg, 9.1 rebs/g)

West

#1 1976 Indiana (32-0, national champs): Scott May (23.5 ppg, 7.7 rebs/g), Kent Benson (17.3 ppg, 8.8 rebs/g), Quinn Buckner (8.9 ppg, 4.2 assists/g)

#2 1991 Duke (32-7, national champs): Christian Laettner (19.8 ppg, 8.7 rebs/g), Grant Hill (11.2 ppg, 5.1 rebs/g), Bobby Hurley (11.3 ppg, 7.4 assists/g)

#3 1974 NC State (30-1, national champs): David Thompson (26.0 ppg, 7.9 rebs/g), Tommy Burleson (18.1 ppg, 12.2 rebs/g), Monte Towe (12.8 ppg)

#4 2015 Kentucky (38-1, Final Four): Devin Booker (10.0 ppg), Karl Anthony Towns (10.3 ppg, 6.7 rebs/g), Willie Cauley-Stein (8.9 ppg, 6.4 rebs/g)

#5 1998 Tennessee (39-0, national champs): Chamique Holdsclaw (23.5 ppg, 8.4 rebs/g), Tamika Catchings (18.2 ppg, 8.0 rebs/g), Semeka Randall (15.9 ppg, 5.3 rebs/g)

#6 1975 Maryland (24-5, Sweet Sixteen): John Lucas (19.5 ppg), Steve Sheppard (14.3 ppg, 7.5 rebs/g), Brad Davis (12.6 ppg)

#7 2014 Virginia (30-7, Sweet Sixteen): Joe Harris (12.0 ppg), Malcolm Brogdon (12.7 ppg, 5.4 rebs/g), Justin Anderson (7.8 ppg)

#8 1980 Old Dominion (25-5, first round): Ronnie Valentine (18.5 ppg, 8.7 rebs/g), Ronnie McAdoo (14.4 ppg, 7.3 rebs/g), Mark West (4.8 ppg, 7.1 rebs/g)

Story by Chris Graham and Jerry Carter

         
 

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