14. Akeem Olajuwon
Even though he never won a title with the “Phi Slamma Jamma” Houston Rockets, “The Dream” was one of the greatest, most influential college players of the 1980’s, the decade in which March Madness arguably was at its peak. Players stayed in school longer, which enabled rivalries to develop as well as enhance the skill sets of the players as they got more mature, physically bigger and added invaluable experience and confidence.
Olajuwon, known as “Akeem” before he later added an “H” to become “Hakeem,” was back-to-back all-tournament player in 1983 and 1984, in which the Cougars came up short, first against the miracle North Carolina State and then versus Georgetown and Patrick Ewing, a player to be further discussed on this list.