Tyler Thompson mentioned yesterday that the Sporting News ranked the “best” Kentucky tournament players: Dan Issel, Jack Givens, Tony Delk, and Anthony Davis. But did you know that the NCAA also compiled the 25 best teams, and 35 best moments (whatever that means) in tournament history?
Top 25 Best Teams:
Two different Wildcat teams made the list of top 25 best tourney teams since 1939, and they happen to be two that many of us can remember watching. Both the 1996 and 2012 Kentucky squads are considered some of the best teams to play the game, which comes as absolutely zero surprise to anyone who’s ever watched either of those teams. It’s no surprise, either, since both of them feature guys from the “Best Player” list, in Tony Delk and Anthony Davis.
CBSSports.com had a little blurb about each those teams:
’96: Also known as “The Untouchables,” nine players from the 95-96 team eventually played in the NBA.
’12: 16-0 in SEC play; 19-0 at home; third consecutive NCAA tournament; 344 blocks is the most in NCAA single season history.
Top 35 Best Moments:
Unfortunately, Kentucky made this list twice, but on the wrong end. I guess it’s not really a great “moment” when the tradition rich program wins a title, so most of these stories went to Cinderella stories or huge shots.
So, naturally, Texas Western and Duke made the list for having both a Cinderella story and a huge shot against Kentucky, respectively. Personally, I would have put the ’98 Comeback Cats on the list, both for vindicating UK against Duke, and also providing some of the most thrilling games college ball fans have seen.
It’s somewhat flattering that we didn’t make the 35 Best Moments list. After all, jealousy is just love and hate at the same time. I think J. Edgar Hoover said that.