GREATEST TEAMS IN
1970 Kentucky Wildcats
The 26-2 Kentucky Wildcats were led by center Dan Issel's inside game (33.9 pts., 13.2 reb.) and swingman Mike Pratt's outside game (19.3 pts., 9.5 reb.). The Wildcats fast break offense averaged 96.8 points per game. In the NCAA Tournament, however, Kentucky was defeated by Artis Gilmore and the fast breaking Jacksonville Dolphins, 106-100.
1970 LSU Tigers
The 22-10 LSU Tigers probably shouldn't be included in any list of greatest teams. The Tigers didn't even make it into the NCAA Tournament. However, we included the 1970 LSU team because their point guard, Pistol Pete Maravich, put on the greatest scoring performance in the history of college basketball that year. Before the days of the three-pointer, Maravich averaged 44.5 points per game. He also had 5.3 rebounds and 6.2 assists.
1970 New Mexico State Aggies
The 28-3 Aggies lost to UCLA in the Final Four. The Aggies had three players go on to NBA careers. Guard Jimmy Collins (24.4 pts., 2.9 ast.) led the Aggies from the outside and Center Sam Lacey (17.7 pts., 15.9 reb.) led the Aggies from the inside. Point guard Charley Criss (12.5 pts., 2.9 ast.) was the third NBA player on the Aggies.
1970 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The 21-8 Irish lost to Dan Issel and the Kentucky Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament, 109-99. The Irish were led by high scoring guard Austin Carr (38.1 pts., 8.3 reb.). In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Carr scored 61 points. In the second round loss to number one ranked Kentucky, Carr scored 52 points. Carr was a solid outside shooter, but scored most of his points near the basket. His game was complimented by the solid inside play of 6'7' power forward Collis Jones (18.6 pts., 12.4 reb.).
1970 St. Bonaventure Bonnies
The 25-3 Bonnies lost to Artis Gilmore's Jacksonville Dolphins in the NCAA semifinals. The Bonnies were led by Center Bob Lanier (29.1 pts., 16 reb.) and Forward Matt Gantt (15.3 pts., 9.7 reb.).
1970 Jacksonville Dolphins
The fast-breaking 27-2 Dolphins were the first college team to average over 100 points per game. They were led by 7'2" Center Artis Gilmore (26.5 pts., 22.2 reb.). Gilmore was joined in the front-court by 7'0" Pembrook Burrows (10.8 pts., 7.3 reb.). Starting Guards Rex Morgan (18.2 pts., 6.4 reb.) and Vaughn Wedeking (13.7 pts., 1.9 pts.) added lots of points from the back-court. The Dolphis beat number one Kentucky 106-100 to get into the Final Four. They beat St. Bonaventure 91-83 in the semifinals, but fell short of UCLA in the finals, 80-69.
1971 Marquette Warriors
The 28-1 Warriors entered the NCAA Tournament undefeated, but lost a 60-59 heartbreaker to Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Warriors were led by the outside game of point guard Dean Meminger (21.2 pts., 4 reb., 3.6 ast.) and the inside game of 6'11' center Jim Chones (17.9 pts., 11.5 reb.). Forwards Gary Brell (13.4 pts., 8.9 reb.) and Bob Lackey (12.9 pts., 8.8 reb.) were additional workhorses who collected rebounds and inside baskets.
1971 Pennsylvania Quakers
The 28-1 Pennsylvania Quakers entered the NCAA Tournament undefeated, but were blown out by Howard Porter and the Villanova Wildcats 90-47. The Quakers had a balanced attack, with five players averaging at least 9 points per game. Center Bob Morse (15.4 pts., 8.4 reb.) was the main inside threat. Guards Dave Wohl (15.3 pts., 3.6 ast.) and Steve Bilsky (11.7 pts., 4.7 ast.) were solid, but not spectacular, outside shooters.
