Thursday, December 31, 2009

Team of the Decade

In a recent podcast, Andy Katz asked Mike DeCourcey of the Sporting News and Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated and CBS who they thought the team of the Decade was. Mike said Kansas and Seth said Michigan State.

With today being the last day of the decade, I wanted to take a look back at the decade of 2000-2009 (or the "Aughts") in the NCAA Tournament and discuss who should be named the team of the decade.

Only North Carolina and Florida won multiple championships. North Carolina won in 2005 and 2009 with two different sets of players and Florida became the first team since Duke in 1992 to win back-to-back titles when they won in 2006 and 2007. In addition, Florida was the only team with three championship game appearances.

However, should North Carolina and Florida be in consideration for team of the decade when both missed two tournaments. Florida followed up their consecutive titles by missing the tournament in 2008 and 2009. North Carolina missed the tournament in 2002 and 2003.

Michigan State won the championship in 2000 and lost the 2009 championship game. The tied North Carolina for the most final four appearances with 4. In addition, they are only one of 7 schools to participate in the tournament all 10 years. They won 25 tournament games overall.

Kansas won the championship in 2008 and lost the 2003 championship game. The also went to the 2001 final four. They also participated in all 10 tournaments. They won 26 tournament games - one more than Michigan State and tied with North Carolina for the most in the decade.

All four have arguments for why they could be considered the team of the decade
  • North Carolina tied for the most titles, had the best tournament winning percentage and tied for the most final fours
  • Florida tied for the most titles and had the most championship game appearances
  • Michigan State appeared in every tournament, won it in 2000 and tied for the most final fours
  • Kansas appeared in every tournament, won it in 2008 and tied for the most wins
Here is ESPN's look at the decade's best teams. Who do you think the team of the decade was?

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