WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Zion Williamson's college career came to an end here in the Elite Eight against Michigan State on Sunday night.
And the next game he plays will be for an NBA team.
"I mean, it's obviously a high chance that I'm obviously going to enter the Draft," Williamson said at his locker after going for 24 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks in his final college game as No. 1 seed Duke endured a 68-67 loss to second-seeded Michigan State in the East Regional final, effectively ending the college careers of Williamson and his fellow Duke freshmen.
"I'm not going to make it official because it's something I have to talk to my parents about," he added. "We got seniors and other players that could potentially go pro, so each year, especially coming to Duke, you gotta enjoy being with that group because it changes almost every year."
Virginia will meet Auburn in one national semifinal on Saturday in Minneapolis (CBS, 6:09 p.m.), with Texas Tech facing Michigan State in the nightcap. With the elimination Sunday of both Duke and Kentucky, there won't be a single one-and-done player in the Final Four.
Zion: 'There's obviously a high chance that I'm going to enter the draft' pic.twitter.com/UaSGRwOZRJ- Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 31, 2019
The Knicks (14-62) own the NBA's worst record and desperately hope the ping pong balls go their way in the May 14 NBA draft lottery. They haven't landed the No. 1 overall pick since Patrick Ewing and the legend of the frozen envelope in 1985.
But the Knicks have only a 14 percent chance at landing Williamson, the same odds as Phoenix and Cleveland. Of course, Williamson has no control over where he ends up.
Back in December, after Duke beat Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden, Williamson was asked about potentially playing for the Knicks as he dressed in their locker room.
"If they draft me, I would love to play for the Knicks," he said then. "I don't really care where I go, just the experience of being in the NBA. Whoever wants me and whoever sees the most in me, that's where I want to be."
Williamson also told SNY in February that it would be "dope" to play with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, two free-agent targets of the Knicks (and many other teams).
Whichever NBA team lands Williamson will be getting both a generational talent and an incredibly mature, well-spoken young man who will also sell tickets.
The No. 3 pick in the 1994 NBA Draft and a seven-time All-Star, former Duke star Grant Hill, believes Williamson compares best to a player he competed against.
Hill was with Vince Carter in Atlanta and said, "He's you, but 280 [pounds]."
Hill told Carter, who's still playing at 42 with the Atlanta Hawks, that Williamson shares his explosiveness and agility, but he's not sure yet that Williamson shares Carter's skill set.
"Zion still has work to do on his game but he's got a good feel," Hill said. "He's got some skill and talent that serves him well, but he'll continue to get better."
Zion: 'This season has been a movie, not a movie with a great ending ' pic.twitter.com/TcilFwZW2H- Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 31, 2019
R.J. Barrett, a projected top-three pick in the draft, also saw his college career end. The Canadian finished with 21 points, six rebounds and six assists, but missed a crucial free throw in the final seconds. He made the second, but had he made both the game would've been tied at 68.
"Nobody likes losing, and especially with this group it's heartbreaking," Barrett said at his locker.
Asked what was next for him he said, "Really just getting on the plane and going home with my brothers."
RJ: 'Nobody likes losing and especially with this group it's heartbreaking ' pic.twitter.com/9es4P1NvQF- Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 31, 2019
Now that Williamson and Duke are out of the NCAA Tournament, executives at CBS and Turner probably need group therapy since they won't be able to market him -- and profit off him -- for another week.
But the NBA team that drafts him will benefit immensely from his built-in brand and ability to sell tickets because of his incredible athleticism combined with charisma in front of the camera.
"Zion Williamson's going to make $1 billion playing basketball effortlessly," longtime ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla told Forbes SportsMoney earlier this season.
As he sat at his locker patiently answering questions, Williamson said he would miss the brotherhood he established with his fellow Duke players.
Asked if he could imagine how much of an impact he had on the college basketball world -- and the larger sports world -- this season, he said it was like a Hollywood script.
"This season has just been a movie," Williamson said. "It's one of the movies not with the best outcome, but it's been a great movie. I'm glad I could be a part of it."