Tag:CBS 16
Posted on: March 6, 2012 4:12 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 5:10 pm
 

CBS 16: Why winning a title is mandatory

Patrick Ewing and Georgetown were dominant in 1985, but its loss to Villanova separates it from greatness. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Goodman

You can't be elite without a ring. 

That was my take when putting together my list of the Top 16 teams in the history of college basketball. 

There were some terrific teams that didn't cut down the nets. UNLV in 1991 immediately comes to mind. The defending national champs returned just about everyone and became the first school since Indiana State in 1979 to enter the NCAA without a blemish. But that group -- which was ultra-talented with Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthony and Anderson Hunt -- isn't worthy of a spot on the CBS16 because it couldn't get past Duke in the national semifinals. 

Ditto for the 1975 Indiana team that was shocked by Kentucky in the regional title game. The Hoosiers went into that one at 31-0, but didn't have a healthy Scott May and couldn't get past the Wildcats. 

Patrick Ewing's Georgetown team in 1985 was dominant. The Hoyas were the clear-cut favorites after winning the national title the previous year, but wound up being upset by eighth-seeded Villanova. How about the Phil Slamma Jamma Houston group in 1983 that had Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Ojajuwon, but lost to N.C. State in the national title game?

All phenomenal teams, but none belong in this exclusive club because winning the national title should be a prerequisite to being included on the CBS16. 

We're talking about the best of the best -- and that means you've got to hang a banner in order to justify this honor. I don't care how talented the team was, or what they did in the regular-season. If you didn't perform when it mattered most, you just aren't worthy. 

That's why John Wooden's UCLA teams in 1967, 1968 and 1973 all made the cut. They hung banners. Ditto for Indiana's 1976 squad, the last team to run the table. 

I even went with Florida's team in 2007 over that UNLV team back in 1991. 

It sounds nuts because the Runnin' Rebels had more talent and were superior in the regular-season, but what's ultimately meaningful is how they fared when it was all on the line. 

The Gators won the national championship. UNLV, which stomped on opponents throughout the season, did not. The Runnin' Rebels lost to Duke, 79-77, in the Final Four. 

Regular-season success certainly has its value, but let's face it: People remember who climbed the ladder and cut down the nets. 

Those are the ones that belong on the CBS 16. 

More:

-- Transcendence is key in being the best

-- The case against modern-era teams

-- Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time
 

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 CBSSports.com 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 6, 2012 12:43 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 12:52 pm
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Posted on: February 29, 2012 2:47 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 3:08 pm
 

CBS 16: Transcendence is key in being the best

Winning a title in 1984 helped Georgetown's legacy, but it was always a great team whether it won it all or not. (AP)

By Matt Norlander

You go through the century-old history of college basketball and there have been a lot of great teams. Not good teams -- great ones. Truly special, truly daunting and undeniably formidable in their era. There are teams with components that will never be duplicated. Lots of talent, great coaching, a confluence of characters that led such a team to earning a national title -- or coming very close.

Eventually, Jeff Goodman on this very blog will write how a team has to win a national championship to earn induction into his list of the greatest 16 college basketball teams of all-time. For me, that's not a requirement. It's about transcendence. Because for all the champions we've had, really, only about 20 to 22 teams stand apart from the rest, even fewer than that if you want to clump Wooden’s UCLA dynasty into one collective team (which I don’t, but those teams do have a way of linking together, of course). Not all the great teams who stand out in our memories won titles, but all of them were interesting, most of them were supremely talented, and each had a story that carried on long after every member of that team left.

Think about 1990-91 UNLV, what could easily be considered the best team to never win it a title -- only it did. The year before, Las Vegas finished 35-5 and pasted Duke 103-73 in what is still the most lopsided result in title-game history. That team was great, but '91 UNLV, comprised of largely the same roster, was better. It was undefeated, all the way up to the Final Four ... when it was felled dramatically by Duke. Sure, 1990-91 UNLV didn't win a title, but you can't tell me it wasn't one of the 16 greatest teams in the history of the sport. It was better than the team that won the year before, with all of its '91 first-round draft picks -- Greg Anthony, Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon -- more polished and lovably arrogant. And that team remains more memorable than the first iteration that still stands as the last team from outside a Big Six conference to win the national championship.

Plenty of other ridiculously talented, unique teams come to mind. What about those Georgetown clubs from the '80s? You think college basketball in the '80s -- the sport's greatest decade, without question -- you think Georgetown before most everything else. The shirts under the jerseys (patented looks always help with the perception of a team; think of what Michigan’s Fab Five did to hoops culture in the early ’90s), the big men, the big coach, the intimidation, the bully of college basketball. That was Georgetown. The Hoyas didn’t need to win the title in 1984 to be considered one of the great teams of all-time. But it helped, sure.

Is this what is lacking in today’s game? Or, ironically, despite how so many believe sports culture is dominated by an everything-that-just-happened-is-th
e-greatest-ever, are we unable to feel nostalgic and properly put into perspective things that have happened with really good teams in the past decade? Florida’s back-to-back title-winning teams aren’t coated with the same long-lasting shine that 1982 Carolina -- a team that very nearly lost -- is all these years later. 2008 Kansas, because of Mario's Miracle, was an instant classic, but the team isn't looked upon as a whole as one that deserves inclusion.

