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Fodder for debate: Best team to never win a title?

The easiest way to start an argument among college basketball fans? Debate the best team to never win a title.

Trust me, there’s no right answer.

My answer usually involves these two teams: 1997 Kansas (Raef LaFrentz, Paul Pierce, Jaque Vaughn) and ’99 Duke (Elton Brand, Shane Battier, Trajan Langdon). Depending on my mood and what style of basketball’s I’m into at the moment, I might throw out any of those two.

But would I be correct? Who knows? That’s where the arguments come in.

The good news is that Jason Lisk of The Big Lead has managed to amplify the discussion. He used a college basketball reference tool to focus on the best teams since 1979 who never won a title, grouped by three-year periods.

He settled on 20:

DePaul (’79-’82)
Virginia (’81-’83)
Houston (’82-’84)
Kentucky (’83-’86)
St. John’s (’83-’86)
Duke (’85-’89)
Georgetown (’87-’90)
Syracuse (’87-’90)
Illinois (’87-’89)
Oklahoma (’88-’90)
Arizona (’88-’91)
Ohio State (’90-‘92)
Kentucky (’92-’94)
Kansas (’95-’98)
Duke (’97-’99)
Arizona (’00-’03)
Kansas (’01-’03)
Duke (’04-’06)
UCLA (’06-’08)
Memphis (’06-’08)

Lisk provided detail on every team, so if you can’t remember who played when, try here.

Looking at that list, it’s hard to go against ’97 Kansas or ’99 Duke, but those Houston and Illinois teams were stacked. Do I have to pick one?

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.