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Undefeated college basketball teams: How many national champions went unbeaten in NCAA Tournament era?

Mark Few’s 2020-21 Gonzaga crew has an unbelievable alternative in entrance of it: The Bulldogs can develop into the primary crew since Bob Knight’s 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers to go undefeated.

Four different groups have entered the event unbeaten since, and every failed to achieve that lofty peak — together with two groups that misplaced in the Final Four and one other in the national championship.

No stress, proper?

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Curiously, the crew Gonzaga confronted first in its bid for perfection is the one program in college basketball historical past with multiple undefeated season: UCLA. The Bruins have 4 such campaigns to their identify, all below legendary coach John Wooden. Following his last undefeated crew in 1972-73, solely Knights’ Hoosiers have remained unbeaten and received the national title.

But again to Gonzaga. The crew has been largely unchallenged this season, defeating their earlier 30 opponents by an absurd common: 23.1 factors per sport, practically six greater than the second-place crew (Houston, at 17.5 factors per sport). The Bulldogs’ next-closest name got here towards BYU in the West Coast Conference Final: The Cougars led by 12 at halftime, and 9 halfway via the second half. But Few’s crew restricted BYU to 25 second-half factors, securing an 88-78 win and guaranteeing that the aim of an undefeated season and NCAA Tournament championship had been one and the identical.

Since then, solely 16-seed Norfolk State (four-point lead), 8-seed Oklahoma (eight-point lead) and UCLA (six-point lead) have even led Gonzaga. The Bulldogs beat them by 43, 16 factors and three factors, respectively. It really has been a dominant run, however work stays to be performed for Gonzaga to cement its standing as probably the greatest college basketball groups of all time. All that is left is to beat Baylor, the 1 seed out of the South Region.

Here is the fraternity the Bulldogs are however a sport away from becoming a member of:

What was the final crew to go undefeated?

The final college basketball crew to go undefeated and win the national title was Bob Knight’s 1975-76 Hoosiers crew. That squad, led by such skills as Scott May, Kent Benson, Tom Abernathy, Quinn Buckner, Bob Wilkerson and Wayne Radford — all future NBA gamers — went 32-0. They capped their season with 5 wins in the NCAA Tournament, which included solely 25 groups on the time.

How many groups have been undefeated national champions?

A complete of seven groups have gone undefeated and received the national championship. (Another crew, the 1972-73 N.C State Wolfpack, went undefeated however didn’t compete for the national title). The first unbeaten crew was San Francisco, which went 29-0 in 1955-56; the second such season got here a 12 months later, when North Carolina went 32-0.

The subsequent 4 undefeated groups got here from UCLA, all below Wooden. The groups completed with undefeated national titles in 1964, ’67, ’72 and ’73. Following that, the final undefeated crew — Indiana — accomplished its run in 1976.

Undefeated college basketball groups

1955-56 San Francisco (29-0)

Coach: Phil Woolpert

Key gamers:

  • Bill Russell: 20.6 ppg, 21.0 rpg
  • Okay.C. Jones: 9.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg

1956-57 North Carolina (32-0)

Coach: Frank McGuire

Key gamers:

  • Lennie Rosenbluth: 28.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg
  • Pete Brennan: 14.7 ppg, 10.4 rpg
  • Tommy Kearns: 12.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg
  • Joe Quig: 10.3 ppg, 8.6 rpg

1963-64 UCLA (30-0)

Coach: John Wooden

Key gamers:

  • Gail Goodrich: 21.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg
  • Walt Hazzard: 18.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg
  • Jack Hirsch: 14.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg
  • Keith Ericson: 10.7 ppg, 9.1 rpg

1966-67 UCLA (30-0)

Coach: John Wooden

Key gamers:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 29.0 ppg, 15.5 rpg
  • Lucius Allen: 15.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg
  • Mike Warren: 12.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg
  • Lynn Shackeflord: 11.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg

1971-72 UCLA (30-0)

Coach: John Wooden

Key gamers:

  • Bill Walton: 21.1 ppg, 15.5 rpg
  • Henry Bibby: 15.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg
  • Jamaal Wilkes: 13.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg
  • Larry Farmer: 10.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg

1972-73 UCLA (30-0)

Coach: John Wooden

Key gamers:

  • Bill Walton: 20.4 ppg, 16.9 rpg
  • Jamaal Wilkes: 14.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg
  • Larry Farmer: 12.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg
  • Larry Hollyfield: 10.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg

1975-76 Indiana (32-0)

Coach: Bob Knight

Key gamers:

  • Scott May: 23.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.1 apg
  • Kent Benson: 17.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.6 apg
  • Tom Abernathy: 10.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.0 apg
  • Quinn Buckner: 8.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.2 apg
  • Bob Wilkerson: 7.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 5.3 apg
  • Wayne Radford: 4.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.3 apg

One-loss national champions

1954-55 San Francisco (28-1)

Coach: Phil Woolpert
Loss: 47-40 loss to No. 13 UCLA

1965-66 UTEP (28-1)

Coach: Don Haskins
Loss: 74-72 loss to Seattle

1967-68 UCLA (29-1)

Coach: John Wooden
Loss: 71-69 loss to No. 2 Houston

1968-69 UCLA (29-1)

Coach: John Wooden
Loss: 46-44 loss to USC

1970-71 UCLA (29-1)

Coach: John Wooden
Loss: 89-82 loss to No. 9 Notre Dame

1973-74 N.C. State (30-1)

Coach: Norm Sloan
Loss: 84-66 loss to No. 1 UCLA

Undefeated groups that misplaced in NCAA Tournament

1978-79 Indiana State (33-1)

Coach: Bill Hodges
Loss: 75-64 loss to No. 3 Michigan State (NCAA Tournament championship sport)

1990-91 UNLV (30-1)

Coach: Jerry Tarkanian
Loss: 79-77 loss to No. 6 Duke (Final Four)

2013-14 Wichita State (35-1)

Coach: Gregg Marshall
Loss: 78-76 loss to Kentucky (Round 2)

2014-15 Kentucky (38-1)

Coach: John Calipari
Loss: 71-64 loss to No. 3 Wisconsin (Final Four)

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