Players who shine bright on the biggest stage of college basketball — the NCAA Tournament — often become household names. A March Madness moment can mean millions to a player’s net worth, in fact.
So, GOBankingRates wanted to see what the biggest names from the NCAA Tournament were worth. Instead of bank shots, we wanted to see who was most successful in bank accounts. Read on to see which of the top 68 stars of March Madness ranked among the 25 highest in net worth, and see if you knew how rich they really are.
Jay Williams, the former Duke sensation, won a national championship with the Blue Devils in 2001 and was a two-time player of the year.
Williams, the No. 2 pick in the 2002 draft by the Chicago Bulls, had a short NBA career. He suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle accident in 2003 and is now a broadcaster for ESPN.
The Michigan State point guard was a key player as the Spartans made back-to-back Final Fours in 1999-2000, winning the school’s first championship in 2000.
Cleaves, one of four Michigan State players known as the “Flintstones” for being from Flint, Michigan, played professionally from 2000-2009.
Dixon starred for Maryland’s powerhouse teams of the early 2000s, leading the Terrapins to two Final Fours (2001, 2002) and a national championship as a senior in 2002.
Dixon became Maryland’s leading all-time scorer, surpassing the legendary Len Bias, and was the only player in NCAA history with 2,000 points, 300 steals and 200 3-point attempts.
He went on to a nine-year pro career and is now a head coach at Coppin State. He also is engaged to his ex-wife-now-fiance Robyn Bragg Dixon, a cast member of “The Real Housewives of Potomac.”
One of the faces of Duke basketball in the early 1990s, Hurley was seemingly everywhere for the Blue Devils. The point guard helped Duke to three consecutive Final Fours, including back-to-back national championships in 1991-1992.
Hurley’s NBA career was hampered by life-threatening injuries he suffered in a car accident as a rookie. He bounced back to play four seasons before going on to a successful coaching career in college basketball.
Hurley also is involved in horse racing, owning his own stable of thoroughbreds.
Tisdale was one of the best players in college basketball from 1982-1985 with Oklahoma, despite never reaching a Final Four.
The power forward also played on the star-studded 1984 Olympic basketball team, and the NCAA “outstanding freshman” award is named after him.
After a 12-year NBA career, Tisdale changed tunes and became a very successful jazz musician.
Tisdale died in 2009 from the side effects of cancer. Find out his net worth at the time of his passing.
To call Christian Laettner a lightning rod among basketball fans would be an understatement. To some, he was the star of the Duke dynasty of the early 1990s, the power forward with the Hollywood good looks who played in four consecutive Final Fours and took the Blue Devils to back-to-back titles in 1991 and 1992. Laettner hit one of the most famous shots in college basketball when he made a buzzer-beater to stun Kentucky in the 1992 East Regional final.
Others felt he was a pretty boy who played dirty (famously stepping on an opponent’s chest during a game), voted the most hated college basketball player in history in one ESPN poll. The network also made a documentary about him called “I Hate Christian Laettner,” and he was widely considered an afterthought on the 1992 Dream Team that won the Olympic men’s basketball gold medal.
After a 13-year NBA career, Laettner has been involved in business and coaching.
Johnson was one of the key contributors for the famous UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, helping them to back-to-back Final Fours and the national championship in 1990. The Rebels made it back to the title game the next season, losing to Duke.
Johnson had a successful NBA career for the Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks, and he had an endorsement deal with Converse that had him famously playing a “Grandmama” character in commercials.
Elliott, the Arizona standout, took the Wildcats to a Final Four in 1988 en route to a stellar college career, in which he broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Pac-10 career scoring record.
He was the No. 3 pick in the NBA draft and helped the San Antonio Spurs to the 1999 NBA championship.
Elliott is also known as the first player to play in an NBA game after undergoing a kidney transplant. He has since served as a TV analyst.
In the early 1980s, the Big East was truly the beast of college basketball, St. John’s was one of the powers of the conference, and Mullin was the biggest star for the Johnnies.
During his senior season, the sweet-shooting guard led St. John’s to the 1985 Final Four (which also included fellow Big East members Villanova and Georgetown).
Mullin won two Olympic gold medals in men’s basketball, including one as a member of the 1992 Dream Team, and played from 1985-2001 in the NBA.
Since retiring from the NBA, Mullin has stayed involved in basketball, working in team front offices, TV and as a head coach.
Walker had a terrific run at UConn, helping the Huskies to the 2009 Final Four, then almost single-handedly sparking them to the 2011 title.
Connecticut had to win five consecutive games to win the Big East Conference tournament that season, and Walker powered them, pouring in 130 points. He then earned the Most Outstanding Player award honors as UConn won the championship.
Walker, 30, has gone on to a successful NBA career with the Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats and the Boston Celtics.
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Manning led Kansas to two Final Fours in his career, but he’s best known for carrying the 1988 Jayhawks to the championship. KU had lost twice in the regular season to Oklahoma but rallied to shock the top-seeded Sooners in the final. Those Jayhawks were dubbed “Danny Manning and the Miracles.”
Manning finished his career with 2,951 points, making him the highest-scoring college player on this ranking.
He went on to play 17 seasons in the NBA and has been involved in coaching and broadcasting.
Manning was voted the second-best college basketball player of all-time by the Sporting News in 2020.
Nelson was the diminutive point guard who powered Saint Joseph’s to an unbeaten regular season in 2004 (27-0) and a 30-2 record. They lost in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament that season, and Nelson (at 5-foot-10) was named the player of the year in college basketball by several publications.
