Monday, April 02, 2007

Florida: Best. Team. Ever.
(But I'll Settle for "Best of '07")

Florida beats Ohio State to win back-to-back NCAA Tournament titles, staking its claim as one of the best college teams ever. (Perhaps THE best. At least they're in the argument.)

And certainly this starting five should go down as college hoops' greatest ever. (Not to diminish the efforts of having a spectacular bench. Chris Richard will play in the NBA.)

I think what makes it most special is the era they did it in: Bridging the gap between the "post-KG Era" of NBA early-entry and the new "post-Oden Era" of mandatory college P.T.

Florida's three biggest stars all could have gone pro a year ago after the first title; they gave up the NBA millions in the short term for the chance to come back to school and make history. And they did.

You can hate Joakim. You can hate Florida. You can hate UF's run of titles in hoops and football. But if you love college hoops, you have to appreciate what this group chose to do -- and did.

The stars can go pro knowing they have created a new standard not just for Florida or the NCAA Tournament, but in the sport. The seniors can move on to whatever is next for them. The remaining players have learned how champions perform. Billy Donovan can do whatever he wants (though I'll sincerely be surprised if he leaves for Kentucky). This unique mini-dynasty ends particularly neatly.

Meanwhile, in the Daily Quickie Readers pool, congrats to J. Mills, who won the Daily Quickie Readers group this year. (I finished in the respectable 83.3st percentile, ironically exactly the same as if I'd used the National Bracket.)

My 10-month-old finished in sole possession of 18th -- out of more than 1,200. I'm not sure I'll ever be more proud.

In the end, what a great night for the Gators -- and Gators fans. Beaming as "One Shining Moment" ended, my wife reminded me that while it's nice I've been a Florida fan for the five years I've known her, she's been a Gators fan for her entire life -- basketball even more than football. I like to boast that my fandom today is as strong as any lifer's, but I found myself envious of her lifetime of passion for the team and pride for what they just accomplished. It DID mean more to her.

And she's right: It's more than a title this time. It's history.

-- D.S.


Travis said...

There good, but do you think they could even take the same court as some of those 1960s UCLA teams?

Kevin Hayward said...

Best team ever? No way. Duke 1992 for one. Like Travis said, what about all of those UCLA teams?

I agree that it's neat to see guys come back to win a championship after having done it last year, but do you really think they passed up that much money to do so? As I wrote in my blog entry on the subject, I really doubt any of the Gators are lottery picks in this year's draft. Furthermore, I'm not certain any of them will be anything other than role players in the NBA.

A great team? Yes. Great individual talent? Questionable.

Dan Shanoff said...

Wow, Kevin. You're crazy. Noah and Horford are both locks for the Top 10 (if not Top 5), and Brewer has probably played himself from the 16-25 range into the 12-18 range. And Chris Richard may very well end up a first-round pick, even in a draft deep with big men.

As for picking 1992 Duke over this Florida team, I think when you look at the matchups, Florida matches up VERY favorably.

The '91-92 Duke team has been romanticized by three things:

(1) The win over Kentucky ("Greatest Game Ever");

(2) The win over UNLV (which was probably the best team ever, up until that point);

(3) And the fact that 95 percent of people in the media, including bloggers, were of a highly impressionable age when that Duke team did what it did.

That probably leads to a bit of inflation in the minds and memories of the same people who are now asked to make that historical comparison as to the quality of that Duke team, particularly as compared to this Florida team.

And, as an Instant History expert, I have come to learn that most fans, media and "experts" simply don't like to admit that what they have just seen is better than what they have come to crystallize over the years as their definition of "best."

David Fucillo said...

While I don't like Florida, Horford Noah, and probably Brewer and Thornton all go in the lottery this year. That being said, Horford is probably the best in terms of chances of a solid NBA career.

And again, the 1991 UNLV starting 5 of Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthony, Anderson Hunt and George Ackles could handle this Florida team in my opinion.

Kevin Hayward said...

Interesting point about the romanticization of the past. Hadn't thought of it that way.

As for the NBA draft, maybe those guys are first-rounders, but I still question whether they will ever be impact players.

