9. Akeem Olajuwon, Houston
Big men ruled the hardwood in the 1980s, and Akeem (later Hakeem) Olajuwon was one of the very best. Olajuwon was part of the Phi Slama Jama teams with Clyde Drexler in Houston, known for their exciting pace and slam dunking. The Cougars made three straight Final Fours between 1982 and 1984.
It’s hard to believe now, but Olajuwon never won the big one, losing in the final his last two years. Olajuwon was named Most Outstanding Player anyway in 1983, the last losing player to take the award, and he remains the all time tournament leader in blocked shots.