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This crap from ESPN is such a joke. I get so sick of seeing UNC's 2009 team overrated like that.
I don't know how you can ever put that UNC team at that level. They are more towards the bottom of that list than the top. The only basis for the argument is that UNC did not really play a single close game in the tourney. But again, we have direct evidence of what that team could do against KU from the year before. 2009 was just a very weak year overall.
Of the modern champs I would simply rate them by their combined KenPom ratings on offense and defense.
2012- Kentucky 11
2011- UConn 30
2010- Duke 5
2009- UNC 17
2008- Kansas 3
2007- Florida 13
2006- Florida 7
2005- UNC 6
2004- UConn 9
2003- Cuse 30
I would be willing to listen to arguments in the last 10 years that either of the Florida teams (I think 2007 played down early and tried to coast before turning it on), 2008 KU, 2005 UNC and 2010 Duke. The only three teams I would certainly not consider for this would be 20009 UNC, 2003 Cuse and 2011 UConn. Everyone else I could at least make a cogent argument for. But you can't do it for the 2009 UNC squad. They just played in a year with flawed and very young teams. Everyone had lost a ton of talent in 2008.
NCAA tournament at 75: The Top 75 Champions
I've seen enough of these lists from different outlets that I rarely give them any credence at all. ESPN seems to be the worst... it's all on the level of top 500 rock songs or best guitarist of the past 50 years. It's all subjective and too dependant on the emotional state of those making up the list. There is absolutely no scientific method involved, no research at all... casual posters on any internet site can point out the obvious flaws of these lists, but at the same time the controversy get's people to discuss their articles... the characters you love to hate sell a lot more tickets than the characters you love.
Live to love, love to live
I recall ESPN tried to do a math based rating of teams performance a few years ago over a span of like 25 years. Their first draft showed Duke 1 and UNC 2. But they futzed up info on KU heavily. They ended up having to correct it and they low keyed the whole thing at that point. When it first came out it was touted to promote their rivalry game. Then it sort of vanished from their website unless you knew what you were looking for.
Kinda like when they made a HUGE deal a out UNC pursuing win number 2000, then less than a week later said nothing about KU making it to 2000 and then PASSING the great UNC.
The flaw with looking only at KenPom ratings is that they're great for telling us how that team relates to that season, but they have almost no bearing to how that team relates to teams from other seasons because they take only into consideration games and statistics from that season. I think there's a way to compare across seasons and eras if you look at the raw numbers, but even then what you'll see more than likely is how the game has changed from one year to the next (and scoring has dropped significantly). I use seasonal KenPom ratings to help predict results for that season, and see how dominant teams are.
That being said, the North Carolina team in 2009 was very dominant in the NCAA tournament. Of course, it was a pretty down year for talent in the NCAAs that season after such a great freshman class the year before had all left (Rose and Love are on HoF trajectories and while Beasley hasn't amounted to much in the NBA, he was dominant in college). And still, Carolina was unable to dominate opponents in rate-based statistics and didn't even earn the number one overall seed.
Personally, I'd toss 2007 Florida and 2008 Kansas up against any champion of the last 10 years and feel really, really good about my chances. Our squad in 2008 had four bigs and two smalls drafted for the NBA eventually, and at least four other smalls have played professionally in either the NBDL or overseas. Those two, 2005 Carolina, and maybe 2010 Duke (I disliked that squad more because of our flop than any other champion outside of UConn 2011 so I don't remember them that well) belong in the conversation, to me, of all time champions, but I don't see any of the others. How is 2012 Kentucky the 20th greatest champion of all time? The 2008 KU squad won the only all-one seed Final Four, and was better at every single position on the court other than center at the time the games were played. MKG will be better than Rush in the long run, but no way was freshman MKG better than Rush. Senior Robinson was better than Teague, Chalmers was obviously better than Lamb, and Arthur was better than Jones. The 2008 KU bench was better than the 2012 Kentucky bench, too.
Okay, that's the end of my rant.
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