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Joe Boozell | | October 23, 2018

Men's college basketball teams with the best all-time records

Watch Bird and Magic battle for the '79 championship

A Division I men's college basketball team hasn’t finished undefeated since Indiana in 1975-76. A few have come close, but none have run the table since then.

Here are the college basketball teams with the best records ever. There are a few ways you could measure ‘best.’ We chose to go with teams who had 30-plus wins and one loss or fewer.

Let’s get to them.

*Records via Sports-Reference

1956-57: North Carolina (32-0)

The Tar Heels went undefeated in 1956-57 thanks mostly to Lennie Rosenbluth, who averaged 28 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Head coach Frank McGuire’s team won its last two games of the NCAA tournament by a combined five points, edging Kansas 54-53 in the title matchup.

1963-64 UCLA (30-0)

Get ready to see a bunch of UCLA teams from the John Wooden era. His first undefeated season was in 1963-64. Gail Goodrich and Walt Hazzard were the Bruins’ two leading scorers. UCLA won the national championship game against Duke 98-83.

1966-67 UCLA (30-0)

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The Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor at the time) era. The 7-2 center averaged 29 points and 15.5 rebounds per game for the Bruins, who outscored opponents by an average of 25.9 points per game. This was Wooden’s third national championship team.  

1971-72 UCLA (30-0)

Bill Walton was a sophomore when UCLA went wire to wire in 1971-72. He averaged 21.1 points and 15.5 rebounds per game, and had future NBA players Henry Bibby, Jamaal Wilkes and Swen Nater alongside him. The Bruins outscored foes by an average of 30.3 points.

1972-73 UCLA (32-0)

You can imagine how difficult it was for opponents to deal with Walton and Wilkes with another year of experience. Walton averaged 20.4 points and 16.9 rebounds per game as the Bruins waltzed to another championship. UCLA made 52 percent of its field goals as a team.

1974-75 Indiana (31-1)

Indiana’s only loss of the 1974-75 season was its last game. The Hoosiers were loaded, running out guys like Steve Green, Scott May, Kent Benson and Quinn Buckner under head coach Bob Knight. But they lost to Kentucky, 92-90, in the regional final of the NCAA tournament. This group would certainly rebound, though.

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1975-76 Indiana (32-0)

Indiana finished the job the next season. The Hoosiers went 32-0 and are the last Division I men’s basketball team to go undefeated. Indiana was hardly challenged in the NCAA tournament; it beat its last two opponents, UCLA and Michigan, by a combined 32 points. May, Benson and Buckner led the way again.

1978-79 Indiana State (33-1)

Watch Bird and Magic battle for the '79 championship

One of the most memorable college basketball seasons ever. It will be defined by Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson, and Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans would ultimately win the national championship. But Indiana State was 33-0 heading into that game. Bird averaged 28.6 points, 14.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists, while Carl Nicks chipped in 19.3 points per game. The Sycamores put together a magical season.

1990-91 UNLV (34-1)

This team was an absolute joy to watch if you like offense. Jerry Tarkanian’s squad averaged 97.7 points per game and was ahead of its time in terms of pace and spacing. It had four double-digit scorers: Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, Anderson Hunt and Greg Anthony. The Rebels would lose in the Final Four to Duke, but they put together an all-time great season.

2013-14 Wichita State (35-1)

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The Shockers were incredibly balanced and well-rounded in 2013-14. They ranked 17th in offense and 11th in defense. Despite getting off to a 35-0 start, many wondered how elite Wichita State really was considering its competition level. It would go on to lose to Kentucky in the NCAA tournament, but the Wildcats reached the national championship game that year. Cleanthony Early, Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet will go down as three of the best players in program history.

2014-15 Kentucky (38-1)

This team is proof of how hard it is to finish undefeated. It has Karl Anthony-Towns, Devin Booker, Willie Cauley-Stein, Aaron and Andrew Harrison, Trey Lyles and Tyler Ulis with John Calipari on the sidelines. And it got off to a 38-0 start before losing to Wisconsin in the Final Four. Kentucky had the No. 1 defense in the land that year; its combination of length and athleticism was like nothing we’d ever seen before.

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