David Fucillo said...

I grew up in Las Vegas so I'm hung up on my Rebels. I think UNLV and Duke replay that Nation Semifinal 100 times and UNLV wins a vast majority of the time. I'll go to my grave considering them the greatest team of all time. It's gonna be lonely ride to the grave!

The heroin sheik said...

Clearly UF is the premier athletic program in the country at the moment and we deserve our moment in the sun. The one thing people must remember about the gators is where we have come from to get where we are. In the mid 80's we got every ncaa penalty short of the death penalty in bball and fball. Fortunately the school put people in positions to make a difference. Men such as Dr. Lombardi(pres when I was there) and Jeremy Foley have hired the men who have put us at the pinnacle of college sports. We have a rabid alumni base who are more than wiling to endow the school with gifts to help build facilities that are top notch. Regardless of whether or not you hate these gators they will go down as one of the all time greatest in our collective mindsets. I know that the rest of Gator nation are with me in giving a heartfelt thank you to everyone involved with the fball and bball programs for giving us such happiness over the past year. Most likely we will never be this dominant again in my lifetime and we need to cherish what we have accomplished. Regardless, I think our success gives us the right to be a bit cocky. I know we will be insufferable but we won so we get to gloat. When it comes to OSU they will have to deal with the fact that we made the our bitch this year.

I have to give credit to Oden. that guy is the goods and he is going to be amazing once he hits the NBA. If would be great if the 04's would come back to try for a threepeat but I know it is only a dream.

To all the haters I can only hope Joakim comes back for another year if only to piss you all off. Finally to Dan, Troy and the rest of you gator fans on here I lift my glass in a toast to our good fortune this last year.

2 bits, 4 bits, 6 bits, a dollar all for the gators stand up and holler.

Grimey said...

Couple of quick points...

It's strange that the lasting image of this tournament (for me, at least) is Belichick in a suit.

Chris Richard has been outstanding the past two seasons, and it's awesome that Billy Donovan recognizes that, even if the media wants to single out the starting five.

Oden kicking up his feet on a two-handed jam every time? That's fucking annoying.

TJ said...

Maybe I missed something by watching the game on the video boards in the O'Dome, but I thought the first half was remarkably well-played.

After telling anyone who would listen that the only thing we didn't have to worry about was foul trouble, I wasn't surprised at all that really the only thing to not go our way was foul trouble.

It was really hard to hear in the O'Dome, but I swear I heard Billy Packer say Oden should win MOP? Ummm... really?

Personally, I don't care where this team gets "ranked" among the all-time best. But I think anyone who even pretends to watch basketball has to appreciate the way this team has won--as a true team. Every game this team played was more entertaining and more rewarding than almost every game played by any previous Gator teams. I'm sad to see it end, but what a way to go out.

I think Corey Brewer may have actually played his way into the top 10 of the draft. And Chris Richard played his way into the second round. Lee Humphrey won't be drafted, and actually Taurean Green might not be either. But make no mistake, all four of the 04's will go pro. Brewer can't afford to wait another year, and I don't believe that any of them will stay if one of them leaves.

I wonder how many "neutral" fans will become die-hard Tenn football fans in September, just to get an end to the UF Reign of Terror.

Overall, a pretty good night.

GO GATORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Underbruin said...

Just to chime in here and agree with a couple of earlier posters, '91 UNLV and '76 IU were amazing teams. And nobody in college hoops history has yet equalled the run of the '67-'69 (Alcindor's 88-2, 3 title stretch) or '72-'73 (Walton's back-to-back undefeated seasons).

I say this because, one of the reasons we're annointing these Gators as one of the best teams ever is due to their back-to-back titles, no? However, UCLA's runs with Lew and Big Red (and yes, as a Bruin fan I'm admittedly biased) go beyond mere dominance to unquestionable control of the college basketball world.

The competition is different, the tournament is different, but at the end of the day I would still argue that UCLA's pair of big men anchored the best college teams ever.

Then again, I'm probably wrong, sooo...

Steve said...

