UConn joins an elite group of top men's NCAA champions. Who is on the list?

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Connecticut's 75-60 win over Purdue in the men's national championship makes it official: The 2023-24 Huskies are not only the best team in program history but one of the best teams in recent NCAA history.

it's clear Yukon It deserves to be ranked among the upper echelon of national champions since the men's tournament expanded in 1985. The Huskies earned a spot in that elite group by qualifying for this year's tournament to become the eighth program to win back-to-back championships.

They have the company of some teams in the recent past. And any list of the best national champions since the expansion would have to include the dominant teams from UNLV, Duke, Kentucky and more.

Here's how USA TODAY Sports ranks the best of the best from the past 40 seasons of college basketball:

2024 Connecticut (37-3)

Notable players: C Donovan Clingan, G Stefon Castle, G Tristen Newton

What the Huskies did in the championship game boggles the mind. UConn tore through its opponents in the Eastern Conference, capped off with a 25-point win over Illinois in the Elite Eight, then topped Alabama by 14 points in the national semifinals and Purdue by 15 points on Monday night. This team was dominant from the first seconds of the regular season and has to go down among the best teams in college basketball history.

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1990 UNLV (35-5)

Notable players: F Larry Johnson, F Stacy Augmon, G Anderson Hunt

Like the Huskies, UNLV crushed every team in the tournament, beating six opponents by a school-record 112 points. That includes a 103-73 win over Duke that remains the largest margin of victory in a championship game. With NBA players across the board, the Rebels overcame a slow start and won 32 of their last 35 games.

1992 Duke (34-2)

Notable players: C Christian Laettner, G Bobby Hurley, F Grant Hill

The defending champions lost only to North Carolina and Wake Forest in a head-to-head race as the No. 1 team in the country. There were a few close contests in the tournament, including a famous Elite Eight win over Kentucky, but this Duke team is the best in school history and one of the best teams to ever come out of the ACC.

1996 Kentucky (34-2)

Notable players: G Tony Delk, F Antoine Walker, F Walter McCarty

Nine players from that giant would go on to play in the NBA, including three selected in the first round of the 1996 draft. Delk was the tournament's MVP, but where the Wildcats stood out was in their depth: Rick Pitino built one of the most… The rosters were the busiest of that era, with waves of talent and athleticism designed to leave opponents in the dust. Kentucky did just that, winning six tournament games by an average of 21.5 points and avenging an earlier loss to Massachusetts in the Final Four.

2021 Baylor (28-2)

Notable players: G Jared Butler, G Davion Mitchell, G Maceo Teague

There are two of the many reasons Baylor deserves to be remembered: One, the Bears went 28-2 and won the national championship in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, playing three games in the entire month of March due to COVID-19 issues on the roster; Second, they beat an undefeated Gonzaga team in the championship game. In fact, Baylor has won five of its six tournament games by double digits, with its closest win coming by nine points against Arkansas in the Elite Eight.

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2007 Florida (35-5)

Notable players: C Joachim Noah, F Al Horford, G Corey Brewer

The Gators return all five starters and one running back. Ranked No. 1 most of the year, Florida had lost three of five in SEC play before the conference tournament but never lost again, reeling off nine straight wins including an 84-75 win over Ohio State in the championship game. . Perhaps the only SEC roster that could challenge Kentucky in 1996 in terms of pure depth, the Gators had five players in double figures and an unstoppable combination of backcourt scoring and a fearsome frontcourt.

1995 UCLA (31-2)

Notable players: F Ed O'Bannon, F Charles O'Bannon, J Tyus Edney

The Bruins may have been a little lucky to get out of the opening weekend of the tournament thanks to Edney rings the buzzer against MissouriBut the 31-2 record speaks for itself. The most recent national champion in program history was actually a pretty young team, with Ed O'Bannon and center George Kiddick being the only seniors. But UCLA got a big boost from underclassmen like Edney, Toby Bailey and J.R. Henderson to rank fourth nationally in scoring.

2008 Kansas (37-3)

Notable players: G Mario Chalmers, F Darrell Arthur, G Brandon Rush

These 37 wins are the most in program history and tied for second-most in NCAA history. KU would win 20 straight games out of the gate but wouldn't take over first place until beating Memphis in the national championship. This was late recognition for a team that had won all but seven games by double-digit margins. With seven players who will play in the NBA and an unstoppable offense, the Jayhawks top the list as the best team of the Bill Self era and can make a very strong case for being the best in program history.

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2018 Villanova (36-4)

Notable players: G Galen Bronson, F Mikal Bridges, G Donte DiVincenzo

There are four factors that give the 2018 Wildcats the nod over the 2016 national champions. First, the 2018 team was the top seed in the tournament, compared to the No. 2 seed in 2016. Second, Villanova won the Big East championship after failing to do so two years ago. Third, this was a more loaded team than the 2016 version, with DiVincenzo thrown into the mix and establishing Brunson and Bridges as two of the best teams in the country. And fourth, the 2018 team was more dominant in tournament play than the 2016 Wildcats, with all six wins coming by double digits.

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