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Counting Down Best College Basketball Teams of All Time

Have you noticed how every time a conversation for the “best” – be it team or athlete in every sport – usually ends up in a heated argument where everybody all of a sudden becomes experts?

Well, that’s not the case today, because it’s only me talking here and I’m here to bring you my picks for the best college basketball teams of all time.

Counting Down Best College Basketball Teams of All Time
Michael Jordan is announced as a member of the 2009 Hall-of-Fame | Streeter Lecka/Getty Images/AFP

From historical powerhouse schools to teams that took the college basketball world by storm and then fizzled out, let’s talk about some of the best NCAAB squads of all time while we wait for the March Madness Tournament to get going this year.

For this list, I’ll be looking at teams with the best seasonal runs. I’m not here to talk about programs and how history perceives them. No, I’m here to talk about the best teams to step on the court, do their thing and leave a mark that cannot be debated.

1. 1981-82 North Carolina Tar Heels

Should I start with the fact that this North Carolina Tar Heels team was coached by a man who is considered by many as one of the best college basketball coaches of all time in Dean Smith?


Okay then, how about the fact that James Worthy, who would go on to become a Los Angeles Lakers legend and a player responsible for making playing with goggles one of the coolest looks around town, was the best player in the tournament field?

Still nothing?

Fine. Then how about the team having a freshman by the name of Michael Jordan. Yes, that Michael Jordan, starting to show the world what he was all about?

Even after struggling in that year’s NCAA tournament, the Tar Heels still managed to make it to the finals where they beat the No. 1-seeded Georgetown Hoyas 63-62, going on to finish the season with a 32-2 record and as March Madness champions.

Tell me I’m wrong with my pick, I dare you.

2. 1995-96 Kentucky Wildcats

There are three things Kentucky is very, very good at doing. Frying chicken, hosting the most important annual horse race in the world,and producing NBA level talents thanks to the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team.

When it comes to March Madness championship pedigree, Kentucky is what many consider a “blue blood” school. Alongside other schools like North Carolina and others that will be mentioned in this list, the Wildcats are the epitome of college basketball excellence.

But, when thinking of a Kentucky squad to single out, the 1995-96 Wildcats stand out as a team in a league of their own.

Going down in history as one of the best scoring squads in the NCAA, averaging 91.4 points, all while playing through one of the toughest schedules in college basketball, coach Rick Pitino’s Kentucky was featured a slew of future NBA players like Antoine Walker, Tony Delk, Ron Mercer, Derek Anderson, Mark Pope, Wayne Turner, Nazr Mohammed, Walter McCarthy and Jeff Sheppard.

Having only lost two of 36 games that season en route to the March Madness title, it’s pretty easy to understand why this team was called “The Untouchables.”

3. 1967-68 UCLA Bruins

How about we take it back a few years? And yes, by a few years I mean all the way back to the late ‘60’s where the UCLA Bruins, led by one Lew Alcindor – later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – dominated the college basketball scene.

Not only is Abdul-Jabbar considered one of the absolute best players to ever grace the sport of basketball at the professional level, he is also considered one of the best players the NCAA has ever seen. Add to that the fact that John Wooden, considered in the highest tier of NCAAB royalty when it comes to coaches, was running the team and it makes all sense in the world that the 1967-68 Bruins would make the list.

Now, before you come and tell me that Bill Walton´s 1971-72 undefeated Bruins team should have made the list, I agree. That UCLA team will forever go down as one of the best units in the game. But, for that team to get its undefeated NCAA basketball tournament title win, the 1967-68 team had to show them how it was done first.

4. 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers

Considering I’ve mentioned some very important coaches in the college basketball landscape, I would find it unforgivable to miss out on mentioning one of the most volatile and talented coaches in the history of NCAA basketball – Indiana’s Bob Knight.

Knight’s 75-76 team holds the honor of being the last team to go undefeated en route to the national championship win. With six future NBA players in their roster, including Indiana legend Scott May, the Hoosiers did what nobody thought was possible back in the ’70s.

They brought UCLA down from its perennial title-winning pedestal in the semifinals of the tournament and then beat Michigan by 18 points to be crowned as tournament champions.

5. 1991-92 Duke Blue Devils

I’m a firm believer that if I took the time to mention North Carolina, Kentucky and UCLA, of course I had to mention Duke. With many impressive squads to pick from over the years, there´s no doubt in my mind that the 1991-92 Blue Devils’ March Madness winning team takes the cake.

Coached by living college basketball legend Mike Krzyzewski, and with a roster stacked to the brim with some of the most important players in school history like Grant Hill, Brian Davis, Antonio Lang, Cherokee Parks, Bobby Hurley and Christian Laettner, Duke put on a season that all basketball fans remember.

Between Laettner’s famous “The Shot” against Kentucky in Duke´s Final Four game, to the Blue Devils taking Michigan’s famed “Fab Five” squad to school in the tournament’s final, beating the Wolverines by 20 points, 71-51, there’s no question on which team dominated college basketball in the early ‘90s.


Questions of the Day

Which NCAA Basketball Teams Have The Most Titles In History?

UCLA with 11 titles, followed by Kentucky with eight, UNC with six, Duke, Indiana and UConn with five make up the list of schools with the most NCAA basketball championship titles in history.

Which Team Has The Best Odds To Win The 2024 March Madness Title?

According to BetUS sportsbook, the UConn Huskies have the best odds to win the 2024 March Madness title.

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