1971 USC Trojans
The 1971 USC Trojans went 24-2, losing only twice, each time to eventual NCAA champion UCLA. The Trojans were led by guards Dennis Layton (17.6 pts., 2.7 reb.) and Paul Westphal (16.3 pts., 3.2 reb.) and center Ron Riley (14.1 pts., 15.3 reb.).
1971 Villanova Wildcats
The 27-7 Wildcats were led by Forward Howard Porter. Porter averaged 23.5 points and 14.8 rebounds per game. Porter was an outstanding defensive player. In the NCAA Tournament, the 18th Ranked Wildcats upset 3rd ranked Pennsylvania 90-47. Porter nearly outscored Penn by himself, pouring in 35 points. In the NCAA Championship game, Porter outscored UCLA's star forward Sidney Wicks 25-7. The Cinderella Wildcats lost to UCLA anyway, 68-62. Porter was named outstanding player of the 1971 NCAA Tournament, but the honor was vacated when it was discovered that he violated NCAA rules by signing a pro contract before the tournament started. Porter's pro career never panned out, he became addicted to drugs and he was found murdered in an alley at the age of 58.
1971 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
The 24-6 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers lost to Howard Porter and the Villanova Wildcats 92-89 in overtime in the Final Four. The Hilltoppers were led by 7'0' center Jim McDaniels (29.3 pts., 15.1 reb.) inside and Jim Rose (15.4 pts., 4.8 reb.) outside. Forwards Jerry Dunn (15.4 pts., 8.7 reb.) and Clarence Glover (8.4 pts., 10.9 reb.) were also solid contributors.
1972 Florida State Seminoles
The 26-7 Seminoles lost to Bill Walton and the UCLA Bruins in the NCAA finals by just six points after leading most of the game. The Seminoles were led by guard Ron King (17.9 pts., 2.2 ast.), forwards Reggie Royals (15.7 pts., 11 reb.) and Rowland Garrett (13.1 pts., 7.9 reb.), and 6-11' center Lawrence McCray (12 pts., 8.2 reb.).
1972 North Carolina Tar Heels
The 26-5 Tar Heels lost to Florida State in the Final Four. The Tar Heels were led by NBA Hall of Fame center Bob McAdoo (19.5 pts., 10.1 reb.), forward Dennis Wuycik (18 pts., 5.7 reb.) and guard George Karl (11.7 pts., 4.3 ast.), all of which were excellent outside shooters.
1972 UCLA Bruins
The 30-0 Bruins utilized a fast-break offense to outscore their opponents by an average of 94.6 to 64.3, the largest scoring margin in NCAA history. The Bruins were ranked number one from the beginning of the season to the end. They had four first round draft picks, including 6'11" reserve Swen Nater (6.7 pts., 4.8 reb.). The star of the team was Center Bill Walton, who averaged 21.1 points and 15.5 rebounds per game. Guard Henry Bibby (15.7 pts., 3.5 reb.) and Forward Keith Wilkes (13.5 pts., 8.2 reb.) were the other two first round draft picks on the 1972 UCLA team. Click here to read a detailed article on the 1972 Bruins.
1973 Providence Friars
The 27-4 Friars lost to Memphis State in the Final Four, 98-85. The Friars were led by driving point guard Ernie Di Gregorio (24.5 pts., 8.6 ast.), the outside shooting of shooting guard Kevin Stacom (17.8 pts., 3.9 reb., 2.5 ast.) and the inside game of center Marvin Barnes (18.3 pts., 19 reb.).
1974 Maryland Terrapins
The 23-5 Terrapins had the misfortune of playing in an era when only conference champions made it to the NCAA Tournament. Maryland lost a spectacular game to David Thompson and NC State, 103-100, and had to stay home. Maryland was led by point guard John Lucas (20.1 pts., 5.7 ast.) and the inside tandem of 6'11' power forward Tom McMillen (19.4 pts., 10 reb.) and 6'9' center Len Elmore (14.6 pts., 14.7 reb.).
