BEST 10 COLLEGE BASKETBALL TEAMS OF THE PAST 20 YEARS

10. 2013 Louisville

The most recent addition on this list, the 2012-2013 Louisville Cardinals were the dominant team from the outset of the season. A fast start was followed-up by a midseason lull that made the squad look vulnerable. Towards March, Pitino had them peaking. It was not easy, as the Cardinals had two incredibly difficult games to win the title, but Pitino would win his second NCAA crown with as many teams. 

9. 2004 Connecticut

UConn was a major favorite to win the title prior to the 2003-2004 season. They were up and down for much of the year, but began hitting their stride in March, as many great teams do. They were impressive in the 2004 Tourney. Behind Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon, they cut the nets in San Antonio. 

8. 1997 Arizona

Kentucky was poised to repeat in 1997, but nobody told the upstart Arizona Wildcats, who bested the #1 Kansas Jayhawks. Behind clutch performers, Mike Bibby and Miles Simon, Arizona made it to the Final Four and clipped Kentucky in the final. 

7. 2009 North Carolina

The core of Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington, Danny Green, and Ty Lawson had come so close to a NCAA title numerous times, but never quite got over the hump. In the 2008-2009 season, they were once again elite title contenders. Unlike previous seasons, they dominated the NCAA Tourney, lighting-up scoreboards all over the country. 

6. 2012 Kentucky

John Calipari changed recruiting forever when he took the coaching job at Kentucky. Given unlimited resources and undeniable heritage, Cal began luring the nation’s top talent to Lexington. While the recruits only usually stayed a year or two before departing for the NBA, UK fielded some excellent teams. They struck gold though, with mega-talents Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist who led Cal to his first NCAA title. 

5. 1995 UCLA

The 1994-1995 UCLA Bruins cruised through the season with only one loss. They nearly had two though, needing a dramatic final-second basket to beat Missouri in the second round. After this scare, the Bruin reached the mountaintop, winning the NCAA title. 

4. 2005 North Carolina

The 2004-2005 North Carolina Tar Heels were about as talented as any team in recent memory. The problem was, they had periods of lethargy were they were anything but unbeatable. They turned up their game in March though, clipping Illinois in a classic and getting coach Roy Williams his first NCAA title. 

3. 2007 Florida

Unlike a lot of teams on this list, Florida didn’t make their mark with high-powered offense. Rather, they were one of the best defensive teams of the past century. The 2005-06 Gators had surprisingly won the NCAA title. Looking to repeat, their road was a bit rocky. Nevertheless, they were able to win the their second straight title. 

2. 2001 Duke

The 2001 Blue Devils were an offensive machine. Led by four future NBA talents, Duke cruised through the regular season and much of the NCAA Tournament. In the National Semifinal, they looked cooked though, down 22 in the first half against Maryland. Duke would rally to win and would defeat Arizona two days later for the National Title. 

1. 1996 Kentucky

In the storied history of Kentucky basketball, few teams had the talent of the 1996 incarnation. Behind talented youngster, Antoine Walker and sharpshooter Tony Delk, the Wildcats lost only two games en route to an NCAA Tournament romp. 

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