Blog Entry

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

Posted on: February 21, 2012 2:10 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 12:45 pm
John Wooden's 1973 UCLA team, above, and his '68 squad were in the top three of every ballot. (AP)

By Gary Parrish

In March, the CBS Sports Network will air one big show in four parts, on two nights, on the best 16 college basketball teams in history.

They asked me to submit a ballot.

They asked Jeff Borzello, Jeff Goodman and Matt Norlander to do the same.

After a whole lot research and subsequent debate on Twitter, we finally filed our lists. Lots of you asked to see them. We decided to let you. So take a look and tell us what you think. And don't forget the the best team in this sport doesn't always win the national championship because that fact of life is reflected in our ballots. Teams in italics did not win national titles.

Kentucky in 1995-96 was absolutely ridiculous. (AP)
----- Gary Parrish's Ballot -----
  1. 1968 UCLA
  2. 1996 Kentucky
  3. 1973 UCLA
  4. 1982 North Carolina
  5. 1976 Indiana
  6. 2008 Kansas
  7. 2009 North Carolina
  8. 1991 UNLV
  9. 1999 Duke
  10. 1992 Duke
  11. 2005 North Carolina
  12. 2007 Florida
  13. 1956 San Francisco
  14. 1957 North Carolina
  15. 1974 North Carolina State
  16. 2000 Cincinnati

----- Jeff Goodman's Ballot -----

  1. 1968 UCLA
  2. 1973 UCLA
  3. 1976 Indiana
  4. 1956 San Francisco
  5. 1982 North Carolina
  6. 1996 Kentucky
  7. 1992 Duke
  8. 1990 UNLV
  9. 1974 North Carolina State
  10. 1984 Georgetown
  11. 1979 Michigan State
  12. 1960 Ohio State
  13. 1967 UCLA
  14. 2007 Florida
  15. 2005 North Carolina
  16. 2009 North Carolina
The longer we go without a team going buzzer to buzzer without a loss, the better 1975-76 Indiana looks for being the last team to accomplish the feat. (AP)
----- Jeff Borzello's Ballot -----
  1. 1968 UCLA
  2. 1973 UCLA
  3. 1976 Indiana
  4. 1956 San Francisco
  5. 1996 Kentucky
  6. 1972 UCLA
  7. 1991 UNLV
  8. 1982 North Carolina
  9. 1992 Duke
  10. 1974 North Carolina State
  11. 1990 UNLV
  12. 1967 UCLA
  13. 1954 Kentucky
  14. 1957 North Carolina
  15. 1984 Georgetown
  16. 1960 Ohio State

----- Matt Norlander's Ballot -----

  1. 1973 UCLA
  2. 1996 Kentucky
  3. 1968 UCLA
  4. 1976 Indiana
  5. 1982 North Carolina
  6. 1956 San Francisco
  7. 1992 Duke
  8. 2005 North Carolina
  9. 1974 N.C. State
  10. 1957 North Carolina
  11. 1991 UNLV
  12. 2001 Duke
  13. 2007 Florida
  14. 1984 Georgetown
  15. 1999 Duke
  16. 2008 Kansas

CBS Sports Network will be celebrating the 16 greatest college basketball teams of all time in the upcoming, four-part series, "16." Our CBS Sports panel of experts has voted, and on March 19 and 20, you'll be able to see which teams make up our list. You can help us celebrate your favorite team by sending us your tweets -- use the hashtag #CBS16 -- or leave your comments below. Then, look for your content as we'll work to incorporate the best submissions into the series.

You can also chime in on Facebook: Eye on College Basketball or


Since: Nov 16, 2010
Posted on: March 7, 2012 4:49 pm

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

I don't think they belong in this list and it's not even close. They were good and won a NC, but not one of the 16 best of all-time. The Bill Walton, Lew Alcinder, Bill Russell, David Thompson, Jerry Lucas led teams couldn't be beat back in the day. Players like Christian Laettner and Tyler Hansborough, Patrick Ewing and Joakim Noah have done similar in recent years. Teams like 01 Duke, 96 Kentucky, 91 UNLV, 82 UNC, and 76 Indiana were great teams.    2005 UNC....not even close    I don't know that 2001 Duke should be on the list, I'm just pointing out how much better they were.   

Parrish is an idiot - 2000 Cincy....really.

If I was a Uconn fan I would take offense to the fact that they beat 1999 Duke and had just as good a season but never gets credit for being on of the greatest while the 1999 Duke team is always included.

Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: March 7, 2012 4:08 pm

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

milesjduke, I'm a Carolina fan, but I'm as surprised as you to see how highly the 2005 UNC team has been ranked.  It was a wonderful team, but not, in my opinion, good enough to be on this list.  Having said that, though, I have to add that I don't rank college players based on how they did in the NBA, any more than I rank NBA players based on how they did in college.  Two different contexts.

