NCAA

The Ultimate Men's NCAA Tournament Bracket: Who is the best team of all-time? First Round

The Ultimate Men's NCAA Tournament Bracket: Who is the best team of all-time? First Round

A bracket to determine which NCAA Tournament team is the greatest ever is bound to have some upsets. There were three in the play-in round alone. 

The 2001-02 Maryland Terrapins unseated last year's champion Virginia Cavaliers in a landslide (77% to 23%). Upsets followed with 1990 Loyola Marymount and the 1967-68 Houston Cougars getting bounced before the field was narrowed down to 16. 

FULL BRACKET AND RULES

PLAY-IN ROUND RESULTS:

#20 Maryland Terrapins (2001-02) d. #13 Virginia Cavaliers (2019) 77%-23%
#19 Kentucky Wildcats (2010) d. #14 Loyola Marymount (1990) 57%-43%
#15 Georgetown Hoyas (1984-85) d. #18 North Carolina Tar Heels (2016-17) 75%-25%
#17 Kansas Jayhawks (2007-08) d. #16 Houston Cougars (1967-68) 53%-47%

Now that the Ultimate Men's NCAA Tournament Bracket had the field of 16, which teams will survive? 

The top four seeds in this tournament are in college basketball lore and will forever be on the short-list of best teams ever. But perhaps in biggest danger is the 1955-56 San Francisco Dons led by Bill Russell. Fan-favorite Maryland is primed for a Cinderella run that many pundits predicted could stretch far into this championship. 

Another darkhorse is the 1984-85 Georgetown Hoyas who won the popular vote in the play-in round. Up against the UNLV Running Rebels is no tall task and sometimes takes two turns on the court to knock them off. 

Will the Dons and Rebels make it through their first game of March Madness this go around? Will any other upsets happen? This round is sure to be hectic. Vote to find out.

Voting for the play-in will take place on NBCSWashington's Twitter on Wednesday, April 8 for 24 hours. The subsequent rounds will be on Friday, April 10; Monday, April 13 and the championship on Wednesday, April 15.

Teams will advance to the next round based on seeding. 

ULTIMATE NCAA TOURNAMENT BRACKET

#1 UCLA Bruins (1967-69) vs. #17 Kansas Jayhawks (2007-08)
#8 Kentucky Wildcats (2012) vs. #9 UCLA Bruins (1964-65)

#4 San Francisco Dons (1955-56) vs. #20 Maryland Terrapins (2001-02)
#5 Villanova Wildcats (2018) vs. #12 Indiana Hoosiers (1975-76)


 
#3 UCLA Bruins (1972-73) vs. #19 Kentucky Wildcats (2010)
#6 Duke Blue Devils (1991-92)  vs. #11 Ohio State Buckeyes (1960-61)

#7 Houston Cougars (1982-84) vs. #10 Kentucky Wildcats (2015) 
#2 UNLV Running Rebels (1990-91) vs. #15 Georgetown Hoyas (1984-85)

FIRST ROUND

#1 UCLA Bruins (1967-69) vs. #17 Kansas Jayhawks (2007-08)

1967-69 UCLA Bruins (88-2, 41-1 AAWU/ Pac-8 Combined) – 3x National Champions, AAWU Champion, 2x Pac-8 Champion

Top Players: Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Lucius Allen, Mike Warren
Head Coach: John Wooden
Wrap: There’s only one obstacle that prevented one of the best basketball players of all-time in Lew Alcindor from dominating college for four years: Freshmen could not play on the varsity team. There are several legendary John Wooden UCLA teams, but the three-year stretch with Alcindor was one of the best dynasties in sports. They have two of the seven-longest winning streaks in NCAA history by winning 47 and 41 games in a row. Not only did they win all the time, but they also blew out opponents en route to three NCAA Championships. In 1968, they won their last three games by a combined 76 points.

