College basketball is huge in the United States, just like football and baseball. They regularly attract large crowds, and many of the players wind up as NBA pro ball players. So, let’s have a look at the 25 best college basketball teams of the last 5 years.
Though they have no national titles, the Musketeers have missed only the NCAA Tournament twice in the past fifteen years. This is quite a remarkable achievement for a team outside of the Power-Five schools.
Georgetown can count their peak as the 2007 season when coach John Thompson III guided them to a fourth-placed finish. Fortunes have been much more modest since, and the team have been unable to replicate this feat.
Marquette Golden Eagles
They may not have the best record, but they certainly have one of the best names! The Golden Eagles shocked the world in 2003 when they beat Kentucky to cement a semi-final appearance. They made 8 consecutive NCAA appearances between 2006-13.
With 2 final four appearances and a 2 Highest Coaches Poll Finishes of 2nd, the Bulldogs have enjoyed some moderate success.
The Sooners were the college team of NBA power forward Blake Griffin. The team only have one Final Four appearance this century, and it wasn’t when Griffin played for them.
Maryland Terrapins haven’t enjoyed a top 10 finish since the 2003 season. But they boast the achievement of being the lowest-ranked team to win a national championship since the turn of the millennium.
The Tigers enjoyed success under coach John Calipari by way of 4 Sweet 16 appearances, and a Final Four appearance. But Calipari left for the greener pastures of Kentucky, and things have never been as good since.
Illinois Fighting Illini
How’s this for a tongue twister of a name?! The Illini enjoyed great success under coach Bruce Weber, who won them the conference title back in 2003. Since he left, they have had little to cheer about.
The Wildcats enjoyed a total of 99 points this season, and they are two-time Big East champions. But, they have struggled in recent years, not reaching the second week in 7 years.
The highest ranked mid-major on this list made the Elite 8 in 1999. They repeated the same feat last season but have had barren spells in between.
Texas made the final four in 2003 which was the glory years for this team. But coach Rick Barnes was fired earlier this year after years of consistent inconsistency.
The Bruins are arguably the most decorated team to make this list. The have captured 11 titles, but the last one was in 1995. There were 3 straight Final Four appearances from 2006-08. But the team has fallen on tough times recently with a 2015 Sweet Sixteen appearance their best in years.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State is growing in strength each season following their final appearance in 2007. They have enjoyed an up and down time of things since, with only a round-of-32-appearance last season.
Pittsburgh claimed four titles between 2002 and 2011, but they haven’t been ranked in the Coaches Poll since that time. They have struggled in recent years and don’t look like getting back to their glory days.
Syracuse Orange captured their only national title in 2003 with future NBA star Carmelo Anthony. They have never quite been able to reach those lofty heights again.
Consecutive Final Four appearances and a runner-up spot last season helped cement Bo Ryan’s record as a legend. And, in his 14 years at the helm, the Badgers enjoyed NCAA appearances every season.
The Gators always felt as though they lived in the shadow of football, which took priority at the school. However, all this changed when Billy Donovan took charge in ‘96. Since then the Gators have snapped their way to 2 national titles, a runner-up spot, and 4 Final Four appearances this millennium.
Famed for more than just their reference in the Keanu Reeves movie Speed, the Wildcats captured a national title in 1997. Since then there’s been a runner-up appearance and several Elite Eight finishes. But nothing has come close since.
Rick Pitino is one of the finest college coaches since the turn of the millennium. In his decade and a half in charge of the Cardinals, he secured one title, two Final Fours and three Elite Eight appearances.
Three national titles and four Final Four appearances cement the Huskies’ status on this list. Though the last 6 seasons or so have brought a mixed-bag of inconsistency.
Michigan State Spartans
The Spartans are the highest ranked team not to win a title since the new millennium. 2009’s runner-up spot is the best they’ve managed. Though they have made five Final Four appearances in that time – the best in the country!
North Carolina Tar Heels
Capturing 2 NCAA Championships since 2000 warrants North Carolina a high place on this list. They also were runners-up this year; their best performance in five seasons.
The third Wildcats on this list, Kentucky growled their way to the 2012 title. Since then they have enjoyed the runner-up spot in 2014 and 4 Final Four appearances. But they have struggled for form in big games over the past few seasons.
Duke Blue Devils
The Blue Devils can boast 3 top Coaches’ Poll Finishes, 3 Championships, and a staggering 11 regional semi-finals since 2000. And 2007 marks the only year they have ever spent outside the Coaches’ Poll.
So, the Jayhawks top our list, and that’s because they have the highest number of Coaches Poll points over the past 15 years. They may only have 1 championship, and 2 runner-up spots but Kansas can certainly claim to be the most consistently good side since 2000.