Yet another edition of March Madness is about to begin, with teams chasing the glory that comes with being an NCAA Tournament champion.
Top-seeded Gonzaga leads the way this year, bringing a perfect 26-0 record into the dance and trying to become just the eighth team to go unbeaten and win an NCAA championship. It hasn’t been done since 1976, but those who have accomplished the feat before have earned their way onto the list of the top NCAA Tournament champions of all-time — though it’s not limited to just the perfect seasons.
Here’s a look at the Top 10:
10. North Carolina — 1957
The Tar Heels certainly had to work to finish with a perfect 32-0 season, ending their tournament run with a pair of triple-overtime wins against Michigan State and Kansas.
9. North Carolina State — 1974
After falling to powerhouse UCLA early in the regular season, the Wolfpack came back to beat them in the Final Four, in double overtime, before topping Marquette to win it all at 30-1.
8. UCLA — 1973
One of John Wooden’s four teams that both won the national championship and went undefeated, this crew (30-0) made it back-to-back titles after rolling through the tournament and earning a 21-point win over Memphis in the final.
7. San Francisco — 1956
Future Hall of Famer Bill Russell led the way for a team that not only became back-to-back champs, but also ran the table with a perfect 29-0 record.
6. Duke — 1992
After winning it all in 1991, the Blue Devils ran it back the very next year, going 34-2 with some help from Christian Laettner’s Elite Eight, overtime buzzer beater against Kentucky.
5. Kentucky — 1996
Rick Pitino’s first championship team was stacked, finishing 34-2 with nine players that went on to the NBA – including five first-round picks – after beating UMass and Syracuse in the Final Four.
4. North Carolina — 1982
A star-studded cast, with Michael Jordan, James Worthy and Sam Perkins and coached by Dean Smith, went 32-2 and edged Georgetown in the championship.
3. UCLA – 1968
Another one of Wooden’s champs had one blemish (29-1) – a loss to Houston in the “Game of the Century” – but came back to avenge it with a 32-point win in the national semifinals on the way to a title, led by Kareem Abdul-Jabar (then known as Lew Alcindor).
2. Indiana — 1976
Bob Knight’s Hoosiers finished 32-0, starting off their season with a 20-point win over No. 2 UCLA and ending it with an 18-point win over Michigan in the NCAA Tournament final.
1. UCLA — 1972
The best of the best from Wooden’s dynasty, these Bruins went 30-0, beat teams by an average of 30.3 points and finished it off with a win over Florida State in the title game.