Thursday, January 18, 2007

top 16 teams never to win the title since 1980

list of the top 16 teams never to win the title since 1980:

1. Houston, 1983-84. How did these guys not win? Just check out the names, including two NBA Hall of Famers: Akeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Larry Micheaux, Benny Anders, Byron Franklin, etc. (Way to leave Drexler in the game, Guy Lewis.)

2. Kansas, 1997. Already went into length on the Paul Pierce/Raef LaFrentz buzzsaw that got buzzed by Arizona.

3. Michigan, 1992-93. How many people remember that the Fab Five never actually won a title?

4. Duke, 1999. These guys truly were a step above the rest of the country from the start of the season until the fateful last night when they fell in the Tropicana Dome against UConn.

5. Arizona, 2001. More names: Gilbert Arenas, Richard Jefferson, Jason Gardner, Michael Wright, Luke Walton, Loren Woods. What's interesting here is which guys have made it in the pros and which haven't.

6. North Carolina, 1998. Let's see: Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, Ed Cota -- and not title. Utah???

7. UConn, 2006. It still feels weird to write that this team lost to George Mason with a Final Four berth on the line. Alums: Rudy Gay, Josh Boone, Hilton Armstrong, Marcus Williams, Denham Brown.

8. Virginia, 1981. Kids today just don't know how dominant Ralph Sampson was at the collegiate level.

9. LSU, 1990. This set of luminaries started the season No. 2 with a roster that included Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Jackson, Stanley Roberts, VernelSingleton, Wayne Sims and Maurice Williamson. So of course, as reader Kenny Morgan, of New Orleans, points out, the Tigers fell to Georgia Tech in the second round of the NCAAs after leading by 25 at the half.

10. Cincinnati, 2000. Oh what might have been had Kenyon Martin not broken his leg in the C-USA tourney against Saint Louis. Perhaps the most frightening team of the 2000s -- Pete Mickeal was a heck of a player, too, and Steve Logan, DerMarr Johnson and Kenny Satterfield made for a sweet supporting cast.

11. Indiana, 1993. A lot of folks in the Midwest still think the Hoosiers would have won it all if Alan Henderson hadn't been hurt.

12. Illinois, 2005. One of the great teams of our time in the team sense. I would have had the Stylin' Illini higher if I didn't think they had already exceeded the sum of their parts so well.

13. St. John's, 1985. Chris Mullin, Walter Berry, Bill Wennington: not a bad team that Louie Carnesecca assembled. The Big East was loaded in '85 with three Final Four teams.

14. Syracuse, 1990. No title with three first-round draft picks (Derrick Coleman, Billy Owens, Leron Ellis) and a really good college player in Stevie Thompson, as reader Kevin Bartner of Atlanta notes.

15. Oklahoma, 1988. Another scary team that was destroying teams until being taken down by Kansas in the title game. Alums: Stacey King, Harvey Grant, Mookie Blaylock, Ricky Grace and former WATN subject Dave Sieger.16. Illinois, 1989. The Flyin' Illini is part of the state mythology by now, and there's a good reason for that.


ewad said...

I do remember the Fab Five was well paid. To this day I have no idea how The University of Michigan didn't get the death penalty. They had athletes getting paid in the 6 figure range. To this day it disgusts me.

Jeff Wuerth said...

That list is a joke. How could he leave off one of the best teams ever in the history of college basketball. AND, they got upset in the final, hmmmm?

Anyone remember an undefeated 1991 UNLV squad going for back to back titles.

Anonymous said...

Jeff beat me to the punch. This list is incomplete without the '91 Runnin' Rebels. Defending national champs, 4 returning starters, only loss of the season to the eventual champion (Duke) by two in the semi-finals.

Anonymous said...

That UC team was overrated and no where near a lock to win it that year. MSU was far superior.

grunjone said...

The list is best teams never to win the title since 1980. I think he doesn't include the 91 UNLV team or the 85 Georgetown team because they won titles in the previous year. Although it's obviously not the same players, I'm pretty sure that's why those teams were left off the list.

Whoever said UC was overrated in 2000 is out of their mind. That team would have waxed MSU and any other team in their way if Martin didn't go down. I remember them clobbering some pretty decent squads like Iowa State, Oklahoma, and UNC while Martin was healthy.

It's a shame he went down though because now we'll never know. Huggins was known for tournament choke jobs so anything could have happened, although that team was better than any other UC team he choked with, and was much better than the team he took to the final 4.

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