5 Most Successful College Basketball Teams

With March Madness around the corner, we take a look at the top five men's college basketball teams of all time.

NBA player slam dunks the ball

The NCAA Basketball Tournament, known as March Madness, starts on March 14, when teams from all across America will do battle for the national championship, hoping to put their name in history.

It is one of the most popular events of the US sporting calendar, which guarantees drama and can create legends among players and teams.

It is a long road to glory, so here are our top five men’s college basketball teams of all time.

5. North Carolina 1982

North Carolina Tar Heels won 32 of their 34 games in 1982, including a 63-62 win over Georgetown in the National Championship game.

James Worthy was the star performer, and he went on to not only be the first pick in the NBA draft that year but went on to win three titles with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Sam Perkins was a sophomore and joined the Dallas Mavericks two years later when he also won a gold medal at the Olympics.

And then there was a junior called Michael Jordan, who made his mark in that great team. And, of course, he went on to be the greatest hoops player of all time. 

4. UCLA 1967

UCLA were the dominant NCAA team of the 1960s and 1970s, winning nine of ten titles between 1964 and 1973.

Their 1967 was the debut season for Lew Alcindor, later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He averaged 29 points per game as they won all 30 of their matches, beating Dayton 79-64 in the Championship game.

Abdul-Jabbar went on to break a host of NBA records, and point-guard Lucius Allen also won a championship with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Roster member Michael Warren went on to find fame in a different direction, playing Officer Bobby Hill in the popular TV series Hill Street Blues.

3. Duke 1992

Coach Mike Krzyzewski spent 42 years at the helm of the Duke basketball programme before his retirement last year, and his best team was the one he directed to a repeat NCAA success in 1992.

They came close to crashing out as they needed star player Christian Laettner to fire the dramatic winning points to secure a 104-103 overtime victory over Kentucky in the Elite Eight.

It was a lot more comfortable in the championship game as they beat Michigan 71-51.

Laettner enjoyed 13 years in the NBA, while small forward Grant Hill, now a co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks, went on to be a seven-time NBA All-Star.

2. Indiana 1976

Indiana Hoosiers are the last team to have completed a season without defeat after they won all 32 of their games in 1976 under fiery head coach Bob Knight.

Scott May, Quinn Buckner and Bob Wilkerson were all selected in the first round of that year’s NBA draft, and Buckner would go on to win an NBA title with the Boston Celtics in 1984.

They showed great character after losing Wilkerson to a concussion against Michigan and falling behind 35-29 at half-time, but they were able to prevail, winning 86-68 to complete their perfect season.

1. UCLA 1972

Not only did the Bruins go unbeaten in the 1972 season, but they were hardly touched by their opponents.

They won their regular-season matches by an average of 30 points, and only one team got within 14 of John Wooden’s winning machine.

When they claimed an 81-76 victory over Florida State, it was their 45th consecutive victory in a winning streak that would reach 88 games.

Two-time NBA champion Bill Walton was the star performer, while Jamaal Wikes went on to win four titles with the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers.

A vastly experienced journalist, Ian has worked the beat on a number of local newspapers and covers a number of different sports for the Racing Post
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