I fight that notion. The story of 2008 Kansas, a program that had fallen early to so many lower-seeded teams, was 37-3 and had six eventual NBA players on its roster. For good and for bad, drama plays into our memory as well. Whereas the moment of climax for Kansas has somehow overshadowed how good that team was, the longest shot that almost was uplifted Butler's reputation. Butler has never had a team close to being one of the 50 best in the history of the sport, but it already feels like that 2010 title-game loss to Duke will be a memory that grows as the years go on. Twenty years from now, when no mid-major team has duplicated Butler’s back-to-back championship-game appearances, the accomplishment will be enhanced.

When CBS’ list of the 16 best teams of all-time comes out, I wonder if the great ones like ’99 Duke or ’83 Houston will get snubbed. They shouldn’t. Those were truly great teams, some of the best ever to never win a title. Houston’s Phi Slamma Jamma was as synonymous with the sport as those Georgetown teams.

When we made our lists, that’s what I looked for. The great teams had talent and proved their worth over the majority of a season, but the impact they had on the game lasted long after that. I measured up the final teams with the tell-your-kid rule. I looked at a group. If I thought, “When I introduce my child to college basketball, I have to tell them about this team,” then they were in. That wasn’t the case with 2009 North Carolina, 1998 Kentucky or 1994 Arkansas — all really good teams, but not essential to the most important parts of college basketball’s history in relation to its best teams.

Were you extraordinarily good and above that, were you so good and riveting that the story of your team didn’t die off in the days, weeks and months after your season ended. If so, you made my list.

More:

-- The case against modern-era teams

-- Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

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 CBSSports.com
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 22, 2012 1:40 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 1:50 pm
 

CBS 16: The case against modern-era teams

Players of Bill Walton's caliber wouldn't stay in school for more than one year in the modern era. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

In doing research for the top 16 college basketball teams of all time, a common thread developed for me – and it wasn’t surprising. The biggest difference in comparing teams from the 1950s, 60s and 70s to teams from the 2000s was obvious: early-entry.

The juggernaut UCLA teams of the John Wooden era got to have Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton for three years, and the Bruins clearly reaped the benefits of those careers. The same goes for Bill Russell and San Francisco, or the undefeated Indiana team that featured Scott May and Kent Benson.

What if the 2004 Connecticut team featuring Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor had returned its key pieces in 2005? That team lost six games during Gordon and Okafor’s junior season, but they would have been dominant the next year. And the 2009 North Carolina Tar Heels that steamrolled through the NCAA tournament? What if Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Ed Davis had all returned in 2010? 

Because players leave early more often during the last decade, we don’t get to see players reach their full potential in college. As a result, the talent gap diminishes between the haves and have-nots and we don’t see the dominance we saw from champions 40 and 50 years ago.

Imagine this year’s Kentucky team – with Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague, etc. – returned nearly all of its key parts next season. And added Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress and either Shabazz Muhammad or Nerlens Noel. That team wouldn’t stand a good chance of going undefeated? But there’s zero chance we see anything like that; it just doesn’t happen.

The 1972 UCLA team won games by an average of 30.3 points. 1968 UCLA hammered teams by an average of 26.0 points. The 1996 Kentucky team had nine future NBA players on its team. 1991 UNLV failed to win a regular-season game by at least 10 points just one time.

We don’t see teams like that anymore, because the early-entry rule has essentially decreased the number of stars one team can have at a specific time. We’ll see the George Masons and the VCUs and the Butlers make Final Four runs, because parity is far more prevalent in college basketball than it was a half-century ago. You didn’t see Cinderella runs every season in the NCAA tournament, because the top teams in the country were head and shoulders above everyone else -- and there was no "great equalizer," like the 3-point shot. 

Upsets are a normal occurrence nowadays. That wasn’t the case with some of the other great teams. San Francisco won 55 games in a row; Indiana went undefeated; UCLA won 10 championships and made 12 Final Fours during a stretch. No one was picking against the 1969 Bruins, a season that was essentially a victory lap for Lew Alcindor’s career.

The most dominant teams of the past decade – 2004 Connecticut, 2009 North Carolina, 2007 Florida, 2005 North Carolina – were all vulnerable. Those four teams lost a combined 19 games.

Teams from “back in the day” just didn’t lose. From 1964 to 1976, the 13 national champions lost a combined 12 games. That’s it, 12 games in 13 seasons.

From a personal perspective, I’ve rarely said over the past decade: “Wow, I can’t see this team losing to anyone the rest of the season. And they’re going to dominate next year too.”

That’s just how it is these days: upsets happen, parity happens, early-entry happens.

In the 1960s and 1970s, that simply didn’t happen.

And that’s why there’s a clear difference between modern-era champions and the champions generally considered “the greatest of all time.” 

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 CBSSports.com
 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 21, 2012 2:10 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 12:45 pm
 

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

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 CBSSports.com


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com