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: Apr 12, 2007
Posted on: March 14, 2012 11:21 pm

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

Actually UC did NOT have the Great Oscar Robinson when they won the two national championships but STILL!!!

Since: Apr 12, 2007
Posted on: March 14, 2012 11:20 pm

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

Wow!  What a horrendous oversight.  Cincinnati goes to back(1)-to-back(2)-to-back(3)-to-back(4)-to-back(5) = FIVE Final Fours from '59-thru-'63 (one of ONLY THREE teams in the HISTORY of CBB to do that) and THREE straight Championship Games (ONE of ONLY FOUR teams) winning TWO in a row in '61 & '62 (ONE of ONLY SEVEN teams to do so) with many argue THE best college basketball player ever (and according to Michael Jordan, pro, too).  AND NOT ONE OF THESE PROGNOSTICTORS KNOWS ENOUGH ABOUT CBB HISTORY TO, at least, PUT THEM ON THEIR BALLOT!!???!!

Just completely unacceptable!  These guys just embarrassed the crap out of themselves.  (And, for the record, i am a KentuckY and Xavier fan!) 
And, speaking of the BEST CBB program ever, where is the UK '48, '49, & '51 Championship Team!?! 

Since: Feb 25, 2010
Posted on: March 14, 2012 9:03 pm

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

the 1948 UK Wildcats...had 2 All-Americans (Ralph Beard and Alex Groza) plus beat Bob Cousy's Holy Cross team in the Semi-Final...Groza scoring 33 in the final vs Baylor...36-3 on the year (with one of the losses vs an AAU team--when they were in essence traveling semi-pro teams--in the Olympic qualifying tournament)...and speaking of the Olympics, the 5 starters played for the US Olympic team (with the starters from their same AAU opponent as well) and won the gold medal in London, being the only college team to have won the NCAA tournament and then the Olympics as a starting unit...then on top of it, won the NCAA title the following year...they need to be in the conversation at least for their accomplishments

Since: Oct 29, 2007
Posted on: March 14, 2012 7:53 pm

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

I wanted to add that although I agree that a team that doesn't win the championship can't be considered the greatest, most years (at least 80% of the time), the team that wins isn't even the best team just the most fortunate.  That's what makes this so fun and great.

Since: Oct 29, 2007
Posted on: March 14, 2012 7:48 pm

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

Kansas 1997 was maybe the greatest team that never won a title.  Can't believe they weren't mentioned.  Pierce, LaFrentz, Pollard, Vaughn, and a solid bench.  34-1 regular season but lost to eventual champion Arizona in Sweet 16 when they couldn't hit a couple of game-tying 3 pointers at the end of regulation.  I'm not even a Kansas fan, but boy was that team stacked.

Since: Mar 14, 2012
Posted on: March 14, 2012 7:48 pm

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

How about the 38-1 Memphis Tigers a team that took the badmouthing for playing in C-USA although it terrorized, Tom Izzo's Spartan's in the Tournament, went through Texas like they were a joke. Then pounded Westbrook and Kevin Love's Bruins in the Final Four. How is this Kentucky team any better? They won their conference as did the Tigers of 08. Are they inelligible because of Cal's slip up or do we just ignore the team that when it had D Rose, Chris Douglas Robert, Antonio Anderson, Dozier, and Dorsey while playing one of the most exciting teams in history. Remember their two losses came 1) UT at Memphis- CDR rolled his ancle and sat while TN went on the run to win a tough one. 2) Lost to the JayHawks in OT after losing Joey Dorsey to questionable fouls. When the intentional foul to stop the three attempt was not called when Rose grabbed Chalmers.
   That team does not get the due respect for their accomplishments- because of John Calapari's mistake, yet now he is Pope to college ball?

Since: Mar 14, 2012
Posted on: March 14, 2012 6:47 pm

re: husky love

I should point out that three of the 2004 uconn huskies were lottery picks Emeks (2nd) Gordan (3rd) and Charlie (7th) and three more were selected in the first round (Hilton josh and marcus).  I believe Denham Brown was also drafted but in the second round...

i don't think this great college team should be penalized for how well some of the players performed after college ...

Since: May 11, 2008
Posted on: March 14, 2012 6:34 pm

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

Some things to take into consideration:  First of all, how can a team that doesn't win the national championship be considered one of the best teams of all time if they're not considered the best team that year??  Also, you can't judge teams based on how well individual players did in the NBA; college basketball is a team game much more so than the NBA.  That being said, the best teams of all time had amazing players at every position and dominated almost every team in their path.  The 90 UNLV team was incredible and deserves to crack the top 10.  Also, people forget about how North Carolina won every game in the 2009 tournament by nearly 20 points and was loaded at every position and on the bench.  At the least they deserve to be ahead of the 2005 North Carolina team.

Since: Mar 14, 2012
Posted on: March 14, 2012 6:15 pm

Husky Love

1999 duke team was better than the Connecticut team that beat them that year but that blemish should knock them out of the top 16 -- especially since nobody included the 2004 uconn huskies that also beat duke on the way to a championship.

 Led by Ben Gordon & Emeka Okafor this roster had Nba talent galore: Charlie Villanueva, Josh Boone, Marcus Williams, Rashad Anderson, Dehnam Brown, Hilton Armstrong, Taliek Brown. Most of the roster, are on NBA teams and some overseas. They also had Transfer Ed Nelson from Ga Tech. They were ranked number 1 throughout the season an lived up to there potential that season.

where is the Husky love? 

Since: Mar 19, 2010
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:25 am

2008 Kansas Jayhwaks

...And here's what the Championship hardware looks like...Damn the luck, Memphis would've had to give it back anyway.

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