March Madness: the Top 10 NCAA Basketball Teams of All-Time

March Madness: the Top 10 NCAA Basketball Teams of All-Time

The Tar Heels became just the second team to finish the season undefeated. In the tournament the Tar Heels beat Yale, Canisius and Syracuse to reach the Final Four where they took care of Michigan 74-70 in triple overtime, and for good measure, went to triple overtime again by defeating Kansas and Goliath Wilt Chamberlain 54-53. The Tar Heels were led by Player of the Year Lennie Rosenbluth, who averaged 27.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. The final game is considered to be one of the best title games in history. Two days, two games, 6 overtimes, this will never happen again.

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The Hoyas are the only team on this list that did not win the National Championship. The team finished 35-2 and was led by everybody’s All-American Patrick Ewing. The Hoyas were the defending National Champions and charged through the first five games of the 1985 tournament, until they ran into Cinderella Villanova. The Hoyas were heavily favored against the Wildcats, but Villanova shot 79% from the field, which is unheard of in basketball, and defeated Georgetown 66-64 in one of the biggest upsets in NCAA history.

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The Wolfpack finished the season 30-1, with their lone loss coming against UCLA in the regular season. NC State avenged the loss by defeating the Bruins of UCLA80-77 in the Final Four, effectively ending UCLA’s run of 7 consecutive championships. The Wolfpack was led by David Thompson, who was the Player of Year, Tom Burleson and his 18 points a game and guards Moe Rivers and Monte Towe who tossed in 12 points per game. These players beat Marquette in the Championship game to cap off a great year.

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The team was absolutely loaded with talent. The Tar Heels had Sam Perkins, James Worthy and a freshman by the name of Michael Jordan. Worthy averaged 15 points and 6 rebounds per game, while newcomer Jordan added 13 points per game, however, the cornerstone of the team was Sam Perkins who used his skills to average 14 points and 7 rebounds a contest. This Carolina team finished 32-2 and won the National Championship over Georgetown, on a jumper by Michael Jordan. This team would be higher on the list had they dominated teams more handily during the tournament. They beat James Madison by one, Alabama by five, Villanova by 10, Houston by five and Georgetown by one.

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The Dons, great name, were the first team to go undefeated for an entire season, finishing 29-0. The Dons had two of the greatest defensive players of all time. They go by the names KC Jones and Bill Russell. Russell would average an incredible 20 points and 21 rebounds in his senior year and was named All-American for the second straight year. San Francisco would go on the win every game of the tournament by more than 11 points and Russell grabbed 50 rebounds in the semi-finals and championship game where they beat Iowa 83-71.

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The Blue Devils were ranked number one for the entire season and had a roster full of talent with household names. Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley and Grant Hill were the leaders. Hill averaged 14 points a game, Hurley chipped in 12 points and 8 assists per game and Laettner led the team with 21 points and 7 boards per game. Laettner hit the greatest shot in tournament history when he received a court length pass from Hill, dribbled once, pump faked and hit a turnaround game winning shot with 2.1 seconds left to beat Kentucky in the Elite Eight. Duke used the momentum of the ‘The Shot’ to propel them to a 71-51 thrashing of Michigan in the title game.

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The Hoosiers were the last team to finish the season undefeated going an unparalled 32-0. The team had workhorse Kent Benson, speedy guard Quinn Buckner, Player of the Year Scott May and were coached by Hall of Famer Bobby Knight. The previous year the Hoosiers were undefeated in their first 29 games and many say that the 1975 team was better than the 1976 team. The 1975 team must have been really good, because the 1976 team was incredible. Indiana dominated the Final Four dismantling UCLA by 14 and Michigan by 18.

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The Bruins lost but one game in 1968. On January 20th, 1968 Houston beat UCLA 71-69; the loss ended UCLA’s 47 game winning streak, but UCLA would get their revenge. The Bruins finished the season with a 29-1 record, and had the best players in college basketball, a guy by the name of Lew Alcindor (he would later change his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.) Alcindor was dominating pumping in 26 points a game and pulling down 16 rebounds. The supporting cast of Michael Warren, Lynn Shackleford and Mike Flynn all averaged 10 points of more in 1968. UCLA tore through the competition in the tournament; they beat Santa Clara by 21 in the Elite Eight, avenged their loss to Houston by devouring them 101-69 in the semi-finals and handled North Carolina 78-55 in the title game.

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The Kentucky Wildcats were arguably the deepest team in college basketball history. They had 5 first round draft picks in Walter McCarty, Antoine Walker, Tony Delk, Derek Anderson and Ron Mercer and 4 other players who made in to the NBA. 9 players from one team in the NBA, that’s almost every player on the team. Kentucky finished the season with a 34-2 record and went undefeated in conference play. During the season they won a school record 27 straight games. The Wildcats won every game in the tournament by an average of 21 points including a 76-67 victory of Syracuse in the Championship game.

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The 1972 UCLA Bruins were the greatest team of All-Time. They finished the season with a 30-0 record, had the best player in the land, a guy named Bill Walton, and won by an average of 32 points. No team has had a higher margin of victory. The 1972 team was also part of UCLA’s record 88 game win streak. While Walton was the best player, UCLA also had Keith Wilkes, Greg Lee and guard Henry Bibby was also an All-American. The Bruins ran all over the competition in the tournament on their way to beating Florida State 81-76 in the final. Walton was upset that they won by only 5 points, saying that he could have played better and they should have beaten Florida State with ease.

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