When it comes to NCAA Basketball Champions there can be endless debate about who is the “Greatest Team” of all-time. Our esteemed leader Le Cap threw his hat in the ring for the 1991 UNLV Running Rebels, a team that, you know, technically LOST in the semi-finals of the Final Four but yes they were a dominant team on an undefeated season up to that point and are no question one of the coolest teams of all-time, so I can see where he’s coming from. And I will reveal my pick for “Greatest Team” in due time but my point here is that while “Greatest Team” can be debated, the “Worst Champions” is no debate at all.
It’s the 1993 North Carolina Tar Heels hands down.
Starting Lineup –
Eric Montross C
George Lynch F
Brian Reece F
Derrick Phelps G
Donald Williams G
Not one star. Not one go-to guy. Certainly nobody anywhere close to a “legend”. I would be shocked to hear that any of those guys are in the Tar Heel Ring of Honor or whatever they call their Hall of Fame. I guess Montross had an NBA career but it certainly wasn’t noteworthy.
Here’s some of the names on the bench – Pat Sullivan, Kevin Salvadori, Dante Calabria, Scott Cherry, Larry Davis, Henrik Rödl – now I recognize those guy’s names because I watched 90 hours of college basketball a week in 1993 but your average sports fan is going to look at that list and guess it’s the owners of an Italian delicatessen shop, a couple of lawyers and a Danish architect.
The other reason this Tar Heel team is the worst is because of who they beat in the Final Four. First they knocked off a very like-able Kansas Jayhawks team led by all-time name guy Adonis Jordan and all-time goofy 7-footer Greg Ostertag.
And then there’s the Championship game. I’m pretty sure 95% of basketball fans between the ages of 1-39 were rooting for Michigan’s Fab Five. They were the coolest thing in sports at the time, super fun to watch and coming off getting destroyed by the ever hate-able Dukies the season before, anyone with a pulse and an appreciation for style and entertainment wanted the Wolverines to win.
Donald Williams had the game of his life while conversely Juwan Howard and Jalen Rose seemed to forget they were playing for a Title. And The Timeout. I won’t go into detail since everyone I’m sure remembers what happened but I will say that it unfortunately over shadows an otherwise great Chis Webber game.
The end result was the UNC Tar Heels as National Champions.