GREATEST TEAMS IN
1960 California Golden Bears
The 28-2 Golden Bears beat Oscar Robertson's Cincinnati Bearcats in the NCAA semifinals, but lost to Jerry Lucas' Ohio State Buckeyes in the finals. The Golden Bears had the best scoring defense in the NCAA, holding opponents to just 49.5 points per game. The Golden Bears were led by Center Darrall Imhoff (13.7 pts., 12.4 reb.). Click here to read a detailed article on the 1960 Golden Bears.
1960 Cincinnati Bearcats
The Big O, Oscar Robertson, considered by many to be the best college basketball player ever, scored 33.7 points per game, pulled down 14.1 rebounds per game and made 7.3 assists per game for the 28-2 Bearcats. Point Guard Ralph Davis (13.7 pts., 4.4 ast.) provided an additional outside scoring threat and Center Paul Hogue (12.2 pts., 11 reb.) provided an additional inside scoring threat. The Bearcats ran a fast break offense with Robertson in the middle. From there, Robertson could shoot, drive inside, pass to Davis on the wing or pass to Hogue down low. The Bearcats were ranked number one from the beginning of the season to the end, despite losing to California in the NCAA semifinals. Click here to read a detailed article on the 1960 Bearcats.
1960 Ohio State Buckeyes
The 25-3 Buckeyes were led by Center Jerry Lucas, who averaged 26.3 points, 16.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. All of the Buckeyes other starters also averaged more than 10 points per game and went on to play at least two years in the pros. The 1960 Ohio State squad included Forward John Havlicek (12.2 pts., 7.3 reb.), who later blossumed into a Boston Celtics superstar, and reserve Forward Bobby Knight (3.7 pts., 2 reb.), who went on to become the winningest coach in college basketball history. Click here to read a detailed article on the 1960 Buckeyes.
1962 Cincinnati Bearcats
The Cincinnati Bearcats never won an NCAA Championship with Oscar Robertson, but right after he left, the Bearcats won two in a row. The 1962 team went 29-2 with a methodical style that emphasized getting the ball inside for high percentage shots. The 1962 Bearcats were led by 6'9' center Paul Hogue (16.8 pts., 12.4 reb.), but all five of their starters averaged more than 8 points per game.
1963 Loyola (Chi) Ramblers
The 29-2 Ramblers won the NCAA championship. Although the 1966 Texas Western team is often hailed for starting five black players in the 1966 NCAA championship game, three years earlier the Loyola Ramblers started four black players every game of the season. Shattering stereotypes of black players as "dumb players", all five Loyola starters graduated. Among them, they earned a total of 11 college degrees, including a law degree, an MBA and even a PhD. The Ramblers were led by Jerry Harkness (21.4 pts., 7.6 reb.), Leslie Hunter (17 pts., 11.4 reb.) and Victor Rouse (13.5 pts., 12.1 reb.). In the NCAA championship game, the Ramblers were losing to Cincinnati 45-30 with less than 15 minutes remaining. The Ramblers came back and won the game in overtime. Click here to read a detailed article on the 1963 Ramblers.
1964 Duke Blue Devils
The 26-5 Duke Blue Devils lost the NCAA Championship to UCLA, 98-83. The Blue Devils were led by swingman Jeff Mullins (24.2 pts., 8.9 reb.), who could score inside and outside. Mullins was supported by two 6'10' big men, enter Jay Buckley (13.8 pts., 9 reb.) and power forward Hack Tison (11.8 pts., 7.6 reb.).
1964 UCLA Bruins
The 30-0 UCLA Bruins were the first of many teams coached by Hall of Famer John Wooden to win the NCAA Championship. The 1964 Bruins lacked the big men of future UCLA teams. No starter was over 6'5'. The Bruins had two great guards, however, Gail Goodrich (21.5 pts., 5.2 reb., 3.4 ast.) and Walt Hazzard (18.6 pts., 4.7 reb., 6.8 ast). Also dangerous was swingman Jack Hirsch (14 pts., 7.6 reb.). All three could score inside and outside.
1965 Miami Hurricanes
The 1965 Miami Hurricanes went 22-4 and averaged 98.4 points per game, but the Hurricanes were not allowed to play in the NCAA Tournament due to recruiting violations. The Hurricanes were led by Rick Barry, who averaged 37.4 points and 18.3 rebounds per game. Barry was supported by swingman Wayne Beckner (18.3 pts., 8.2 reb.). Both Barry and Beckner could score inside or outside.
1965 Princeton Tigers
Senior Forward Bill Bradley led the 23-6 Tigers to the Final Four. Bradley was the third highest scorer and had the best free throw percentage of any college player in 1965. He scored 30.5 points per game and pulled down 11.8 rebounds per game. No other Princeton player scored or rebounded in double digits. Although Princeton was knocked out by Michigan before reaching the NCAA finals, Bradley was named outstanding player of the NCAA tournament. He scored 58 points in the consolation game against Witchita State, still the most points scored in a final four game.
