One thing that you learn in sports is that everyone loves to compare things from one generation to the next. However, some of these get redundant and need some work of being just better as you hear the same things every single time. However, with the NCAA Tournament about to happen with Selection Sunday happening this week. We decided to talk about the greatest teams during March Madness.
With Selection Sunday right around the corner, it is getting to that time where we all need to fill out our March Madness bracket. Make sure to get into the action today as we take a little bit of a look into the past.
This team is arguably the greatest team in NCAA history as it is full of names fans would remember with legendary head coach John Wooden. This was during UCLA’s historic dominance as they were just racking up National Championships. Leading the charge was junior Bill Walton, who averaged 20.4 points and 16.9 rebounds per game during the season and was one of the biggest forces that college basketball has seen to that point.
The Bruins had incredible talent besides Walton as they had junior forward Jamaal Wilkes, sophomore forward Larry Farmer, and senior guard Larry Hollyfield all averaging at least 10 points and three rebounds per game. However, this team marched along throughout the year with a perfect 30-0 record and defeated teams by an average of 30.3 points per game. It also helped to have it in their home area as the finals were in Los Angeles but they were able to cap off a perfect season with dominant players.
Another team, another undefeated program. The Indiana Hoosiers were a perfect 32-0 during the season and were focused on the defensive side of the court as they were averaging 64.8 points allowed per game. They had a handful of eventual NBA players with forward Scott May, forward Tom Abernethy, and center Kent Benson essentially forming a big three for the team as they provided 50.8 points per game themselves. Legendary head coach Bobby Knight leading the way really helped.
This was the last undefeated program as of this writing and the fact that they have been able to hold onto this since then and had a great season. The Hoosiers did a solid job as they went on and defeated the UCLA Bruins 65-51 in the National Semifinals and the Michigan Wolverines in the National Finals 86-68.
North Carolina (1982)
Led by head coach Dean Smith, the UNC Tar Heels were a force in 1982. They had some players you might have heard of with freshman guard Michael Jordan, junior forward James Worthy, and sophomore forward Sam Perkins leading the way. They were 32-2 throughout the year and a big reason why was their defensive numbers. They only allowed their opponents to average 7.7 free throws and 55.4 points per game.
The Tar Heels did not have that dominant performance during that season’s NCAA Tournament as they won by an average of 5.7 points in their region but had a solid National Championship Game with Jordan hitting a game-winning midrange shot. Not every greatest team is going to dominate throughout the NCAA Tournament.
Well, it seems like with the era of one-and-done players, we will not really have the opportunities to see such incredible talents in the NCAA Tournament that gel for years with incredibly talented players that have the name recognition. There seems to be a difference in the level as the NCAA has transitioned from dynastic programs running the sport to more of a parody as more talent is spread out and declaring for the NBA Draft after their freshman season, no matter if they win a National Championship or not. Will a program be able to find its way onto this list in the future? Time will only tell.