The 2010 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament will commence in three weeks and the Final Four is scheduled to begin on April 3 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Below are the five best teams to win a national championship over the course of the past quarter century.
1) The 1991-1992 Duke University Blue Devils
Duke trounced the University of Michigan Wolverines 71-51 in Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis to capture its second consecutive national championship.
Duke (34-2, 12-2 ACC), who became the first squad to win successive crowns since UCLA in 1973, was led by All-American’s Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley and Grant Hill.
Hurley, the NCAA all-time leader in assists with 1076, was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
The Blue Devils, who began the season ranked number one, embarrassed Michigan’s famed “Fab-Five” and cemented their place as the best men’s college basketball team since 1985.
2) The 1989-1990 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels
The Rebels (35-5, 16-2 Big West) pulverized Duke 103-73 to win the National Championship at McNichols Arena in Denver, Colorado.
UNLV, the number two ranked team to begin the season, featured future NBA Draft Lottery picks Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon and Greg Anthony.
Additionally, the Rebels started spectacular shooting guard Anderson Hunt.
Hunt scored 29 points against the Blue Devils to be named Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament by the Associated Press.
Despite their scandalous and rogue nature, this edition of the Rebels was deservedly inducted into the UNLV Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.
3) The 1995-1996 University of Kentucky Wildcats
The Wildcats (34-2, 16-0 SEC) outclassed the Syracuse University Orange 76-67 at the Continental Airlines Arena in New Jersey to claim their first national championship since 1978.
Kentucky, who became the first SEC team since 1956 to go undefeated in its conference, had an enormously talented roster.
In total, an astounding nine players from the Wildcats’ 1996 team would ultimately play in the NBA.
All-American shooting guard Tony Delk earned the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award.
Rick Pitino’s juggernaut was loaded and, on a given day, they could have trumped any team in the history of college basketball.
4) The 2006-2007 University of Florida Gators
Florida (35-5, 13-3 SEC) managed to beat the Ohio State University Buckeyes to become the first team since Duke in 1992 to successfully repeat as titlists.
The Gators returned superstars Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah and Al Horford from the 2006 team that defeated the UCLA Bruins 73-57 to win the school’s first NCAA men’s basketball championship.
Because its staggering roster remained largely intact, Florida began the season ranked No. 1 and they were justifiably granted the top overall seed in the tournament.
Superstar small forward Brewer earned the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player honor.
Gators head coach Billy Donovan and his squad are only the third team in the past 37 years to successfully defend its crown.
5) The 1998-1999 University of Connecticut Huskies
The Huskies (34-2, 16-2 Big East) emerged victorious 77-74 victory against heavily-favored Duke to win the national championship.
The Huskies were headlined by standout scorer Richard “Rip” Hamilton and they were ranked No. 1 throughout the bulk of the season.
UConn was a genuine power on the hardwood throughout the 1998-1999 season.
Still, the Huskies entered the title game as nine-point underdogs because Duke showcased such a superb lineup.
Led by Hamilton, who was named the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, UConn captured its first championship in school history.
Obviously, this is an article based on opinion.
As always, feedback is encouraged and welcome.