As far as the current champion being the 'best team ever' I am always in agreement in football. The athletes are so much bigger faster and stronger than they used to be any champion would mop the floor with any team 20 years ago. In basketball I'm not so sure it holds up because while today's players are better athletes, as a whole they are far worse fundamentally. Still, you can coach up adequate fundamentals. You can't really coach up a lack of talent. Dan is probably right here, this Florida team probably is in the argument for greatest team ever and would probably beat most of those great teams of the past we think so highly of. Of course having said that, next year's champion will likely be even better.

rstiles said...

I agree with you em or hate em, but more people should appreciate the fact that all the Gators decided to forgo the NBA last year to come back and try to win another title...

You do not see that very often in sports and in the age of money hungry athletes...

This was way overlooked by too many people who hate successful teams

Kevin said...

Wow, team ever? They weren't even close to the best team last year - there was a reason they were a #3-seed. They just happened to be the ones to roll out six straight wins in a tourney with no *great* teams.

L. Jalbert said...

Dammit, I'm the best loser in the daily quickie readers group.

I think I've gone as far as beginner luck can get you. I might have to follow some game next year

Unknown said...

Shanoff, you're out of your mind.

Best team since kids started going pro early? Yes.

Best team of the last ten/fifteen years? Sure.

Ever? No way. The early 90's UNLV teams, Duke in the early 90's, Indiana in the mid 70's, UCLA in the 60's...I think they'll all take issue.

Gary said...

If watching Noah being an ass-hat after that game doesn't explain to Florida fans why there are so many haters out there, then I don't know what would.

I know why he stayed in college another year, he sounds like he's a freaking moron.

What's his major? English? If so, maybe he should stay another year and try and get a basic grasp on the language.

I wish there were an NBA equivilant of the Yankees where they make you wear short hair and no facial hair, because it would be tremendous to see Noah have to shave that mop of his.

CMFost said...

There a good team but there have been better college basketball teams. There is not a single potential Hall of Famer on this team. I do not even think there is a future NBA All-Star on this team, maybe Horford but that is it.

And can anyone tell me why the run has to end for Florida now. Wasn't only one of there Starters a senior. As I asked yesterday Any chance they come back for the potential 3 peat

Gary said...

Also, I really like Florida usually. As a team I can usually "root" for when I have no other interest in a game. I always have liked Fla football since the days of Danny Wuerffel. I was happy to see them beat tOSU this year in football. I just really really dislike Noah.

I think Horford and Brewer are class acts, and Noah is the defination of Classless, so I really don't like him.

It's not a Florida hatred that I'm spewing, just a Noah hatred. Just wanted to make that clear

Mega said...

Florida = the new Duke.

TJ said...

Best team ever? No way. One of the best? Sure, we could probably agree on that...

But I think I'll take "most accomplished starting five ever." Can we all agree on that one?

By the way, when you take into account the football title sandwhiched in the middle of this repeat, what we really should be talking about is: is this the greatest run of success in college history? I know it seems that 10 of 12 basketball titles is better, but consider that sophomores at UF have now been here to celebrate THREE National Championships. Just unreal.

And to think, my freshman year was the Zooker's first year. How things have changed...

Gary said...

Troy, you might be able to say that Fla's run is the best in Major sports, but UConn won a national championship from 1999-2004.

1999, Mens Basketball
2000, Womens Basketball
2001, Mens Soccer
2002, Womens Basketball
2003, Womens Basketball
2004, Mens and Womens Basketball.

That's pretty good I'd say

Matt T said...

I like to boast that my fandom today is as strong as any lifer's,

This makes you sound like an ass Dan. Comparing fandom is silly.

As a Georgia fan, I hate seeing Florida win at anything, but this team was one of the greats, I have to admit it.

I also think Brewer is going to have the best pro career. He's got a great balanced game with the offense, great defense and athleticism.

TJ said...

@gary, that's fantastic. Especially at a school that (I'm assuming) actually values its women's hoops team. Still, I don't think they spill out onto the streets by the 1000s for women's hoops or soccer. Do they?

