Virginia won the national championship last night, but how do they stack up vs. the national championship teams that came before them? John Gasaway at ESPN undertook the tall task of ranking all 81 national championship squads, and Kentucky’s eight did pretty well for themselves, three finishing in the top 20.
13. 1996 Kentucky
16. 2012 Kentucky
20. 1978 Kentucky
46. 1998 Kentucky
48. 1951 Kentucky
64. 1949 Kentucky
67. 1958 Kentucky
72. 1948 Kentucky
If you’re curious, the 1972 UCLA team took first place, followed by the 1976 Indiana team and the 1973 UCLA squad. This year’s Virginia team came in at No. 34. The 1996 Kentucky team is the highest ranked of any squad since the early ’80s.
They were called The Untouchables: Tony Delk, Antoine Walker & Co. dropped neutral-site games to John Calipari’s UMass squad and to Mississippi State in the SEC tournament title game. Nevertheless, Rick Pitino’s Wildcats breezed through that year’s NCAA bracket, winning six games by an average of 21 points. UK won its rematch against Marcus Camby and the Minutemen in the Final Four, and then defeated John Wallace and Syracuse to win the title.
Hard to argue with that. Check out the entire list at ESPN.com.