1974 North Carolina State Wolfpack
The high flying David Thompson led the 30-1 Wolfpack to the NCAA championship in 1974. Michael Jordan later said that David Thompson was his basketball role model. Thompson had a 48-inch vertical leap. Although the dunk was not allowed in college basketball in 1974, Thompson was still able to score 26 points and pull down 7.9 rebounds per game. To utilize Thompson's spectacular leaping ability, NC State adopted the now common "alley-oop pass." Thompson's skills were complimented by the inside play of 7'4" Tom Burleson (18.1 pts., 12.2 reb.) and the outside shooting of 5'7" Monte Towe (12.2 pts., 3.8 ast.). Click here to read a detailed article on the 1974 Wolfpack.
1974 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The 26-3 Irish lost to Michigan 77-68 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Irish were led by the inside game of 6'9' center John Schumate (24.2 pts., 11 reb.) and 6'5' power forward Adrian Dantley (18.3 pts., 9.1 reb.). Shooting guard Gary Brokaw (17.1 pts., 4.4 reb., 3.7 ast.) complimented the strong inside game of the Irish with solid outside shooting.
1975 Indiana Hoosiers
Many believe the 31-1 Hoosiers of 1975 were better than the undefeated NCAA Championship team of 1976. Forward and second leading scorer Scott May (16.3 pts., 4.3 reb.) broke his arm prior to the NCAA Tournament. Without a healthy May, Indiana was unable to make it to the Final Four, losing to Kentucky 92-90. In 1976, four of the five Indiana starters returned, including a healthy Scott May, and Indiana went undefeated and won the NCAA Tournament. The starter that did not return in 1976 was leading scorer Steve Green (16.6 pts., 4.3 reb.).
1975 Maryland Terrapins
The 24-5 Maryland Terrapins lost to Louisville in the Regional Finals of the NCAA Tournament. The Terrapins were led by the outside shooting of John Lucas (19.5 pts., 4.2 reb.), Maurice Howard (13.4 pts., 2.7 reb.) and Brad Davis (12.6 pts., 3.3 reb.) and the inside game of Owen Brown (14.9 pts., 7.8 reb.), Steve Sheppard (14.3 pts., 7.5 reb.) and Tom Roy (11.0 pts., 11.1 reb.). Maryland's high powered offence put up 89.9 points per game and enabled six players to average double digits in scoring.
1975 UCLA Bruins
The 28-3 UCLA Bruins won John Wooden his last National Championship. The Bruins were led by Dave Meyers (18.3 pts., 7.9 reb.), who could score inside or outside. Rich Washington (15.9 pts., 7.8 reb.) and Marques Johnson (11.6 pts., 7.1 reb.) supported Meyers inside. Pete Trgovich (10.2 pts., 3.3 reb.) provided additional outside scoring.
1976 Indiana Hoosiers
The 32-0 Hoosiers had four first round draft picks: Center Kent Benson (17.3 pts., 8.8 reb.), Forward Scott May (23.5 pts., 7.7 reb.), and Guards Quinn Buckner (8.9 pts., 2.8 reb., 4.2 ast.) and Bobby Wilkerson (7.8 pts., 4.9 reb., 5.3 ast.). The Hoosiers were ranked number one from the beginning of the season to the end. Their aggressive defense and multiple offensive weapons make them one of the all-time best. Click here to read a detailed article on the 1976 Hoosiers.
1976 Michigan Wolverines
The 25-7 Michigan Wolverines lost the NCAA Championship to undefeated Indiana, 86-68. The Wolverines were led by guard Rickey Green (19.9 pts., 4.1 ast.) outside and center Phil Hubbard (15.1 pts., 11 reb.) and forward John Robinson (14.0 pts., 8.2 reb.) inside.
1976 Rutgers Scartlet Knights
The 31-2 Scarlet Knights had an undefeated regular season in 1976. The high scoring Scarlet Knights were led by Forward Phil Sellers (19.2 pts., 10.2 reb.) and Shooting Guard Mike Dabney (19.1 pts., 4.5 reb.). Point Guard Eddie Jordan (14.1 pts., 3.1 reb., 5.3 ast.) fed Sellers and Dabney the ball and was the third leading scorer. The Scarlet Knights made it to the Final Four with a perfect record, but were blown out by Michigan 86-70 and then beaten again by UCLA 106-92 in the consolation game.
