NCAA tournament heroes of yesterday: Who flamed out?
Each March brings a new cast of college basketball heroes. For certain players, the NBA is the natural next step and they go on to have successful careers in the league. Others continue playing abroad. Check out this gallery of some of the guys you might have wondered about since they left the NCAA tournament's bright spotlight.
Getty ImagesRonald Martinez
Edney had one of the most memorable moments of UCLA's run to the national title in 1995 -- and of NCAA tournament history. A pesky Missouri team had the Bruins on the ropes in the second round, leading by one with only 4.8 seconds remaining. But the 5-foot-10 senior point guard took the ball the length of the court and banked in a runner over Tigers forward Derek Grimm as the buzzer sounded. Edney's shot saved the Bruins' season, which concluded with a win over Arkansas in the national championship game. He had a solid rookie season after being drafted by Sacramento in the second round, but lasted only three more seasons in the NBA and played most of his career overseas.
Brown, the winningest player in school history with 114 victories, teamed with fellow first-team All-American Deron Williams to lead the Illini to a 37-2 record and the 2005 NCAA tournament championship game, where they lost to UNC. Brown came back for his senior season but couldn't get Illinois past the second round. Drafted by Utah in the second round, he played 68 games for three teams and averaged fewer than 3 points.
Farokhmanesh is one of the biggest bracket busters in NCAA history. In the first round of the 2010 NCAA tourney, Farokhmanesh sank a 25-foot jumper with 5 seconds remaining to lift ninth-seeded Northern Iowa over eighth-seeded UNLV to play top-seeded Kansas the following week. Farokhmanesh still had the fire as he went 4-for-4 from downtown and hit the game winning 3-pointer to shock the basketball world and knock off Kansas in its home. Even though UNI lost in the Sweet 16 to Michigan State, Farokhmanesh helped lead one of the biggest upsets in the NCAA tourney's existence and the UNI men even won an ESPY for it. The 6-foot guard went undrafted and is now playing in the Austrian Basketball League.
Getty ImagesRonald Martinez
Williams, a 6-foot-3 guard, won a national title with the Tar Heels in 1993, leading the way in the championship game with 25 points and going 5-for-7 from downtown to earn Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. But Williams' NBA aspirations never came to fruition as he went undrafted and ended up playing overseas. So when he won another championship, it was in the Philippines in '98.
Getty ImagesDoug Pensinger
Hunt and the UNLV Runnin' Rebels gave an epic 103-73 beatdown to the Duke Blue Devils in the 1990 NCAA championship game and he was named Most Outstanding Player of the tourney after scoring 29 on the Devils. But the 6-foot shooting guard didn't end up in the NBA draft, he ended up in a hot tub pic that got Coach Jerry Tarkanian and the program in hot water. Hunt and the Rebs lost to Duke in the Final Four the following year, and when he finally was drafted, it was by the CBA. Hunt went on to play overseas.
Getty ImagesKen Levine
O'Bannon led the UCLA Bruins to their first championship in 20 years when they beat Arkansas in the 1995 NCAA championship game, and he was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player. He was drafted ninth overall by the New Jersey Nets but his NBA career was short-lived, lasting only two seasons before he went on to play overseas. However, his name has remained in the sports news thanks to a class-action lawsuit he filed against the NCAA over its use of the likenesses of former players for commercial purposes.
Getty ImagesStephen Dunn
Lewis was a captivating 6-foot-7, 275-pound specimen who helped lead George Mason on its Cinderella run to the Final Four in 2006. While he never was picked in the NBA draft, he did get signed by the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent. But when his NFL career never took off, he went back to basketball and bounced around in Europe playing for various teams.
Getty ImagesStreeter Lecka
Billy Donovan & Steve Alford
Donovan led Providence to the Final Four in 1987, while Alford won a national championship in '87 with Indiana. Alford was named to the all-tournament team at the Final Four and to the NCAA tournament all-decade team for the 1980s. He set a Final Four record when he made 7 of 10 three-point baskets in the '87 championship game victory over Syracuse. However, he lasted only four years in the NBA, and Donovan just one. But both became distinguished college coaches. UCLA's Alford is still waiting on his first NCAA championship as a coach, while Donovan has found his niche in Florida, leading the Gators to back-to-back championships in 2006 and '07.
Kimble and Loyola Marymount captivated the nation in the 1990 tournament, as Kimble led the 11th-seeded Lions to the regional finals in honor of fallen teammate Hank Gathers, even shooting free throws left-handed like Gathers did. Kimble led Division I in scoring that season at 35.3 points and was drafted by the Clippers with the eighth overall pick, but his NBA career lasted only three seasons amid a plague of injuries. He finished his career in the Continental Basketball Association.
Getty ImagesMike Powell
Tate George is remembered for sinking this shot for the UConn Huskies to win their 1990 Sweet 16 game against Clemson, 71-70, moving them to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1964. After a seven-year career between the NBA and CBA, George was involved in a Ponzi scheme in which he was found guilty on four counts of federal wire fraud. He faces up to 80 years in prison and is still waiting to be sentenced.