March 23, 2011
In celebration of its 125th anniversary, Sporting News will be settling the score on The Great Sports Debates. This month's debate puts to rest the argument of the greatest college basketball teams of all time, asking an All-Star panel of former players, current and former coaches and basketball contributors to cast their votes.
The 1966-67 UCLA Bruins came out on top. Starting the program's run of seven consecutive NCAA titles, coach John Wooden's 30-0 team averaged 90.2 points per game, won all four NCAA Tournament games by at least 15 points and introduced the world to sophomore Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, national player of the year and one of the most dominant forces in the game of basketball.
Abdul-Jabbar said about that remarkable team, "On the court, I believe we had the size and the balance to make us competitive with any college team that came before or after us. As a matter of fact, the only team I can think of outside of the great UCLA years that might have been at our level is Bill Russell's University of San Francisco team that won 60 games in a row (from 1954 to '56)--that was a dominant, great team. I learned how to play the game by watching him play. If you could've put our teams in the same era, it would've been quite a tough match for both of us."
The 1972-73 Bruins, whose 30-0 championship season laid the foundation for their men's record 88-game winning streak, are No. 2. The last NCAA champion to complete an undefeated season, the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers, are No. 3. The 1981-82 North Carolina Tar Heels, whose starters James Worthy and Michael Jordan went on to become two of the 50 greatest players in NBA history, come in at No. 4. Rounding out the top five are the 1954-55 San Francisco Dons. Led by center Bill Russell, the 28-1 NCAA champions began a 60-game winning streak that stood as a record until UCLA won 88 straight. The 1991-92 UNLV Rebels, 1973-74 N.C. State Wolfpack, 1991-92 Duke Blue Devils, 1983-84 Georgetown Hoyas and 1995-96 Kentucky Wildcats make the list at six through 10, respectively.
The March 28 issue of Sporting News Magazine featuring Tim Lincecum on the cover is on newsstands later this week and also includes a preview of all 30 MLB teams and the Sporting News college basketball awards. For more information on the Sporting News 125th anniversary please visit: http://aol.sportingnews.com/125.
Greatest College Basketball Teams of All Time
1: 1966-67 UCLA Bruins
2: 1972-73 UCLA Bruins
3: 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers
4: 1981-82 North Carolina Tar Heels
5: 1954-55 San Francisco Dons
6: 1990-91 UNLV Rebels
7: 1973-74 N.C. State Wolfpack
8: 1991-92 Duke Blue Devils
9: 1983-84 Georgetown Hoyas
10: 1995-96 Kentucky Wildcats
Beginning Monday (March 29), fans will have the opportunity to vote on the teams they think are the greatest of all time by visiting http://aol.sportingnews.com/125/story/2011-03-23/great-debates-whos-the-greatest-college-basketball-team-of-all-time.