The 8 Best Final Four Teams Ever

1990-'91 UNLV Runnin' Rebels

Like an Elmore Leonard novel set on the hardwood, everything about these utterly stacked UNLV teams possessed a noir-ish taint. Performing in the shadow of the Strip in the gambling capital of the world, the Rebels were loaded with future pros including Stacey Augmon, Larry Johnson and Greg Anthony. Their coach, Jerry Tarkanian, was a towel-chewing lunatic with underworld ties. His marvelously ghoulish appearance could have vouchsafed a decades-long career as a Hollywood heavy, but instead he coached basketball. The 89'-'90 version of the Rebels were brilliant, going 35-5 and earning bonus points for smashing Duke by 30 unnecessary points in the championship game. Don Rickles went to the games. Opponents accused them of running up the score and they didn't exactly deny it. The '90-'91 version was even better, going 34-0 en route to the finals, only to somehow lose to Duke this time because Duke ruins everything cool. UNLV were never really great after that, and eventually Tarkanian bailed for the NBA as whispers about the program grew gradually louder. But they were the best while it lasted. Check out this flagrantly amazing highlight package set to Poison:


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