Posted by Neil on March 28, 2013
Since we have scanned stat sheets from thousands of historical NCAA team seasons going back to the 1940s, I thought it would be cool to post links to the best team in history for each school still active in the Sweet 16:
- Indiana - Best Team: The undefeated 1975-76 Hoosiers, who went 32-0 and won the NCAA title behind Scott May's 23.5 PPG.
- Syracuse - Best Team: It's hard to go against Carmelo Anthony's 2002-03 Orangemen here.
- Miami-FL - Best Team: At a school known far more for its football than hoops, this year's Hurricanes are probably their best team ever.
- Marquette - Best Team: The Golden Eagles have had some great teams over the years, but the best remains the 1976-77 version that won the national championship under coach Al McGuire.
- Louisville - Best Team: Another school with multiple national champs to choose from, Louisville's best squad was probably the dominant 1985-86 Cardinals.
- Oregon - Best Team: Setting aside the 1939 national champion Ducks, Oregon's top team belongs to either this year's model or the 2006-07 version that went all the way to a Regional Final before losing.
- Duke - Best Team: Lots to pick from here, the best of which comes down to either 1991-92 or 2000-01. '92 lost only twice, but '01 had a dominant +32.2 SRS, which is why they're my choice.
- Michigan St. - Best Team: The Jud Heathcote/Magic Johnson 1979 team was great, but I'm going with Tom Izzo & Mateen Cleaves in 1999-2000 as Sparty's best-ever showing.
- Kansas - Best Team: In the storied history of KU basketball, the best team ever may very well have come in 2007-08, when the Jayhawks lost only 3 times en route to a national crown.
- Michigan - Best Team: The Wolverines have enjoyed a renaissance season this year, but the 2013 version still probably ranks behind the 1988-89 national champs, led by Glen Rice.
- Florida - Best Team: With the Gators, take your pick between the back-to-back champs of 2006 and 2007. My pick is '07, whose stars were a year older, with a better record and superior SRS.
- Fla. Gulf Coast - Best Team: With only 3 seasons as a "major" school in our database, it's impossible to pick any team for the Eagles other than the 2013 Regional Semifinalists (or beyond?).
- Ohio St. - Best Team: With a handful of near-misses in recent years, the best Buckeyes remain the 1960 national champs, still OSU's only titleists in basketball.
- Arizona - Best Team: It's no surprise that the best team in Arizona history was the 1996-97 NCAA champion Wildcats, led by Lute Olsen, Miles Simon, and Mike Bibby.
- Wichita St. - Best Team: Talk about Shockers! If this year's team isn't their best, then it's probably the 1980-81 version (led by Cliff Levingston & Antoine Carr) that went to a Regional Final.
- La Salle - Best Team: In Explorers history, it's hard to go against the 1953-54 team starring Tom Gola.
Who would win in a tournament of these classic teams? Tell us in the comments!