Nelson went on to a 14-year NBA career and now serves in management in the G-League.
Known as “The Big Dog,” Robinson led the nation in scoring in his senior season (30.1 points per game). The Big Ten Conference player of the year lifted Purdue to the Elite Eight in 1994, when the Boilermakers lost to Duke.
Robinson was the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft and went on to a solid pro career, playing 11 seasons and being named to two All-Star teams.
Robinson made no Final Fours but he cashed in on his career.
Battier led Duke to two Final Fours (1999 and 2001) and won a national championship with the Blue Devils in 2001, when he was also named the consensus basketball player of the year.
Battier was never a spectacular scorer, but was more known for his defense and hustle plays. He played 13 seasons in the NBA, winning back-to-back titles with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013.
The 6-foot-8 star now owns a fitness training facility in Memphis.
Another ranking, another Duke star. Redick didn’t win a championship with the Blue Devils, leading them to the 2004 Final Four, but he won several player of the year awards.
Redick was taken No. 11 in the NBA draft by the Orlando Magic and has crafted a long professional career. He currently plays for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Bibby led Arizona to its only national championship, sparking the fifth-seeded Wildcats’ run in 1997. Named the Pac-10 player of the year, Bibby left school after his sophomore season and was the No. 2 pick of the Vancouver Grizzlies.
Bibby has worked in coaching since retiring from the NBA.
Davis played only one season of college basketball, but he made it count, leading Kentucky to a national championship in 2012. He was the player of the year and led the nation in blocks.
Davis went on to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, joining the New Orleans Pelicans. He continues to play at an All-Star level and won an NBA title last season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
At 6-foot-10, Davis is a big man. Check out his net worth.
Jamison was a spectacular player for North Carolina, leading the Tar Heels to back-to-back Final Fours in 1997 and 1998. He was named the college basketball player of the year in 1998.
Jamison was picked No. 4 overall by the Toronto Raptors, then traded to the Golden State Warriors for former UNC teammate Vince Carter.
Jamison went on to play 13 seasons in the NBA, and has been a TV analyst and front-office executive ever since.
Ewing was one of the most dominant players in college basketball history, leading Georgetown to a national title in 1984 and three Final Fours (1982, 1984, 1985).
The 7-foot-1 center went on to a spectacular career in the NBA, playing 17 seasons and reaching two NBA Finals. He was named one of the top 50 players in NBA history.
Since retiring, Ewing has gone into coaching and now heads Georgetown.
Curry took the NCAA Tournament by storm in 2009, leading unheralded Davidson to three consecutive upsets before falling to top-seeded Kansas. Curry averaged 25.1 points per game.
He jumped to the NBA and became an instant star, where he has led the Golden State Warriors to three NBA championships.
Curry is in the middle of a five-year, $201 million deal.
Known as the “Big Fundamental,” Duncan was the player of the year his senior season at Wake Forest. He never reached a Final Four, but he was a spectacular player.
Duncan went on to five NBA championships in his 19-year career with the San Antonio Spurs.
Anthony was a “one-and-done” player with Syracuse, but what a fantastic season it was. As a freshman in 2003, Anthony led the Orange to the program’s only national championship, averaging 22.2 points per game.
Anthony went to the NBA after one season and has played 17 years, with 10 NBA All-Star appearances. He also has three Olympic golds and a bronze.
Durant is another one-and-done player who had an eye-popping freshman year. KD averaged 25.8 points and 11.1 rebounds for Texas, leading the Longhorns to the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to USC in the second round.
Durant won the Wooden Award and Naismith College Player of the Year Award and was generally considered the best player in college basketball. He was chosen No. 2 by the Seattle SuperSonics, behind Ohio State center Greg Oden.
KD has had a long NBA career and won two NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018. He’s involved in media productions, with a company creating documentaries.
The Brooklyn Nets star has a four-year, $164 million deal.
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Robinson rose to NCAA prominence from an unusual berth, playing for the Naval Academy.
The 7-foot-1 center took the NCAA Tournament by storm in 1986, leading the No. 7 seed Midshipmen to the East Regional final, where they fell to Duke. In 1987 in his final college basketball game, Robinson scored 50 points in Navy’s first-round loss to Michigan.
Nicknamed “The Admiral,” Robinson was the No. 1 pick in the 1987 NBA draft. He didn’t join the NBA for two seasons, however, as he fulfilled his commitment to the Navy. He went on to win NBA championships in 1999 and 2003.
Since retired, Robinson has a stake in a private equity firm.
Shaq played three seasons at LSU. He never reached a Final Four, but he was one of the most dominant players in NCAA history, winning college basketball player of the year in 1991.
O’Neal went on to a dominant NBA career, winning four championships and an MVP award.
Now he’s known as much for his forgettable movies (“Kazaam,” anyone?) and star turns as an NBA analyst.
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Methodology: GOBankingRates used SportingNews’ 2020 article “Ranking 68 greatest players of March Madness expanded-bracket era” to locate the 25 best former NCAA tournament stars that also had net worth data available from Celebrity Net Worth. For each NCAA tournament star selected, GOBankingRates sourced: (1) school played for; (2) years played in college; (3) current net worth; (4) Final Fours played in; (5) NCAA tournament titles won; and (5) career college points scored from SportingNews and Celebrity Net Worth. The 25 players were then ranked according to factor (3). All data was collected and is up to date as of March 3, 2021.