1977 Marquette Warriors
The 25-7 Marquette Warriors won the National Championship in 1977 despite having the worst record of any Marquette team for 10 years. The Warriors were led by the outside shooting of Butch Lee (19.6 pts., 3.8 reb.) and the inside play of Bo Ellis (15.6 pts., 8.3 reb.) and Jerome Whitehead (10.5 pts., 8.2 reb.).
1977 North Carolina Tar Heels
The 28-5 North Carolina Tar Heels lost to Marquette in the NCAA Championship game 67-59 as point guard Phil Ford scored only six points on 3 of 10 shooting. On the season, point guard Ford was the star of North Carolina's team, averaging 18.7 points per game. Shooting guard John Kuester (9.7 pts.) joined Ford in the backcourt. Both were excellent outside shooters. Inside, the Tar Heels were led by Walter Davis (15.5 pts., 5.7 reb.), Tommy LaGarde (15.1 pts., 7.4 reb.) and Mike O'Koren (13.9 pts., 6.6 reb.).
1978 Arkansas Razorbacks
The 32-4 Arkansas Razorbacks lost to eventual champion Kentucky in the Final Four, 64-59. The Razorbacks had three 6'4' players that could score inside and outside: Ron Brewer (18 pts., 3.1 reb., 2.8 ast.), Sidney Moncrief (17.3 pts., 7.7 reb.) and Marvin Delph (16.8 pts.,5.7 reb.).
1978 Kentucky Wildcats
The 30-2 Wildcats had it all. They had slashing, driving small forward Jack 'Goose' Givens (18.1 pts., 6.8 reb.), outstanding outside shooter and playmaker Kyle Macy (12.5 pts., 2.4 reb., 5.6 ast.), and 6'10' twin towers Rick Robey (14.4 pts., 8.2 reb.) and Mike Phillips (10.3 pts., 4.7 reb.) . Kentucky simply overpowered their opponents with aggressive, physical basketball. In the NCAA Championship game, Givens scored 41 points in a 94-88 Kentucky victory over Duke. Click here to read a detailed article on the 1978 Wildcats.
1978 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The 23-8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish lost to Duke 90-86 in the Final Four. The Irish had an outstanding and very deep team. Inside, the Irish were led by Dave Batton (14 pts., 6.8 reb.) and Bill Laimbeer (8.1 pts., 6.6 reb.). Outside, the Irish were led by guards Duck Williams (13.3 pts., 2 ast.) and Rich Branning (11 pts., 4.3 ast.), and swingman Kelly Tripucka (11.7 pts., 5.2 reb.).
1979 Indiana State Sycamores
The 33-1 Sycamores came within a single game of an undefeated season when they lost to Magic Johnson's Michigan State team in the NCAA championship game. Since Bird, no single player has taken a team so far. Larry Bird led the Sycamores with 28.6 points, 14,9 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. The only other player on the Sycamores that averaged more than 10 points per game was Guard Carl Nicks (19.3 pts., 5 ast.). Bird had a spectacular outside shot and at 6'9", could score inside as well. Bird, later nicknamed "The Legend", may be the greatest college basketball player ever.
1979 Michigan State Spartans
Earvin "Magic" Johnson averaged 17.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 8.4 assists per game to lead the 26-6 Spartans to the NCAA Championship over Larry Bird's Indiana State Sycamores. Johson didn't do it alone. The Spartans had two excellent big men: Greg Kelser (18.8 pts., 8.7 reb.) and Jay Vincent (12.7 pts., 5.2 reb.). They also had a great outside shooter: Terry Donnelly (6.6 pts., 1.6 reb., 2 ast.). Click here to read a detailed article on the 1979 Spartans.