Duke Basketball: Ranking Best 10 Teams of All Time
The Duke Blue Devils have been a staple of the NCAA ever since Mike Krzyzewski took over in the early 1980's.
He has won four championships with the team and is the winningest coach in Men's Division-I history.
He has turned Duke into a national powerhouse, and though the Blue Devils were relevant before him, most of the program's best years came with Coach K under the helm.
This list takes into account all Duke teams that ever played, ranking the top 10 in history.
10. 1988-1989 Duke Blue Devils
Record: 28-8 (9-5 ACC)
NCAA Tournament: Lost to Seton Hall in Final Four
The 1988-89 Duke team was all about the hardware. Senior Danny Ferry was awarded the USBWA College Player of the Year, and Coach Mike Krzyzewski won his first College Coach of the Year Award. However, the Blue Devils were far from spectacular, going 9-5 and finishing tied for second in the ACC.
Led by Ferry and his 22.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 4.7 APG, Duke went into the tournament as a No. 2 seed.
They cruised through the East, upending No. 1 Georgetown 85-77 along the way.
In the Final Four, they met Seton Hall and were promptly eliminated, 95-78.
9. 1993-1994 Duke Blue Devils
Record: 28-6 (12-4 ACC)
NCAA Tournament: Lost to Arkansas in National Championship
The 1993-94 Duke team was all about Grant Hill. In his senior season, Hill dominated opponents, scoring 17.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 5.2 assists on his way to the ACC Player of the Year Award. The Blue Devils won the ACC and received a No. 2 seed in the Southeast Region.
They took care of their first three opponents by double digits, then knocked off Gene Keady's No. 1 seeded Purdue team 69-60 to advance to the Final Four.
Duke then beat Florida before losing to the champion Arkansas Razorbacks 76-72.
8. 1963-1964 Duke Blue Devils
Record: 26-5 (13-1 ACC)
NCAA Tournament: Lost to UCLA in National Championship
The 1963-64 Duke team led by head coach Vic Bubas tore through the ACC, losing only one conference game. The team was led by ACC Player of the year Jeff Mullins, who went on to become a three time NBA All-Star.
Duke again took care of its first three opponents by double digits before reaching the finals (the tournament wasn't as large back then).
Unfortunately, this is where they met up with Gail Goodrich and the undefeated UCLA Bruins. The Bruins easily handled the Blue Devils, taking the game 98-83.
7. 2009-2010 Duke Blue Devils
Record: 35-5 (13-3 ACC)
NCAA Tournament: Beat Butler in National Championship
The 2009-10 Duke team was led by senior Jon Scheyer and juniors Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith.
The Blue Devils shared the regular-season ACC title with Maryland but won the conference tournament and gained a No. 1 seed in the South Regional.
In what was said by most to be the easiest part of the bracket, Duke easily took down Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Cal, Purdue, and Baylor to reach the Final Four.
There, they slaughtered a clearly outmatched West Virginia team by 21 before edging the Cinderella Butler Bulldogs 61-59.
6. 1962-1963 Duke Blue Devils
Record: 27-3 (14-0 ACC)
NCAA Tournament: Lost to Loyola University Chicago in Final Four
One year before Jeff Mullins picked apart the ACC, it was Art Heyman who led the Blue Devils. The 1962-63 season saw Heyman take home both the AP and USBWA Player of the Year Awards. He ripped apart the ACC as Duke went undefeated in conference play and was the first overall pick in the NBA Draft.
The Blue Devils advanced to the Final Four in 1963 where they met Jerry Harkness and the Loyola Ramblers.
Duke lost the game 94-75 to the eventual NCAA champions, but beat Oregon State in the third-place game.
5. 1990-1991 Duke Blue Devils
Record: 32-7 (11-3 ACC)
NCAA Tournament: Beat Kansas in the National Championship
The 1990-91 Blue Devils were looking for revenge year after losing the title game to UNLV by 30. The team, led by Junior Christian Laettner, sophomore Bobby Hurley,and Freshman Grant Hill, went on to win the regular-season ACC title.
They lost their conference tournament championship game, but still achieved a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Duke rolled through the Midwest Region without any trouble, which set up a rematch with UNLV in the Final Four.
The Runnin' Rebels were on a 45-game winning streak and looking for a second consecutive NCAA championship, but the Blue Devils upset them 79-77.
They then went on to beat Kansas 72-65 in the title game.
4. 1985-1986 Duke Blue Devils
Record: 37-3 (12-2 ACC)
NCAA Tournament: Lost to Louisville in National Championship
Johnny Dawkins and the 1985-86 Blue Devils breezed through the regular season on their way to a No. 1 seed in the tournament. Dawkins averaged 20.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game and won the Naismith College Player of the Year Award.
Duke dominated the West Region and met up with Kansas in the Final Four. Sophomore Danny Manning and the Jayhawks were 35-3 but were not enough for the Blue Devils as they lost 71-67.
Duke went on to the championship game but lost to Louisville 72-69.
3. 2000-2001 Duke Blue Devils
Record: 35-4 (13-3 ACC)
NCAA Tournament: Beat Arizona in National Championship
The Blue Devils were stacked in the 2000-01 season. They had the two-time reigning NABC Defensive Player of the Year in Shane Battier and a handful of other talented players like Nate James, Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Jason Williams.
Duke finished the regular season at 26-4 and won their conference tournament behind Battier, who won just about every national award there was.
The Blue Devils received a No. 1 seed in the East Region and won all six of their games by double digits to win the national championship. Their most exciting game was against Maryland in the Final Four where they were down by 22 in the first half and 11 at halftime, but they pulled away and beat the Terrapins 95-84 before taking that title game over Arizona 82-72.
2. 1998-1999 Duke Blue Devils
Record: 37-2 (16-0 ACC)
NCAA Tournament: Lost to Connecticut in National Championship
Had it not been for the final result, the 1998-99 Blue Devils would have been the best team in Duke history. Their roster included Elton Brand, Trajan Langdon, Corey Maggette, William Avery and Shane Battier.
Brand was named consensus National Player of the Year as a sophomore. All of these players but Battier moved onto the NBA Draft and were all top 15 picks in the first round.
The Blue Devils only regular season loss was by two points to Cincinnati in November, but they reeled off 32 straight wins until they met Connecticut in the NCAA tournament final.
The heavily favored Duke team fell just short of one of the greatest seasons of all-time, losing the game 77-74.
1. 1991-1992 Duke Blue Devils
Record: 34-2 (12-2 ACC)
NCAA Tournament: Beat Michigan in National Championship
The Blue Devils were even better in 1991-92 than the team that won the championship the previous year. Laettner was back for his senior season and had some help in the form of Bobby Hurley and Grant Hill.
They lost two games in the regular season by a combined six points to UNC and Wake Forest. They were ranked No. 1 throughout the season, and Mike Krzyzweski was named Coach of the Year while Laettner took home National Player of the Year honors.
A No. 1 seed in the East Region, Duke took care of Campbell, Iowa and Seton Hall easily before the regional final game against Kentucky. In arguably the best game in NCAA history, Laettner's turnaround jumper at the buzzer propelled Duke to a 104-103 win.
The Blue Devils went on to beat Indiana before crushing Michigan by 20 in the NCAA championship game, ending the season of the greatest Duke team of all time.