Of course, UF also had our baseball team in the championship game in 2005, and our Gymnastics team is on the verge of winning the NCAA title later this month (have been rated #1 all year).

Ron said...

Why is it everyone talks about the '96 champs and the '97 runners-up, but no one ever adds the '98 champs to the three-year run of Kentucky Wildcat dominance?

Chris said...

I knew Dan would go over the top with his slurping up to his wife's team, and as usual he didn't disappoint. Best team in '07 and of the recent past? No question. The Gators are obviously very good, very well coached by a guy that everyone seems to like and respect, and incredibly talented. But best ever? No way, Dan. Comments like that are why everyone bangs on you for your Gator love and bandwagon jumping. Have you ever heard of UCLA and all the titles they won? How about Duke in '91 & '92 (not to mention making the Final Four the year before those 2)? Indiana of '75 & '76? UNLV of '90 & '91? Georgetown of '84 & '85? All of those teams had either Hall of Famers or All-Star players. Where are those players on UF's roster? The only one I can see is possibly, but unlikely, Horford. I would argue that at least all of those teams can be argued to be better than your wife's team (and you should be a little jealous of her lifelong fandom, it is the difference between being an actual fan that people can respect, and a bandwagon jumper).

As for the Florida players, I don't think anyone has anything against Horford, Humphrey, Richard, Green, or Brewer. They are great players and accomplished a great deal. Now, your girl Noah, that's a different story. He's an ass, an ass who displays little to no class. I would submit his post-game interview was the most embarrasing since Reggie Williams' in 1984. I know I can't stand him and his act but I'm trying to put that aside when I say I think he has played himself out of the Top 10 of the draft. His performance this month was nothing special at all (8 points last night? 1 FG? Not to mention being obliterated by Oden in the post. What is he going to do when he has to defend a power forward every night in the NBA?). Seriously, he has no jumper at all and seems to get all his hoops just on junk around the basket like putbacks on the weakside. Horford is a Top 10 and possible a Top 5 pick. Brewer may have moved into the Top 12-15 but I think Noah has a lot to prove and may now go after Brewer.

Congratulations to the Gators and their fans. It's been a great, great run and I actually hope Donovan stays (he seems to belong at UF and he'll always be safe their now). However, winning doesn't give anyone the right to gloat (remember winning with class). It just turns everyone against your program. Enjoy the titles and your place in history. Just try to keep it in some sort of perspective.

P.S., Phil Martelli is on ESPN radio now, saying that Noah will never be an NBA All-Star but rather just a rotation/energy guy. As Martelli said, he can't shoot at all and he won't be backing guys in the pros down in the post.

rafael said...

You realize, that this time next year, not one person on this board will remember or care that Florida won this year? Just how it is.

I wish your wife had at least gone to Florida. Then your UF love wouldn't make me throw up in my mouth so much.

Still, it is impressive what Florida has done. Are any of them seniors? Could they come back again? Why not go for 3!?

I think Oden goes pro. And Conley should seriously reconsider his statement that he's coming back to Ohio State. Neither of them have anything to gain from one more year.

rafael said...

if you want to say that the UF run of bball/fball/bball titles is the most impressive, then you really do have to put a huge disclaimer that you mean just in the 'big 2' sports.

It's a hell of a 12 month run for Florida, but I would also value other such stretches by schools that include sports other than basketball and football.

Gary said...

Troy, actually, people do take to the streets for women's hoops in CT, the Lady Huskies sell out every game, just like the men. When we won dual championships in 2004, there were cars being flipped for the men's team and women's team.

And for soccer, I believe (this may not be true) that UConn has one of the highest attendances of any soccer program in the country. The stadium they have for soccer is really nice and has a large seating capacity.

We're just trying to get our football program up to snuff, I believe soon enough it will be. By 2015 UConn will make a BCS Bowl, I firmly believe that

Unknown said...

I think the UNLV team is the king of the post-UCLA era. Georgetown in the Ewing years is immediately behind. Florida is in the conversation, but I can't see them beating UNLV, a team which was dominant on both ends of the court.

