The 2 schools with most No. 1 overall picks in NBA Draft history

Kyrie Irving, Duke Blue Devils. (Photo by Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports)
Kyrie Irving, Duke Blue Devils. (Photo by Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports) /
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From 1947 to 2022, 19 schools have had at least two players selected No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft. In the 1955 and 1956 season, Duquesne became the first school to have multiple players picked first overall, with Dick Ricketts and Si Green going first in back-to-back years to the Saint Louis Hawks and Rochester Royals, respectively. While 18 other teams have had multiple players go first overall, no school has had the No. 1 pick in two straight years since then.

The list of schools with multiple first overall picks has great variety, with most of them being the typical college basketball powerhouses. LSU, Kansas, Georgetown, Michigan, North Carolina, UCLA, and Indiana are all schools that you would expect to find on such a prestigious list. Kansas State, Cincinnati, Houston, and UNLV have rich histories that explain why they have had multiple No. 1 picks, even though they haven’t been considered among the country’s elite programs for the last two decades.

International stars rising in the draft

Barring a dramatic switch-up, Victor Wembanyama will become the third player to be drafted No. 1 directly out of professional basketball from another country. All three occurrences have taken place since 2000, with Yao Ming from China in 2002 and Andrea Bargnani from Italy in 2006.

Before 2010, players were selected from seemingly different schools each year. However, in the last decade or so, the traditional powerhouses have reasserted their dominance, with two schools standing out from the rest. Nevertheless, the recent influx of top talent to the G-League, coupled with the continuously growing international talent pool, might make it challenging for any other school to surpass the current leader in this category.

Here are the two schools with the most No. 1 picks in NBA Draft history.