Since Jay Bilas joined ESPN in 1995, he’s seen plenty of impressive college basketball teams. On Monday, he decided to name which one was the best to take the court since he started at the Worldwide Leader.
Bilas certainly had plenty of programs to choose from, but opted to select the 2001 Duke squad as the top team he’s seen since 1995. The Blue Devils went 35-4 on the year and knocked off a Gilbert Arenas Arizona team to capture Mike Krzyzewski’s third NCAA title.
“The best team that I’ve seen in my time as a broadcaster at ESPN would be the 2001 Duke Blue Devils,” Bilas said in a Twitter video. “That team had five NBA pros on it and ripped through the regular season, through the tournament. They were down 20 [in the first half] to Maryland in the NCAA Tournament National Semifinals, but still wound up winning obviously and won the national championship beating Arizona in the final.
“That team had Jay Williams, Chris Duhon, Shane Battier, Carlos Boozoer and Mike Dunleavy. [It was] just a joke how talented and how great of a basketball team they were.”
The Tyler Hansbrough-led 2009 North Carolina team slotted in next on Bilas’ list and the 1996 Kentucky squad ranked third. However, with the depth of the 2001 Duke team, it’s hard to imagine a better choice for the top spot.
- 2001 Duke
- 2009 North Carolina
- 1996 Kentucky
- 1999 UCONN
- 2012 Kentucky
- 2015 Duke
- 2008 Kansas
- 2000 Michigan State
- 2007 Florida
- 2002 Maryland
And here's my top 10 teams while at ESPN. pic.twitter.com/jWuW8hJwiQ
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) May 17, 2021
Bilas said that he would soon release a top 10 rankings of all-time college basketball teams at some point in the future. We’ll have to see where the 2001 Duke squad shapes up against the rest of history.