2007-08 Kansas Jayhawks (70–8, 27–5 Big 12 Combined) - National Champion, 2 Elite Eights, 2 Big 12 Tournament Championships, 2 Big12 Regular Season Championships

Top Players: Darrell Arthur, Mario Chalmers, Brandon Rush
Head Coach: Bill Self
Wrap: Kansas made history in 2008 by becoming the first team to ever win 37 games in a season. In the tournament, they rolled through some fan-favorites, including Steph Curry's Davidson team, Tyler Hansbrough's North Carolina team and Derrick Rose's Memphis team.

#8 Kentucky Wildcats (2012) vs. #9 UCLA Bruins (1964-65)

2012 Kentucky Wildcats (38-2, 16-0 SEC) – National Champions, SEC Regular Season Champion

Top Players: Anthony Davis, Doron Lamb, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquise Teague
Head Coach: John Calipari
Wrap: The 2012 Wildcats had one of the most impressive modern runs through the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky controlled every contest throughout the Big Dance, including rolling past a who’s who of notable college coaches (Tom Crean, Scott Drew, Rick Pitino and Bill Self). Anthony Davis was the star of the team, but it was Michael Kidd-Gilchrist that turned it on for a roster with seven future NBA players on it. 

1964-65 UCLA Bruins (58-2, 29-0 AAWU Combined) – 2x National Champions, 2x AAWU Champion

Top Players: Gail Goodrich, Keith Erickson
Head Coach: John Wooden
Wrap: Before all the legendary John Wooden led UCLA Bruin teams, it had to start somewhere. In 1964, Wooden won his first championship in his 16th season as coach for UCLA. This was just prior to Kareem-Abdul Jabbar joining the Bruins, but the teams were just as dominant. They had just as many losses as they did championships in that two-year stretch.

#4 San Francisco Dons (1955-56) vs. #20 Maryland Terrapins (2001-02)

1955-56 San Francisco Dons (57-1, 26-0 CBA Combined) – 2x National Champions, 2x CBA Champion

Top Players: Bill Russell, K.C. Jones
Head Coach: Phil Woolpert
Wrap: In back-to-back seasons Celtics great Bill Russell led the Dons with a shot-blocking ability, 20+ points and 20+ rebounds to two national titles. At the time, there was no one in the college game that could stop his game. Due to Russell’s influence and dominant play in his sophomore season (1955), the NCAA widened the lane to prevent him from camping under the basket. Crazy to think that USF was the only school to recruit him.

2001-02 Maryland Terrapins (57-15, 25-7 ACC Combined) - National Championship, ACC Regular Season Champion, 2 Final Fours

Top Players: Juan Dixon, Lonny Baxter, Steve Blake
Head Coach: Gary Williams
Wrap: The 2001 and 2002 Terps were easily the best two seasons in Maryland's history. In back-to-back seasons they made the Final Four, with the second resulting in a national championship. As the game and tournament have grown, that is not easy to do. Williams did it in two seasons with another talent-filled ACC. 

#5 Villanova Wildcats (2018) vs. #12 Indiana Hoosiers (1975-76)

2018 Villanova Wildcats (36-4, 14-4 Big East) - National Champions, Big East Tournament Champion

Top Players: Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, Donte DiVincenzo, Eric Paschall
Head Coach: Jay Wright
Wrap: Not many think of the 2018 Villanova team in the list of greatest champions because there was no memorable moment from their tournament. Their memorable moment was winning every game by double-figures and blowing past every opponent with ease in the NCAA Tournament.

1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers (63-1, 36-0 Big Ten Combined) – National Champion, 2x Elite Eight, 2x Big Ten Champion

Top Players: Scott May, Kent Benson, Quinn Buckner, Tom Abernethy
Head Coach: Bobby Knight
Wrap: The starting five from both the 1975 and 1976 Indiana teams are two of the few college basketball lineups to all play on in the NBA. In total, those two squads had eight NBA players and they rarely faced defeat. Not against the UCLA Bruins, not against the Soviet National Team, only once to Kentucky. Had it not been a Scott May injury near the end of the 1975 season, Indiana could very well have won back-to-back National Championships. Oh, and the 1975 season also was Mike Krzyzewski’s only season as an assistant in the sport.

