The NCAA Tournament is widely regarded as the best three weeks in all of sports. As history has proven, the best team in the country doesn’t always win the national championship. While that may ruin most of our brackets each and every year, it’s by far one of the biggest reasons why March Madness is so exciting and unpredictable. But in order to consider yourself one of the greatest of all-time a championship is most definitely a prerequisite. In honor of the greatest to play college basketball, here is our roundup of the greatest college basketball teams of all-time.
10. 1983-1984 Georgetown Hoyas
While the Georgetown Hoyas reached the title game three times within four years from 1982 to 1985, the ’83 squad was the best one. With the help of their All-American center Patrick Ewing, the Hoyas went 34-3 in 1983 including 84-75 win over Houston to claim their only national title in program history. Considering the fact that Georgetown was the best team the Big East produced during an era that was dominated by the Big East there’s no way you can honestly leave them off the list.
9. 1989-1990 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels
(Photo via Bull City State of Mind)
Jerry Tarkanian’s 1990 Runnin’ Rebels were easily the most exciting team ruing the 1989-1990 season. The Rebels’ fast style of play and swagger led UNLV to a 35-5 record and the only national title in program history. The Runnin’ Rebels were headlined by four future NBA players including Greg Anthony and Larry Johnson who both played integral roles in UNLV’s 30-point blowout of Duke in the national title game.
8. 1973-1974 North Carolina State Wolfpack
(photo via NCSU Libraries)
Despite the fact that the ’73-’74 Wolfpack ended up winning the 1974 national title, they’ll always be remembered as the team that ended UCLA’s unprecedented run. Led by athletic David Thompson and Tom Burleson, NC State marched 30-1 record capped off by a victory over UCLA in the nat’l semifinals and an impressive 12-point over Marquette in the title game. Not only did the Wolfpack end UCLA’s dominant run but they forever changed college basketball.
7. 1991-1992 Duke Blue Devils
Although Christian Laettner’s last-second shot may be the defining moment of Duke’s championship run, this team was loaded from top to bottom. The ’92 Blue Devils featured some of the best players in NCAA history between Christian Laettner and Grant Hill. Duke posted a 34-2 record on the season capped off by a 71-51 thrashing of Michigan’s Fab Five.
6. 1995-1996 Kentucky Wildcats
The 1996 Kentucky men’s basketball team may in fact be the deepest college team ever assembled. The Wildcats featured 11 future NBA players as they compiled a 34-2 record on their way to capturing the 6th national championship in program history. Often referred to as “The Untouchables,” Hall of Famer Rick Pitino’s squad was one of the most athletics teams in college basketball history and arguably one of the best.
5. 1955-1956 San Francisco Dons
While the University of San Francisco absolutely dominated college hoops in the 1950s, the 1956 squad is considered one of the best all-time. Led by the play of their All-American center Bill Russell, the Dons dominated their opponents with relative ease en route to a 29-0 mark and an 83-71 victory over Iowa in the National Championship. The Dons’ exciting style of play, headlined by Bill Russell and his 20 points and 21 rebounds per game, had fans scouring for tickets all year long.
4. 1972-1973 UCLA Bruins
(photo via Wikipedia)
The 1973 Bruins ran the table to a 30-0 record for the second consecutive year and delivered legendary coach John Wooden his seventh consecutive national title. There’s no question the success of the Bruins came down to the play of three-time All-American Bill Walton. In the ’73 title game, Walton put up 44 points on 21-of-22 shooting and 13 boards as the Bruins rocked Memphis State 87-66.
3. 1981-1982 North Carolina Tar Heels
(photo via UNC Library)
This team was absolutely stacked with talent. Between Michael Jordan, James Worthy and Sam Perkins, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better starting five in college basketball history. The Heels finished the ’82 season with a 32-2 record after beating Georgetown in the National Championship, 63-62. Led by one of the greatest coaches in college basketball history, the ’82 Carolina Tar Heels had one of the most well-rounded teams you’ll ever see.
2. 1967-1968 UCLA Bruins
While all of them were fantastic (including #4!) I think the ’68 Bruins were the best team UCLA ever put together. That year, the Bruins featured five double-digit scorers led by the greatest center to ever play college ball: Lew Alcindor. UCLA finished the year 29-1 behind Alcindor’s 26 points and 16 boards per game as they dominated Houston and UNC in the Final Four by a combined 55 points.
1. 1975-1976 Indiana Hoosiers
You can’t really argue with perfection, so to not include the ’76 Hoosiers should be considered a crime. Indiana trekked through the 1976 season unscathed en route to a 86-68 victory over Michigan in the National Championship and a perfect 32-0 record. The Hoosiers were the last team to finish the year undefeated and most definitely deserve a spot on our list.
Who do you think was the greatest team of all-time?
Photos via Getty Images unless otherwise specified.