Where Are They Now? 23 March Madness Heroes Who Never Made It

by Adam Silvers

Whether you realize it or not, college basketball has always been about the one and done.

How could any sport that crowns champions based on a single-elimination, 64-team tournament be otherwise described?

March Madness is built on late runs and momentum, often fueled by the play of one individual rather than an entire team.

While UNC has always been something of a college basketball powerhouse, it was the heroics of Sean May in 2005 that propelled the Tar Heels to their first title since 1993.

While May -- like so many others who have danced in March -- was able to reach the pinnacle of college basketball, his game did not translate to the NBA.

Here are some other March Madness legends who killed it in college but couldn't be found after making the leap to the next level.

Harold Miner: From 'Baby Jordan' to only four NBA seasons.

Throwing down dunks with the number 23 on his back, Harold Miner was once dubbed “Baby Jordan.”

Although he was taken 12th overall in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat and won two Slam Dunk Contests, Baby Jordan played just four seasons in the league.

"@NBATV: Harold Miner cements his legacy as a dunk legend as our marathon continues with 1995 next!" <~ baby Jordan! — Marcus The Martian (@MdotSImoN) February 12, 2015

Adam Morrison: Scoring leader to four-year career.

In 2006, Adam Morrison was the NCAA Division I scoring leader, a first-team All-American and Co-Player of the Year.

Even though Morrison “won” two NBA championships with the Lakers (2009-2010), his career lasted just four years.

Chris Duhon: From rookie of the year to assistant coach at a small college.

In 2001, Chris Duhon was named ACC Rookie of the Year and won a national championship with Duke.


Brief stints with the Bulls, Knicks, Magic and Lakers followed for Duhon. He's currently an assistant coach at Marshall.

Casey Jacobsen: From All-American to basketball blogger for SLAM.


Casey Jacobsen was a 2001 first-team All-American and three-time All-Pac-10 selection.

The 22nd overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, Jacobsen would play most of his career in Europe. He also blogged for SLAM.


Russ Smith: NCAA champion to Memphis minor-leaguer.


In 2013, Smith won a national championship with Louisville and was a first-team All-American.

Drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans in 2014, Smith has spent most of his post-college career in the D-League.


Bobby Hurley: Blue Devil maestro to Buffalo Bulls head coach.


Bobby Hurley made three consecutive Final Four appearances (1990-1992) and won back-to-back national championships (1991-1992) with Duke.

In addition to being crowned the tournament's Most Outstanding Player in 1992, Hurley was also a first-team All-American the following season.

Facebook/University at Buffalo

Hurley was taken seventh overall in the 1993 NBA Draft, but a car accident, in which he went through the windshield and almost died, ruined any chance Hurley had at making it big.

Greg Oden: From championship appearance to domestic assault charges and multiple surgeries.


In 2007, in his one season at Ohio State, Greg Oden led the Buckeyes to a national championship appearance against Florida. They lost 84-75.

Despite being first overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Oden failed to take flight as a result of multiple injuries and surgeries.

Domestic assault and drinking issues came into play, and Oden says he has no interest in returning to basketball at the moment.

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Acie Law: Texas A&M hero to professional player in Greece.


A first-team All-American and Bob Cousy Award winner in 2007, Former Texas A&M Aggie Acie Law always had flair for the dramatic.

Despite being taken with the 11th overall pick in the 2007, Law currently plays for Olympiacos in Greece.


God Shammgod: From Providence student-athlete to just a student.


In 1997, with one of the greatest names in NCAA history, Shammgod led the Providence Friars to the Elite Eight.

Shammgod's legacy grows every time someone crosses the crap out of a defender; he also went back to Providence to get his degree and is currently helping his former program grow.


Bo Kimble: Cinderella story to short professional career.

Despite the loss of teammate and friend Hank Gathers just months earlier, Bo Kimble led 11th-seeded Loyola Marymount on a Cinderella run to the 1990 Elite Eight.

Kimble was taken by the Clippers with the eighth overall pick in the 1990 NBA Draft, only to have his career end just three years later.

W/ @iamBenLyons, Alonzo Mourning, Bo Kimble for @PlayersTribune & @DoveMenCare #RealStrength: Tournament Tales panel. — Jason Collins (@jasoncollins98) March 15, 2015

Hasheem Thabeet: From UCONN top dog to D-League driver.



Thabeet was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year (2008-2009), and in 2009, he led the UCONN Huskies to their first Final Four appearance since 2004.

Drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies with the second overall pick in 2009, Thabeet currently plays for the Grand Rapids Drive in the NBA D-League.


Ali Farokhmanesh: Sports Illustrated cover to assistant coach.

After hitting an unbelievable three-pointer to seal an upset victory over first-seeded Kansas in the second round of the 2010 tournament, Ali landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Farokhmanesh never made it to the NBA, but he bounced around Europe before becoming an assistant coach at Nebraska.

Excited to announce that I have the opportunity to join #Nebrasketball as a GA this coming year! #GBR #HUSKERS — Ali Farokhmanesh (@farokhmanesh5) August 20, 2014

Juan Dixon: Maryland legend to Terrapin teacher.


After a stellar national semifinal game against Kansas, Dixon led Maryland to a victory over Indiana in the 2002 National Championship.

#tbt - Happy Birthday to the legend, the champion, the MVP... The great, #3, Juan Dixon! — Maryland Terrapins (@umterps) October 9, 2014

After an NBA career that included several stops -- bookended by stints in Washington -- Dixon joined the Maryland coaching staff.

Bryce Drew: From sinking a historic shot to coaching a mediocre team.

In 1998, Bryce Drew propelled 13th-seeded Valparaiso to a victory over fourth-seeded Ole Miss with a last-second three-pointer, known simply as “The Shot.”

After a brief stint in the NBA and Europe, Drew took over as head coach of his alma mater in 2011.


Ed O'Bannon: Winning on the court to winning a lawsuit against the NCAA.

Ed O'Bannon scored 30 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to help UCLA defeat Arkansas in the 1995 NCCA National Championship game.

He was taken ninth in the 1995 draft by the New Jersey Nets, and recently, he made headlines again for winning an antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA.

Christian Laettner: From the most feared to the most hated.


The most hated player in college basketball history, Christian Laettner made four straight Final Four appearances with the Duke Blue Devils (1989-1992), played in three national championship games (1990-1992) and won back-to-back titles (1991-1992).

Laettner received just one All-Star nod during his near 15-year career and was recently featured on ESPN's "30 for 30."


Rumeal Robinson: '89 champion to six and a half years in prison.

Robinson nailed two crucial free throws late in overtime to secure a Michigan victory against Seton Hall in the 1989 National Championship game.

Robinson, the 10th overall pick by the Atlanta Hawks in 1990, was recently sentenced to six and a half years in prison for bank bribery and wire fraud.

Sean May: Tar Heel tough guy to French league fixture.


Sean May scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in North Carolina's 2005 National Championship victory over Illinois.

May required knee surgery less than two months into his NBA career... He currently plays in France.


Mateen Cleaves: Final Four's finest to failed musician.


Mateen Cleaves led the Michigan State Spartans to their last national championship in 2000, and he was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player in the process.

Cleaves had brief stints with the Pistons, Kings, Cavaliers and SuperSonics, but you may know him best for his work in music management.

Peyton Siva: From NCAA center court to the BayHawks bench player.

A national champion and Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award winner in 2013, Peyton Siva was also a two-time Big East tournament MVP.

A second round selection for the Pistons in 2014, the former Louisville Cardinal currently plays for the Erie BayHawks in the NBA D-League.

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Hakim Warrick: Syracuse swingman to bench player in Turkey.

Facebook/Hakim Warrick

An NCAA champion in 2003 with Syracuse, Warrick was a first-team All-American and Big East Player of the Year in 2005.

Warrick was taken 19th overall in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies, but he currently plays for Torku Konyaspor in Turkey.

Hakim Warrick looks thrilled to have signed with Torku Konyaspor. Scored 16 pts in 17 mins off the bench in 1st game. — Alexander Chernykh (@chernykh) January 27, 2015

Jay Bilas: From Duke Blue Devil to ESPN analyst.

Jay Bilas was an NCAA champion with Duke in 1986; he was also a four-year starter under Coach K.

While he never made it big in the NBA, he currently anchors ESPN's college basketball coverage and drops rap lines on Twitter.


Jay Williams: Sleeveless white jersey to pressed white dress shirt.

A national champion (2001), two-time Player of the Year (2001-2002) and two-time first-team All-American (2001-2002), Jayson Williams had one of the greatest college careers of all time.

He was the second overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, but a motorcycle accident caused Williams to pursue his current role as a college basketball analyst for ESPN.