Thursday, May 29, 2008

Poll- My Choice

Who has been the best college basketball program of the 21st century? That's a tough question to answer because there have been so many dominant programs, including UCLA, North Carolina, Michigan St., Florida, and UConn. Those five as well as Duke, Kansas, and Maryland were the options for my poll asking this question. I'll give you my top five and my reasons why right here. Number five- Duke: The Blue Devils have consistently been highly seeded in the NCAA Tournament and have made the Tournament every year this century. The Blue Devils have made two Final Fours (2001, 2004). Mike Krzyzewski's squad was the National Champion in 2001. Although the teams have struggled to get past the Sweet 16 a few times despite having great teams and have had down years the past two years, the Blue Devils are always near the top of the NCAA rankings. Number four- UCLA: The Bruins are an interesting case. The boys from Westwood have not won a National Title this century, but have made three consecutive Final Fours (2006, 2007, 2008) and appeared in the Finals in 2006. The Bruins struggled prior to '06, but their trio of Final Fours is so impressive, that the team has got to be this high up, at least in my view. If UCLA had one Championship, they just might be numero uno. Number three- North Carolina: The Tar Heels have been extremely inconsistent this century, but their play from 2005 on puts them this high on the list. UNC has made three Final Fours (2000, 2005, 2008) and have had loaded rosters almost every season. UNC won the polling based off your votes, and putting them number one would not be too much of a stretch, but the team will have to be more consistent to get that high up in my book. Number two- Michigan St.: Tom Izzo is one of the best coaches in America, and his team has made the NCAA Tournament every year this century. The Spartans have made three Final Fours (2000, 2001, 2005) and won the Championship in '00. Michigan St. is almost always in the Sweet 16 and has been extremely consistent, and that's a key factor for me. Number one- Florida: The Gators have not only won back-to-back National Championships (2006, 2007), but also were the National Runner-up in 2000, giving them three Final Four appearances this century. Billy Donovan and Co. are the only repeat Champions this century and the only team since Duke (1991, 1992) to win consecutive National crowns. Although Florida had a bad year in 2008, the Gators' overall accomplishments over the past nine seasons cannot be overlooked. The Florida Gators are, thus far, the team of the century.

Northstar Basketball's Top Five NCAA Programs of the 21st Century:
1. Florida Gators
2. Michigan St. Spartans
3. North Carolina Tar Heels
4. UCLA Bruins
5. Duke Blue Devils

Note- Final Four and Championship information is from

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