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: March 7, 2012 3:44 pm

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

@mikesjduke:  Kentucky played UMass in 1996 who have since vacated their appearance.

Since: Apr 6, 2011
Posted on: March 7, 2012 1:56 pm

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

The NCAA can suck a big fat dog from Sonic...they're delicious

Since: Nov 16, 2010
Posted on: March 7, 2012 1:51 pm

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

96 Kentucky was good. I liked Pitino, he is a good coach. You look at what he did with that unheralded group in 1992 (1.8 seconds from defeating one of the top teams of all-time) vs. what Calamari has done with NBA lottery picks and it makes you wonder...what he is doing.

Who did Ketucky play in the 1996 Final Four? The NCAA only shows three teams there...odd.

Since: Nov 16, 2010
Posted on: March 7, 2012 1:33 pm

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

Three out of 4 list 2005 UNC and only one has 2001 Duke. Lets compare the starters:

2005 UNC Starters

1) Sean May - last seen in Croatia
2) Rashad McCants - last seen in NBDL
3) Jawad Williams - last seen in Italy
4) Jackie Manuel - NBDL???
5) Raymond Felton - 511 NBA games (13 pts/gm career)

Marvin Williams came off the bench to score about 10pts a game, but wasn't a dominant force on that team. 

2001 DUKE Starters

1) Carlos Boozer - 609 NBA games $99 million (17.1 pts/10 rebs per game career)
2) Mike Dunleavy - 654 NBA games $63.3 million (12pts/5 rebs per game career)
3) Shane Battier - 805 NBA games $50.2 million (9pts/5rebs per game career)
4) Chris Duhon - 537 NBA games $27.8 million (7pts/5ass per game career)
5) Jay Williams - 75 NBA games $8.7 million (10/pts/5ass per game career)

Duke won 4 years before UNC and all their players are still in the league with the exception of Jay. Is there any debate on whether he was the most talented and should still be playing in it was not for his accident. I think I just provided a quarter of a billion reasons why 2001 Duke had a better team than 2005 UNC (who lost to Duke at Cameron and got lucky at the Dean Dome).

2001 Duke also won every tournament game by double figures unlike 2005 UNC.

2001 Duke played 5 games against teams in the final four (going 4-1).

2005 UNC highest seed faced in the tourney besides Illinios was a 5 seed.

Since: Feb 27, 2012
Posted on: March 7, 2012 1:17 pm

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

What kind of idiot are you? Do you know anything about the Kentucky 1996 team? They were hardly a team of one and done... This was the 7 man rotation from that team:

3 seniors / 2 Juniors / 1 Sophmore / 1 Freshman

Tony Delk (L)    G    Sr.
Antoine Walker (L)    F    So.
Walter McCarty (L)    F    Sr.
Derek Anderson (L)    G    Jr.
Mark Pope (L)    C    Sr.
Jeff Sheppard (L)    G    Jr.
Ron Mercer (L)    F    Fr.
Get a clue before running your mouth, they were one of the most energized teams I have ever seen play.

Since: Mar 7, 2012
Posted on: March 7, 2012 1:11 pm

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

I think the Florida National Title teams of 2006/2007 don't get the respect they deserve.  If you are talking about the best "teams" then Florida has to be higher on the list.  They are the only true team (same starting 5) that has EVER won back to back titles.  Even UCLA during their run never managed that feat.  Other schools have won back to back titles but never with the same players.  So for the same group of guys (Noah, Horford, Brewer, Green & Humphrey) to run the tables two years in a row - now that is one of the best TEAMS ever!

Since: Jun 26, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2012 2:44 am

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

I'm not going to spend much time on this list but it really is just your guys opionion and we all have him, but I need to point a few things out.

First NO team in the modern era of one and done players should be on anyone's list.  No seniors means you would get run out of the gym.  96 Kentucky should be the last team on anyone's list PERIOD!!!

Parish- Come on DUDE 82 UNC 4th. Somebody remind the poor guy Jordan wasnt that good as a Freshman!!!! The should not be top 20.

Goodman's list is better but the UNC 82 mistake is big.

Ditto for Bozello and Northlander all of you fell for the Jordan thing I guess would be blown out by most of these teams.

Second biggest mistake everyone made.  Henry Bibby graduated from UCLA in 1972, all of you missed the fact that the 72 Bruins(the highest rated Dunkel team of all time) was much better then 73.

My vote for the best list would go to Northlander, but again thats just my opionion.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: March 7, 2012 12:05 am

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

Nonsense. Those teams that you refer to averaged around 75 points a game. No offense?

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