Posts Tagged ‘2006 florida’

Cracking the NCAA Vault: The Best Team Performances

I wrote—albeit briefly—about my love of the NCAA Vault late last season. For the uninitiated, the NCAA Vault contains every NCAA Tournament game from the Sweet 16 on played since 2000. That is 165 games in all. That is, in fact, too much for you to rationally sort through to figure out which games are worth skipping to the end, which games are worth perusing, and which merit full-blown opening-tip-to-final-buzzer immersion.

That’s why I’m here.

As part of our comprehensive college basketball preview over the next few days, I’ll be breaking down the contents of the NCAA Vault (and March Madness On Demand, which houses all 64 games from last season’s epic Tournament). Whether you’re in the mood to see a great individual performance, a team operating on all cylinders, or the moments when an eventual champion came closest to elimination, I’ve got you covered.

Sounds like gooooood watchin’.

Great Team Performances

As much fun as it is to watch single players at their best, it still doesn’t compare to the beauty of superior team basketball. These seven teams, for stretches lasting various periods of time, reached a state of near basketball perfection, executing so exquisitely that it didn’t much matter that the game would no longer be close. Indeed, it’s the way they sucked the competition out of the game, making the opponent look so hapless or inconsequential, that makes these performances so memorable. Continue reading

Aught Lang Syne: Teams of the Decade

Later today, we’ll look into Franchises of the Decade—which is how most people define “Teams of the Decade.” But right now, we’re going to be specific with our terms and figure out who were the best single-season teams in each sport in the Aughts, along with the best teams that fell short of a title and the worst teams that happened to win one.


3. 2000 Baltimore Ravens

Their defense was the single best unit of the Aughts—good enough to overcome that weak offense. They won every game in which they scored a touchdown, which included their last 11 after a 5-4 start and a quarterback change.

2. 2003 New England Patriots

The first iteration of a seemingly unbeatable Patriots’ squad and the only No. 1 seed to win the Super Bowl in the Aughts, this is the team that ran off 15 straight wins after a 2-2 start en route to their second Super Bowl in three years. It will be interesting to see if this decade’s Patriots are remembered more for this team—similar to the other title-winners, it possessed an excellent defense and a solid offense that wore you down on the ground and always made just enough plays to win—or the ’07 version that stomped teams and ran up the score.*

*Cool Stat: The ’03 Patriots opened the season with a 31-0 loss to the Bills and closed the season with a 31-0 win over the Bills. I wonder if that has ever happened before. Continue reading