The state of Illinois produces some of the best basketball players in the entire country. Just in the past decade, Derrick Rose, Anthony Davis, and Jabari Parker have graced the state's high school courts. Even with this recent influx of talent into the collegiate and professional ranks, Division-I College Basketball in 'The Land of Lincoln' is the worst it's ever been.
The University of Illinois is considered the state's flagship school, but the Illini have only made it to the Sweet Sixteen once since their magical 2004-05 Final Four season. DePaul, who just recently fired head coach Oliver Purnell, has been completely irrelevant since the early '90s. Then there's Northwestern who's never made the NCAA Tournament.
This year, zero teams from the state received a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Zero. But that hasn't stopped Illinois natives from participating. In total, 59 former Illinois high school players are on 39 rosters (57% of teams) in the 2015 edition of March Madness.
You can click here to see the complete list of players, but for now here's our 2015 NCAA Tournament All-Illinois Team and Honorable Mentions:
NCAA Tournament All-Illinois Team
Fred Van Vleet, Wichita State
Junior, G | Rockford-Auburn | 12.7PPG, 4.4RPG, 5.3APG
As a sophomore, Van Vleet was considered one of the best point guards in the country and was a huge part of the Shockers' undefeated regular season. This year, though, Wichita State hasn't received as much national attention and Van Vleet has often been overlooked. He's still a fantastic lead guard that can go head-to-head with anyone in the country.
Dylan Ennis, Villanova
Junior, G | Lake Forest | 10.0PPG, 3.7RPG, 3.5APG
Like Van Vleet, Dylan Ennis is often overlooked nationally because most people haven't seen Villanova play. Ennis is a force to be reckoned with on the court; he's among the Wildcats' leaders in points, rebounds, and assists.
Sam Thompson, Ohio State
Senior, F | Whitney Young | 10.0PPG, 3.9RPG, 1.8APG
Sam Thompson is one of the best dunkers in all of college basketball. The senior forward is the Buckeyes' second leading scorer on the year and is shooting 46.2% from the field.
Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin
Senior, F | Benet | 18.2PPG, 8.0RPG, 2.7APG
Coming out of high school, Kaminsky was rated as the No. 218 overall prospect according to 247Sports' composite rankings; fast-forward four years and he's the most important player on a Wisconsin team that has won both the Big Ten regular season and tournament championships. Oh, and he's also the odds on favorite to win National Player of the Year. Kaminsky will play an integral role in the Badgers' quest for a second straight Final Four appearance.
Jahlil Okafor, Duke
Freshman, C | Whitney Young | 17.7PPG, 9.0RPG, 1.4APG
The hype surrounding Jahlil Okafor this offseason was 100% correct. The former No. 1 overall recruit has been the most dominant big man in the country and is expected to be one of the top picks in the upcoming NBA Draft.
Tyler Ulis, Kentucky
Freshman, G | Marian Catholic | 5.7PPG, 1.8RPG, 3.7APG
Wayne Blackshear, Louisville
Senior, G-F | Morgan Park | 10.9PPG, 4.3RPG, 1.2APG
Roosevelt Jones, Butler
Junior, F | O'Fallon | 12.4PPG, 5.2RPG, 3.7APG
Ben Moore, SMU
Sophomore, F | Bolingbrook | 7.1PPG, 4.7RPG, 1.9APG
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