#3 UCLA Bruins (1972-73) vs. #19 Kentucky Wildcats (2010)

1972-73 UCLA Bruins (60-0, 28-0 Pac-8 Combined) – 2x National Champion, 2x Pac-8 Champion

Top Players: Bill Walton, Keith Wilkes, Larry Farmer
Head Coach: John Wooden
Wrap: Coming off a national championship and a one-loss season, the Bruins graduated their entire starting lineup after 1971. In 1972, it was an entirely fresh roster, but they got it done and continued the program’s winning ways. Led by Bill Walton this UCLA team is regarded as one of the best, ever. In those two seasons, they contributed to 60 of their record 88 straight wins.

2010 Kentucky Wildcats (35-3, 14-2 SEC) - Elite Eight, SEC Regular Season Champion, SEC Tournament Champion

Top Players: John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Peterson, Eric Bledsoe
Head Coach: John Calipari
Wrap: In John Calipari's first season with the Wildcats, he quickly returned Kentucky to a national powerhouse. With John Wall as the face of the team, Kentucky started off 19-0 and was a freight train of young talent. Eventually, they were upended by West Virginia in the Elite Eight, but there is no denying the star power on that team. 

#6 Duke Blue Devils (1991-92)  vs. #11 Ohio State Buckeyes (1960-61)

1991-92 Duke Blue Devils (66-9, 25-5 ACC Combined) – 2x National Champions, 2x ACC Regular Season Champion, ACC Tournament Champion

Top Players: Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill
Head Coach: Mike Krzyzewski 
Wrap: Coach K’s legacy at Duke didn’t begin until the late 1980s, but year after year the championship alluded him and the Blue Devils. At the end of the 1990 season, Duke ended its season with a 30-point loss to UNLV in the championship. After losing three starters they re-tooled with a legendary 1-2-3 punch. Eventually, Duke became the first back-to-back champion in nearly 20 years and a new blue-blood was born. 

1960-61 Ohio State Buckeyes (52-4, 27-1 Big Ten Combined) – National Champions, 2x Final Four, 2x Big Ten Champions

Top Players: Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek, Bob Knight, Larry Sigfried
Head Coach: Fred Taylor 
Wrap: Ohio State would have three future Hall of Famers – one of which would turn to coaching in Bobby Knight – during their great 1960 and 1961 seasons. The Buckeyes changed the game with fast-break baskets and a never-before-seen offense with 90 points per game and no 3-point line. In the first year, they blew past every team in the tournament (closest victory was by 17 points). Next year they lost to cross-state rival Cincinnati in the championship.

#7 Houston Cougars (1982-84) vs. #10 Kentucky Wildcats (2015) 

1982-84 Houston Cougars (88-16, 42-6 SWC Combined) – 3x Final Four, 2x Southwest Regular Season Champ, 2x Southwest Tournament Champ

Top Players: Rob Williams, Michael Young, Clyde Drexler, Akeem Olajuwon
Head Coach: Guy Lewis 
Wrap: Phi Slama Jama changed the sport and introduced the game to the casual sports fan off the sheer athleticism of the seven players who were drafted into the NBA. Most remember their history based on their final two seasons with Drexler and Olajuwon running the show with their slam dunking and fast-break, frenetic, playground style. Although they never won the title, they were runner-ups twice and contrasted the dynasties of Wooden’s Bruins from the previous decade.

2015 Kentucky Wildcats (38-1, 18-0 SEC) – Final Four, SEC Regular Season Champions, SEC Tournament Champions

Top Players: Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, Aaron Harrison, Willie Cauley-Stein
Head Coach: John Calipari
Wrap: This version of the Kentucky Wildcats was two games short of joining an exclusive list of undefeated champions. Had they done so, it would have been the first since the 70s. Throughout the year, Kentucky made its season a cakewalk, leading many to believe they were not tested enough to win it all. Losing to Wisconsin in the Final Four proved them right. Nine of the 13 scholarship players have gone on to the NBA.