I know our threshold for consideration is teams that won titles, but I would argue Phi Slamma Jamma was one of the five best teams of the last 30 years as well. It's hard to compare, though, with the addition of the shot clock, three point line, and de-emphasis of the big man in the college game over that period.

I agree with Dan on Duke: fine team, but I think they're third or fourth, at best, on the list. Florida's front court would give Laettner fits, although as I recall, the refs were always willing to bail him out. The Grant Hill - Brewer matchup would be fantastic, though.

So I can adopt my wife's team, conveniently, as a co-favorite? I didn't realize that was a rule. I was always under the impression I had to claim my alma mater, and no one else. I guess I have to hope Kelvin Sampson keeps burning his cell phone hours and drawing recruits to Bloomington. Thanks for showing us the light, Dan! (Sarcasm in full effect)

TJ said...

@gary, wow. Oh to be a student at UConn over that stretch, I guess. Urban will have to whip this new defense into shape so we can keep it going.

Also, my brother goes to USF and talks my ear off about their football team, so I have a different opinion as to what Big East also-ran is on its way to a conference championship in the next 7-8 years.

Kurt said...

I'll take 2004 Uconn Huskies over 2007 Florida Gators. Maybe I'm just thinking about how sick they are now in the NBA, but I think Emeka Okafor, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Josh Boone, Taliek Brown and Rashad Anderson could give this Florida team their fits. They had 3 big men to bang down low with Noah, Horford and Richard, 3 point threats in Rashad and Gordon, and a good point guard in Taliek Brown.

Even though 2006 Uconn Huskies got upset by George Mason, I think they could have beaten Florida as well.

jhawkjjm said...

Congrats to the gators. I still can't help but wonder if they would have lost to KU again, if KU could have made a layup against UCLA.

I was very happy that Noah did squat last night. I loved seeing him pouting on the bench. Overall the highly anticipated powerhouse final four was rather boring again this year. At no point last night after the first 5 minutes did I feel Ohio State had a chance. Made for a pretty boring night.

A lot is made about the players coming back, and it was a major factor. But keep in mind why players normally leave ($$$) and who these kids are and who their parents are. Noah and Horford come from families that are financially set. Money is not an issue with them. I believe Brewer was the only one who last year seriously debating leaving because of the money. I won't go so far as saying they had the proverbial silver spoon, but money is not an issue with some of them... making it easier to come back.

Greg said...

how about that motorboat joakim gave his mom after the game, eh?

Qwagmire said...

I dont get a shout out for finishing dead ass last in the Quickie Bracket?

Way too much ACC/Mid-major kool aid.

Gary said...

The one thing I think most people will remember about the actual game, is that Greg Oden performance. Obviously, people will remember the back-to-back, but the actual game apart from the history, the Oden domination will stand out. That will be the game people point to in 10 years when he's dominating the NBA as the point where people started to believe the hype. IMO

Jen said...

Kudos to those Buckeyes freshmen who played a heck of a game and made it to the NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP game.

I despise Noah. He makes Gator bball so annoying. I've always rooted for the Gators of past since they were the Florida team I liked (Miami and FSU do a great job of gaining 'haters'), but Noah makes you want to go get a tooth extraction instead of watch the game.

Congrats to the Gators for the back-to-back!

Anonymous said...


Why is it no sports writer or announcer understands the difference between irony and coincidence?

Brian in Oxford said...

I was maybe 9 years old when I read for the first time in an SI article (1980):

Gators eat Boogers

They made every shot they needed to, so it's not like they weren't the better team. A bit freaky the number of loose balls that went their way. But they definitely were #1, but certainly not in an imposing Georgetown/Kentucky/UNLV sort of way.

On an aside, early in the season teams play these "exempt" games where they experiment with rules. I would LOVE to see the NCAA experiment by taking away all three-pointers for an early-season tournament. Just to see what would happen.

Unknown said...

I think people will remember Oden from this game as well. I'll remember the way he kicked his feet up after each dunk and hung on the rim a bit. All the other players are running back down the court while he's acting like he's in high school. I'll remember the way the refs let Oden get away with fouls, while every Florida post player that touched him got called for a foul. I think people cried so much about the UCLA big men getting into trouble in the semis that the refs were going to try and protect Ohio State's big man a little bit.

