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Mid American Youth Basketball

As of the 2005-06 season, 334 colleges and universities participate in Division I Men’s Basketball, with 49 of the 50 states having at least one program (Alaska has none). The teams are divided among 31 different conferences, some major and others mid-major (though this distinction is not considered to be official). No mid-major team has made the Final Four since 1979 (Penn and Indiana State – led by Larry Bird – both made the semi-finals), though both lost to Michigan State, headed by Magic Johnson.

In the past, the NBA would not draft a player who had not graduated from college. This worked well for both the NBA and the schools because it allowed the colleges to retain their players and remain competitive, and it meant the NBA never had to fund a minor league. At the same time, the players benefited by completing their education. However, over the years, student athletes began to have a hard time maintaining their studies, due to the commercialization of the sport. And the American Basketball Association began to draft undergraduates.

The UCLA Bruins are by far the most storied of all College Basketball teams. With 11 National Championships, they lead the nation in the category. They met up with Florida in 2006.

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