Carmelo Anthony strutted into Syracuse, N.Y. in the fall of 2002, a cornrowed, big-smiling kid from West Baltimore (and Oak Hill Academy) and a bigger game. He was a double-double machine. He averaged 22 ppg and 10 rpg that season and had folks racking their brains to recall a freshman that polished and dominant — some had to go back to Bill Walton.
Then the NCAA tournament came and, amid the madness of March, he cemented his legend. Syracuse's roster wasn't stacked with NBA lottery picks — or first rounders, for that matter — this was a Danny Manning/Kansasesque run for a squad. Manning was a senior, though, and even his performance might not match what Melo did in the Final Four. He dropped 33 points and 14 rebounds in a semifinals win over Texas and then 20 points, 10 boards and seven assists for a close 81-78 win for the championship. He bounced to the NBA after that, but with his jersey in the rafters, he's a Cuse legend for life.