4. 1947-48 Kentucky basketball season
Final Record: 36-3 | Finish: National Championship (def. Baylor, 58-42)
Once upon a time in the first half of the 20th century, Kentucky basketball did not have a National Championship to their credit. Yes, that feels hard to believe given all of the wins and titles that they’ve been able to accrue since but it was indeed the case. But with Adolph Rupp on the sidelines for the program by the end of the 1940s, that was all about to change.
In the 1947-48 season as Kentucky boasted a roster that featured a handful of future NBA players, the Wildcats were dominant throughout the regular season. They posted a record of 36-3 overall and went an undefeated 9-0 in SEC play. That earned them a designation as one of the favorites entering the NCAA Tournament and that proved to be the right call.
Kentucky toppled Columbia quite handily in their first game, winning 76-53. In the following contest, they were played close by Holy Cross but the Wildcats again emerged victorious as they were able to get the 60-52 advantage. In the title game, things weren’t quite as close as they dominated Baylor and picked up the 58-42 victory.
Perhaps even more incredible about this Kentucky team, however, is that they didn’t just win the NCAA Championship but also brought the United States some international glory. The core of the 1947-48 Wildcats roster played for Team USA and won gold in the Olympics. Not a bad way to pad your résumé if you ask me.