1965 Michigan Wolverines
The 24-4 Michigan Wolverines were led by 6'5' guard Cazzie Russell. Russell was a spectacular passer, ballhandler and scorer. He averaged 25.7 points per game. He used his size to overpower smaller guards inside, but was also a very good shooter outside. An All-American and All-NCAA Tournament Team member, Russell was particularly good in big games. Russell's play was complimented by Center Bill Buntin. Buntin averaged 20.1 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. Michigan defeated Bill Bradley's Princeton team to advance to the NCAA Championship game, but lost the Championship to UCLA, 91-80.
1965 Vanderbilt Commodores
The 1965 Vanderbilt Commodores went 24-4, but lost to eventual champion Michigan 87-85 on a controversial call in the regional finals of the NCAA Tournament. Vanderbilt was led by 6'10' Clyde Lee (22.5 pts., 15 reb.). Lee was supported by Bob Grace (13.2 pts., 9.3 reb.) inside and the outside shooting of Keith Thomas (12.2 pts., 3 reb.) and John Ed Miller (13 pts., 4.2 reb.).
1966 Kentucky Wildcats
The 27-2 Kentucky Wildcats will go down in history as the all-white team defeated by Texas Western's all-black starters in the 1966 NCAA Championship game. The Wildcats were a small, athletic team that scored points with the fast break. The team was named for their Hall of Fame Coach and small size: 'Rupp's Runts' was their nickname. The tallest starter was Center Thad Jaracz at 6'5'. The top rebounder (and scorer) was 6'3' future NBA Coach Pat Riley, with 8.9 rebounds and 22 points per game. Riley's inside play was complimented by the outside shooting of guard Louie Dampier (21.1 pts., 5.0 reb.). The top assist man was forward and future ESPN broadcaster Larry Conley (11.5 pts., 5.6 reb., 3.5 ast.). Texas Western defeated Kentucky in the NCAA Championship by slowing down the game, forcing the ball inside and drawing fouls. Texas Western was 28 of 34 from the charity stripe, while Kentucky was 11 for 13. The Wildcats, who averaged 86.9 points per game in 1966, were able to score just 65 in the 72-65 loss to Texas Western.
1966 Texas Western Miners
The 28-1 Miners are famous for starting five black players against the all-white Kentucky team in the 1966 NCAA Championship game and defeating Kentucky 72-65. The Miners played outstanding defense, holding opponents to just 62 points per game. They had a balanced attack, with six players averaging eight or more points per game and none averaging more than 15. The top scorer was 5'10' Guard Bobby Joe Hill (15.0 pts., 3 reb.). The top rebounder was Forward Harry Flournoy (8.3 pts., 10.7 reb.).
1967 Dayton Flyers
The 1967 Dayton Flyers went 25-6, but lost to eventual champion UCLA in the NCAA championship game, 79-64. The Flyers were led by all-world forward Don May (22.2 pts., 16.7 reb.). May could score inside or outside and was a rebounding machine.
1968 Houston Cougars
The 31-2 Cougars defeated Lew Alcindor and the 1968 UCLA Bruins in the regular season, but lost to the Bruins in the NCAA semifinals. The Cougars were led by Forward Elvin Hayes, who averaged 36.8 points and 18.9 rebounds per game. The Cougars' fast break offense outscored opponents 97.8 to 72.2. Center Ken Spain (14.4 pts., 12.8 reb.), Forward Theodis Lee (13.9 pts., 7.9 reb., 3.8 ast.), and Guards George Reynolds (10 pts., 4.9 reb., 5.6 ast.) and Don Chaney (13 pts., 5.8 reb., 3.8 ast.) all averaged 10 points or more per game. Click here to read a detailed article on the Houston Cougars
1968 UCLA Bruins
Lew Alcindor, later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, led the 29-1 Bruins with 26.2 points and 16.5 rebounds per game. A no-dunking rule was passed in an attempt to curtail his inside dominance. The no dunking rule later became known as the "Lew Alcindor Rule." Alcindor's inside dominance was complimented by the outside shooting of Guard Lucius Allen (15.1 pts., 6 reb.) and Forward Lynn Shackelford (10.7 pts., 5 reb.). The Bruins outscored their opponents by an average of 93.4 to 67.2. Their fast break offense enabled six players to average more than 10 points per game. In addition to Alcindor, Allen and Shackelford, Point Guard Mike Warren (12.1 pts., 3.7 reb.) and Forwards Mike Lynn (10.3 pts., 5.2 reb.) and Edgar Lacey (11.9 pts., 7.9 reb.) all averaged more than 10 points per game in 1968. Click here to read a detailed article on the 1968 Bruins.
1969 North Carolina Tar Heels
The 27-5 North Carolina Tar Heels were led by the outside shooting of Charlie Scott (22.3 pts., 7.1 reb.) and the inside shooting of Bill Bunting (18.0 pts., 7.7 reb.) and Rusty Clark (14.4 pts., 9.2 reb.). The Tar Heels were blown out 92-65 in the Final Four by Purdue behind 36 points from Rick Mount.
1969 Purdue Boilermakers
Rick Mount, considered by many to be the best pure shooter in college basketball history, led the 23-5 Boilermakers to the NCAA championship game, but they lost to Lew Alcindor and the UCLA Bruins. Mount averaged 33.3 points per game. Had the three point line existed in 1969, he would likely have averaged more than 40. Mount was supported by Forward Herman Gilliam (15.8 pts., 8.5 reb.) and Guard Billy Keller (13.3 pts., 4.6 reb.).