Solid game plan, again, by Billy Donovan. Florida chose not to double Oden, knowing that Oden would hit some of his shots and make some free throws, but that the rest of the team could keep Ohio State's outside game in check. Sure enough, OSU couldn't get good looks from 3 point land.

A little better job by the refs and Florida wins by 20 again.

I agree that it's difficult to say this is one of the best teams ever considering the lack of superstars. However, great teams are more than just a collection of great players, as the recent USA basketball teams find out in international play. The US keeps losing because they don't have what we just saw on display with Florida: Team Basketeball.

Jennifer said...

Why is there no mention of Jeremy Foley?

If I were a Florida fan, I would be trying to bronze a statue of him.

Pete said...

I think your post is just a symptom of the times whereas the things that happen now are the best things in history. There is no way to judge that in current context and you are simply giving in to present day greatness versus measuring against history. Many of the things pundits have declared "the best ever" (remember that WWL special with the USC football team?) will simply be regarded as very good or great. This need to think that because it happened yesterday means it is the best thing ever is very disturbing and does not bode well for us as a culture.

DiggingOut said...

I am not sure they were the best team this year.

I am very impressed they won back to back, however I would not even consider putting them in the top 10 of best teams in history

Mike said...

No mention of the 82-85 Georgetown teams - don't care that they didn't win it more than once. But honestly Dan, you thought ODEN handled the frontcourt well... Patrick Ewing was the most impressive college big man I ever saw play. Period. And the surrounding talent was just as good, if not better. Sorry. Congrats to the Gators on an impressive run, but if some are guilty of romanticizing the past, others are guilty of doing the same thing with today's teams.

David Fucillo said...

Best of post 1985? Just because UNLV didn't win back to back titles doesn't make them less of a great team. Florida's title last year was the last of a watered down college basketball era (Beating George Mason in the semi's?). The 90-91 Rebels would beat Florida, the 96-97 Kentucky Wildcats would beat Florida, the early 90s UNC teams with Jamison and Wallace would beat Florida...

Awful Announcing- said...

Great Great team, but nowhere near the best ever. The UCLA teams would pose huge matchup problems for them.

I would love to see Florida play the 1990 UNLV who beat Duke by 30.

TJ said...

When talking about a team's greatness, I don't think you can play the "Team X would beat Team Y" game. Hell, we can't even accurately predict things like "Gator football team would beat OSU football team" even when we get to watch both teams playing in the same year, let alone the same era.

The heroin sheik said...

Thank god I got someone to cover my shift this morning. Jennifer read my post at the top for mention of Foley. I used gloat because typically our rivals really like to denigrate us so we have to throw it in their face to keep them from getting to high and mighty. I watched the game on tv this morning and I really don't think it did justice to how many Gator fans there were there last night. The thing with Joakim is that he is pretty funny. His postgame interview was hilarious. It was also the first time I had seen his mom. I think his dad is prettier than she is. I really like how Richard plays. Can we nickname him C. Dick? C Dick Run, C Dick shoot, C Dick explode on that backdoor jam. Awesome. I have a crappy tv so it didn't so justice to Brewer or Oden but I bet it was great on hi-def. In person their performances were transcendent last night.

I know that we are always in the top schools in those all sports competitions. If you go back to when we won our first title in FB for the 96 season we have won 9 titles 2 in fb, 2 in bb, 3 in womens tennis which was fun to watch when I was there, 1 in women's soccer and one in men's golf. We have the possibility to maybe win another one in golf and gymnastics this year. This doesn't include all the natl indoor tennis titles. We have been in the top ten of the directors cup rankings every year since 83. Only other school to match this is UCLA. I think it is all the work of Dr. Cade. Oh yeah we also had a 14 year streak in the SEC allsports competition ending in 40/05.

