10. 2014 (7) Connecticut Huskies (32-8)
The most surprising run of the last decade was easily the 2014 Huskies. Led by an unreal performance by senior guard Shabazz Napier, maybe the best guard of last season. They also got big performances from DeAndre Daniels and Ryan Boatright. After a decent regular season, the Huskies won two AAC Tournament games, which vaulted them into the big dance. They were not one of the more talented or deep teams on this list, but got hot at the right time.
9. 2011 (3) Connecticut Huskies (32-9)
Kemba Walker had one of the best individual postseason runs in recent history. After losing four of their last five games in the regular season, the Huskies were on the outside of the tournament bubble. Then they won five straight to win the Big East Tournament including four against ranked teams. Walker led them to six more victories in the tournament, extending the streak to 11 overall. Napier was the compliment to Walker in this one, and wing Jeremy Lamb was a sharp-shooting threat. It wasn’t the most talented team nor the deepest, but they played well together and were led by hall of fame coach Jim Calhoun.
8. 2010 (1) Duke Blue Devils (35-5)
This was a good Duke team, but not one of Coach K’s best. It was filled with solid players, but lacked that star that others on the list have. But throughout that season, they were among the best teams in the country. They had some strong outside shooters and athletic wings. The Blue Devils were not very deep, however. Kyle Singler, Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith were the biggest names on the team. They were a shot rimming out at the buzzer from the losing the title game to Butler in one of the more entertaining finals in the last decade.
7. 2013 (1) Louisville Cardinals (35-5)
Indiana was the favorite to win the tournament this year, but Syracuse knocked them out in the Sweet 16. But Louisville became the darlings of the tournament after reserve guard Kevin Ware suffered a gruesome leg injury. They were led by a strong backcourt of Russ Smith and Peyton Siva. Gorgui Dieng was a big time shot blocker and there were elite shooters all over the floor. Their personnel was ideal to run Rick Pitino’s patented pressure defense. Montrezl Harrell and Luke Hancock provided more depth off the bench.
6. 2009 (1) North Carolina Tar Heels (34-4)
One of the more complete teams on this list, the Tar Heels had a penetrating guard, sharp-shooting wings and a physical low-post presence. Led by Ty Lawson and Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina was the best team in the country from start to finish that season. They ran through the NCAA Tournament, winning games by an average of over 20-points per game. The Tar Heels played every game with supreme energy and seemed unphased by big moments.
5. 2015 (1) Duke Blue Devils (35-4)
They did not win the ACC regular season or conference tournament, but were one of the best in the nation all year long led by a trio of super freshmen. Big man Jahlil Okafor was arguably the best player in the country. Wing Justise Winslow emerged over the last half of the season as an elite defender and versatile scorer. Point guard Tyus Jones was steady all season long and become a closer who made big plays down the stretch of games. They weren’t very deep as they only had eight scholarship players, but they were talented. Underrated about this squad was their defensive prowess where they forced turnovers and held teams scoreless for large stretches.
4. 2008 (1) Kansas Jayhawks (37-3)
Everyone remembers this title game where Mario Chalmers drilled a three-pointer to send the game into overtime, robbing John Calipari of what would have been his first national championship. The Jayhawks had a loaded roster with Brandon Rush joining Chalmers in the backcourt and the physical Darnell Jackson and Darrell Arthur up front. They only lost three games all season and were one of the better teams in the last decade.
3. 2006 (3) Florida Gators (33-6)
Billy Donovan was one of the best coaches without a title in college basketball. That was until this Florida team vaulted him to the top of the college basketball world. A talented roster from top to bottom, filled with NBA players, they were led by an elite frontcourt of Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer. They entered the tournament as a three seed, but tore through the big dance with an average margin of victory of 16 points leaving little doubt as to their supremacy.
2. 2007 (1) Florida Gators (35-5)
As if a dominance NCAA Tournament the year before was not enough, virtually the entire roster returned for a shot at a repeat. They cruised through the regular season and then turned it on once postseason play began. Corey Brewer played his way into a high NBA Draft pick with a superb tournament performance. Noah and Horford were even better than a year before. They were dominant on both ends when playing motivated basketball.
1. 2012 (1) Kentucky Wildcats (38-2)
Easily the best team in college basketball over the past 10 years, this Kentucky squad gave Calipari his first title. They were a Christian Watford (Indiana) buzzer beating three and surprising SEC Tournament championship game loss to Vanderbilt from being undefeated. But outside of those two losses, they were as dominant as any team in recent memory. No one got within eight points of them in the tournament as they overwhelmed their opponents. Led by Anthony Davis, one of the better freshmen in college basketball history, and a plethora of high NBA Draft picks, this Wildcats team could score, defend and rebound with the best of them. The roster also featured Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb, Darius Miller and others. It was a team that oozed talent throughout the roster and included the best individual player over the last decade.