Sweet Sixteen: The Best Cinderellas in the Modern Era
The Cleveland Fan has put together a list of the top 40 Cinderellas since 1979. 40? Must be an homage to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. Regardless, the Confidential does not like the list very much.
First–take Kansas, Villanova, and North Carolina State off. Those teams did not overachieve in the post-season. They underachieved during the regular season. That Villanova team was stacked with talent, including experienced players that were ideal for their positions. Besides, Cinderella cannot come from a major conference.
Second, here is the remaining list:
Sweet 16 of All-Time Cinderella teams:
- George Mason (2006) – Seed #11 / Finish: Final Four–including an epic defeat of #1 UConn along the way.
- VCU (2011) – Seed: #11 / Finish: Final Four–an outstanding run, especially from the play-in game.
- Butler (2010): Seed #5 / Finish Finals Runner-Up–the seed is a bit high for a Cinderella, but look at the great teams they beat along the way.
- Davidson (2008) – Seed: #9 / Finish: Elite Eight
- Gonzaga (1999) – Seed: #10 / Finish: Elite Eight
- Louisiana State (1986) – Seed: #11 / Finish: Final Four
- Florida Gulf Coast (2013)–Seed #15/ Finish: TBD
- Loyola Marymount (1990) – Seed #11 / Finish: Elite Eight
- Kent State (2002) – Seed: #10 / Finish: Elite Eight
- Xavier (2004) – Seed: #7 / Finish: Elite Eight
- LaSalle (2013): Seed #14 / Finish: TBD
- Northern Iowa (2010) – Seed: #9 / Finish: Sweet Sixteen
- Butler (2011) – Seed: #8 / Finish: Finals Runner-Up
- Tennessee-Chattanooga(1997) – Seed: #14 / Finish: Sweet Sixteen
- Cleveland State (1986) – Seed: #14 / Finish: Sweet Sixteen
- Valparaiso (1998) – Seed: #13 / Finish: Sweet Sixteen
How did we do? Did we miss anyone? Disagree?
Nice list. I’m sure you can find 1,000 different opinions about the specific order, but I think these are the best Cinderellas to ever get past the lobby at the Ball.
Are you also limiting this to post-1979 tourneys? If not, there is the UNCC team that went to the Final Four in , I think, 1976 (77?) under Lee Rose.
This list is post expansion to 64-teams (circa 1985).
THe Butler 2005 run is a bit over rated. They Sqeaked by Cuse without Onuaku and MSU without Kalin Lucas. These weren’t nominal role players on their teams, they were leaders. Not hating but I have no faith that Butler would’ve beated either at full stregnth.