#2 UNLV Running Rebels (1990-91) vs. #15 Georgetown Hoyas (1984-85)

1990-91 UNLV Running Rebels (69-6, 34-2 Big West Combined) – National Champion, 2 Final Fours, 2x Big West Regular Season Champion, 2x Big West Tournament Champion

Top Players: Larry Johnson, Anderson Hunt, Stacey Augmon
Head Coach: Jerry Tarkanian 
Wrap: A 30-point victory over Duke in the championship game was the exclamation point on this stretch of UNLV basketball. From 1990 to 1991 they had a 45-game winning streak that remains the fourth-longest in the men’s game. The Running Rebels are also the last national champion from a non-major seven conference. 

1984-85 Georgetown Hoyas (69-6, 28-4 Big East Combined) - National Champion, 2 Final Fours, 2 Big East Tournament Championships, Big East Regular Season Champion

Top Players: Patrick Ewing, David Wingate, Michael Jackson, Reggie Williams
Head Coach: John Thompson II
Wrap: Georgetown was only eight points away from a perfect season in 1984. Four NBA stars made them one of the roughest, toughest and baddest teams in all of the country and Patrick Ewing was at the forefront with 16 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks a game. In the championship, they ended the Phi Slama Jama era of Houston basketball. The next season they made the championship game again.

How did Mac McClung become an internet sensation?

How did Mac McClung become an internet sensation?

There was a lot of pomp and fanfare when Mac McClung made his decision to go to Georgetown in early 2018. 

Odd for an outsider, considering he was a consensus three-star prospect from Southwest, VA. The Hoyas were the only team from a power conference to offer a scholarship to McClung, his other options were Drake, Murray State and Old Dominion among others. 

But McClung was well known in the social media landscape. His high-flying acrobatics and dunking ability wowed high school crowds and led to be all the rage on social media. His highlights mixtapes, some made by him and some made by other videographers, revolutionized the highlight game for upcoming college prospects.

His Instagram account macmcclung37 gained traction and as of this writing has over 743,000 followers. 

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Dat way @quavohuncho Full video on Ballislife.com

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On top of his dunking, he regularly put up 40-plus points in nearly every game. One game the star scored 64 points, the most in a VHSL game since 1984.  His senior season he averaged 37 points a contest.

His fame did not stop in high school. At the competitive Kenner League in Washington D.C., he continued to churn out highlight after highlight. Instead of dunking on high school players who will never play in the college game, he was posterizing four-star and other three-star recruits. 

Anybody who wanted to be in the highlight business tailed McClung at every opportunity. 

McClung's fame blossomed. Arguably, he became one of the most-hyped three-star recruits of his time. Professional athletes began following McClung on Twitter and Instagram, while interacting with him. 

He made it to Georgetown, the dunking continued and the fanbase was thrilled. 

Within two years he was the team's leading scorer and focal point of the offense. The dunks became few and far between but the celebrity status that McClung had to his name was still there. 

Once his name hit the transfer portal, it was one of the biggest stories of the offseason - for multiple reasons. But star player after star player, including Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, joined in the recruiting game to bring McClung to their former school or backyard college. 

Those who are critical say McClung's stardom and Instagram fame got in the way of developing more with the Hoyas. Meanwhile, other fan bases were doing all the could to try and bring the aerial superstar to their team. 

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Mac McClung to announce his transfer commitment on Wednesday

Mac McClung to announce his transfer commitment on Wednesday

Former Georgetown Hoya Mac McClung will announce his transfer commitment on Wednesday, the guard said on Twitter.

He will be deciding on one of his final seven schools to take the next chapter in his collegiate career. Last week he narrowed down the schools he's considering to Texas Tech, Auburn, Memphis, BYU, USC, Wake Forest and Arkansas. 

In two years at Georgetown, McClung established himself as a great scorer as a combo guard. He's gained massive stardom, though, for much of his high school highlights displaying his prolific dunking skills. His fame on Instagram has quickly grown to where professional athletes are even trying to recruit the 6-foot-2 guard to either their alma mater or hometown team. 

There have been no reports on where McClung will take his talents for the remainder of his college career. Here is a ranking of his top seven transfer destinations and how they fit what he is looking for. 

McClung will have to sit a season due to NCAA transfer rules unless he obtains a waiver. 

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