2010 NBA University From WhatIfSports.com image

NBA University's Championship Game

Magic leads Michigan State to title win
By Eric Schmoldt - WhatIfSports.com
April 5, 2010

Welcome to NBA University, hundreds of miles from Indianapolis, nestled in the foothills of Whatifville.

After three weeks of intense simulations and heated discussion, NBA U is about to crown its first champion.

Throughout the past two decades dozens of programs have witnessed their finest athletes graduate to the NBA. Whatifsports.com wanted to know which of those colleges and universities produced the best professional basketball players of the last 20 years.

To get the discussion started, Whatifsports.com only selected NBA players who have stepped on the court sometime between 1990 and 2009. We took the players' best season over the course of the last twenty years and placed them on their corresponding All-University team. Click here to view the master roster list for all 16 programs participating in the tournament.

After sifting through dozens of eligible schools and their contributions to the NBA, Whatifsports.com settled on 16 programs. We then seeded the schools based on a power ranking system.

Now two schools remain: Michigan State and Duke.

Whatifsports.com used its free college basketball simulation technology to simulate NBA Univeristy's championship game 1,001 times. The Whatifsports.com super-computers generated each team's winning percentage and average score in addition to example box scores you can view for yourself.


Championship Results

Spartans emblem vs Blue Devils emblem

NBA University Championship
MatchupWin%Avg Score 
2) Duke 46.8103.4Boxscore
1) Michigan State 53.2103.7Simulate Game

For as unpredictable as this year’s NCAA tournament has been, the inaugural NBA University tournament has been the opposite.

The Big Dance has seen multiple double-digit seeds advance to the second weekend. Two 5-seeds advanced to play each other in the Final Four for just the second time since the tournament expanded to 64 teams.

Magic Not Smiling

Smile Magic! You've just won the NBA University title.

Magic Johnson recording a triple-double and chalk winners would end up being locks in this tournament.

No. 1 Michigan State used triple-doubles by Johnson in every round, beating Arizona, Kentucky and North Carolina on its way to the title game.

No. 2 Duke had to get by Kansas in the opening round, then took out Syracuse and UCLA in a path that wasn’t quite as dominating.

The Blue Devils and Spartans, two of the NCAA Final Four's featured teams foucsed on their rich tradition in the NBA U championship game.

The only questions were: Would the top seed continue to prevail? And would Johnson continue his dominance with another triple-double?

Only one of those questions is answered with a yes.

The championship game certainly lived up to its billing as the top two seeds clashed in the closest and most thrilling game of the entire tournament.

Duke and Michigan State were separated by just two points at the end of the third quarter, but it was the underdog Blue Devils who started pulling away in the early part of the fourth. Duke led by eight points with just over three minutes left in the game -- a margin that looked insurmountable after Grant Hill buried a fadeaway jump shot.

Dunleavy Jr.

But the Spartans weren’t about to lie down. Morris Peterson sparked the surge. Elton Brand committed a inexcusable foul, hitting Peterson on a 3-point try.

Peterson made two of the three free throws, then stole the ball on Duke’s ensuing possession and capped off a fast-break with a slam dunk at the other end, quickly cutting Duke's lead in half.

Moments later, with the Blue Devils clinging to a six point lead, they committed another incomprehensible foul on a Jason Richardson 3-pointer. Carlos Boozer was the guilty party and Richardson sank the charity toss to make it a one-possession game.

Michigan State's hot free throw shooting continued as Mo' Pete tied the game at the line with just over two minutes remaining. Then Magic - who else? - gave Sparty the lead for good with a pull-up jay on the next possession.

Johnson came up just three rebounds shy of another triple-double for the Spartans, who had six players in double-figures.

Mike Dunleavy had his best game of the tournament with a game-high 25 points, but all of that was outdone by Duke’s costly fouls in the game’s final minutes.

Michigan State has made a strong case for graduating the most elite NBA players of any college basketball program.

After 1,000 more simulations, the Spartans beat the Blue Devils 53.2% of the time by an average margin of just 0.4 points per game.

It was certainly close, but in a NCAA tournament bogged down by upsets, the top dog had its day in the first NBA University tournament.

Agree, disagree or have your own NBA University candidates in mind? Shoot us an email at BtB@whatifsports.com!

Related Features

Final Four Predictions - Who will cut down the nets tonight in Indy?

Big Ten Bracket of Classics - Sixteen Big Ten classic basketball teams go head-to-head!

NCAAB SimMatchup - Who would win between J-Wall's Wildcats and Carmelo's 'Cuse? Find out here!

Hoops Dynasty - Recruit, practice and game plan as head coach of your very own college basketball program.

SimLeague Football

Compete in a full season with your dream team from NFL past and present. Depth charts, game plans, prizes, and more.

Try It For Free


Create or re-play any fantasy matchup from sports history. One click yields a free box score and play-by-play.

Try It For Free

Hardball Dynasty

Run your own baseball franchise in this in-depth, multi-player baseball game.

Try It at a Discount

What is WhatIfSports?

WhatIfSports.com is a sports simulation and online gaming site providing free content and unique games for the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAA sports and more.

Join WhatIfSports.com today to get these members only benefits:

  • Create your own Dream Team
  • Save your favorite SimMatchup results
  • Play a FREE SimLeague trial season
  • Start playing a Dynasty game
  • Manage baseball games LIVE
  • Access to SiteMail
  • Post in our Forums
  • Build a Buddy list to easily invite friends
  • Use our online Customer Service
  • Earn game credits by using our Referral & Affiliate program

New Terms of Use Customer Support New Privacy Statement Advertising Choices

© 1999-2018 WhatIfSports.com, Inc. All rights reserved. Use of this website (including any and all parts and components) constitutes your acceptance of these Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. WhatIfSports is a trademark of WhatIfSports.com, Inc. SimLeague, SimMatchup and iSimNow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts, Inc. Used under license. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.