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Insider

Method to the madness

EVERY SPRING a handful of college hoopsters blast themselves into our consciousness by playing better than we expect and leading their teams to big wins in the Big Dance. Kemba Walker in 2011, Derrick Rose in 2008, Carmelo Anthony in 2003 -- these guys have made us put down our brackets, sit up and say, "Hey, I didn't know that guy was this good!"

Well, according to a 2012 study of how bosses hire high-value employees, we're not the only ones. NBA teams scout hundreds of players across the country, tracking their every move for months on end, and put dozens of prospects through extensive workouts. Yet when it comes to draft night, clubs routinely rely on the same measure the rest of the country uses: NBA GMs, it turns out, favor players who had surprising success in the postseason. And the even bigger shocker? They're right to do so.