We may not be the number one athletic program of all time but we sure as hell have been enjoying one of the most dominant runs in NCAA history. Then again we are the 3rd or 4th largest university in the country (OSU is 1 I think) so we should be able to compete with a larger talent pool to work with. Plus we actually graduate most of our players.

I was thinking how the champions league is similar to March Madness. Think about it.

Frank the Tank said...

As an "unbiased" Illini fan, I don't see how the 1982 North Carolina team hasn't been even mentioned yet if only for the presence of Michael Jordan. Add in James Worthy and Sam Perkins as fellow starters and that would have been a top team in the NBA, much less college.

SAMO said...

I do think this team was solid but not the best ever. Maybe they will be the best ever in the post-Garnett era, but not of all-time. The only way we will get a team in the future that will be as good as this one is if also we get a group of great players to stay another year, or if we witness an insane freshman class, something better than the Fab 5...imagine Ohio State but with Kevin Durant also.

SAMO said...

Oh and Dan, has the following in their mock draft (which I think has a lot of stock to it)

Al Horford #4
Joakim Noah #6
Corey Brewer #8

David Kippe said...

90 UNLV, 92 Duke, 96 Kentucky, 2004 UConn, would all beat this Florida squad. No doubt the Gators are great, but not as great as any one of those teams. but hey Dan, your a gator fan, I would not expect you to say anything different. Now as far as accomplishments? Definitely could be argued as the best since 1985. Be tough to argue against them other than Duke.

James Sinclair said...

I wonder if Florida's place in history will be slightly tarnished due to the lack of memorable games. There have been no moments like the Laettner shot to provide lasting memories of this team. Of course, that should be even more of a reason to rank them with the all-time greats--they blow everyone out.

Florida has won 18 consecutive postseason games (which I assume is second all-time, after that UCLA run in the 60's and 70's). The closest NCAA tournament games during Florida's streak were the 4-point win over Georgetown last year and the 7-point win over Purdue this year. Other than those, the margin of victory has always been at least 8.

Unknown said...

Florida should go down as at least a top 3 team. I would put them behind those old UCLA teams for sure. But I think they are right up there with early '90s Duke and UNLV.

The impressive thing about this Florida team compared to UNLV and Duke is their defense and balance. That Duke team had 4 or 5 10+ point scorers but they did not have nearly as good of defense as UF. Same goes for UNLV.

This Florida team led the nation in FG% defense in the last two years. They were also very near the top in defense FG% and #1 in 3 point % against. Perhaps they are not appreciated because of how easy they made it look. If you look at Florida's tournament runs, very few of the games were even close and in all of them except for the Georgetown game, the opponent never had a chance to tie or go ahead in the last 2 minutes.

Unknown said...

sorry, they led the nation in FG% on offense and were very good on FG % defense.

Unknown said...

Florida is not even the best starting 5 since 2000. A couple people mentioned 2004 UCONN, but what about 2001 Duke? Battier, Boozer, Jason Williams (pre-motorbike), Dunleavy, Duhon. 4 NBA starters and a sixth man.

David Kippe said...

David, you are saying things that look horrible for me since we share the same name, damn it! That Duke team would have been squashed by every single team mentioned in this thread today.

David Kippe said...

Would anyone agree that people are starting to talk about this Florida team, the same way people talked about the Miami football teams from a few years ago?

Tacomaker said...

How the supposed "Best Team Ever loses three times in a row to sub-par competition in the regular season is beyond me. Also, it's not like their competition in the last two years' tourneys have been all that outstanding.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

To the David that says the '01 Devils would have been squashed by everyone mentioned you are wrong. I think since 2000 the only teams that would have beaten that Duke team are the '05 Tar Heels and maybe '04 UConn. It has been 6 years and how quickly people forget how good that Duke team was.

David Kippe said...

I think that what David was referring to was that every team mentioned in the entire thread, not just since 2000 could beat that Duke team. Such as the Fab Five, UNLV, Duke 91-92, Arkansas, UNC 2005, UConn 99 and 2004, all 3 Kentcuky teams from the mid 90s, Arizona 97. Though I would argue that the Duke team would probably lose to every team since 2000 except 2003 Syracuse.