The Confidential

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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:

  1. George Mason (2006) – Seed #11 / Finish: Final Four–including an epic defeat of #1 UConn along the way.
  2. VCU (2011) – Seed: #11 / Finish: Final Four–an outstanding run, especially from the play-in game.
  3. 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.
  4. Davidson (2008) – Seed: #9 / Finish: Elite Eight
  5. Gonzaga (1999) – Seed: #10 / Finish: Elite Eight
  6. Louisiana State (1986) – Seed: #11 / Finish: Final Four
  7. Florida Gulf Coast (2013)–Seed #15/ Finish: TBD
  8. Loyola Marymount (1990) – Seed #11 / Finish: Elite Eight
  9. Kent State (2002) – Seed: #10 / Finish: Elite Eight
  10. Xavier (2004) – Seed: #7 / Finish: Elite Eight
  11. LaSalle (2013): Seed #14 / Finish: TBD
  12. Northern Iowa (2010) – Seed: #9 / Finish: Sweet Sixteen
  13. Butler (2011) – Seed: #8 / Finish: Finals Runner-Up
  14. Tennessee-Chattanooga(1997) – Seed: #14 / Finish: Sweet Sixteen
  15. Cleveland State (1986) – Seed: #14 / Finish: Sweet Sixteen
  16. Valparaiso (1998) – Seed: #13 / Finish: Sweet Sixteen

How did we do? Did we miss anyone?  Disagree?

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4 thoughts on “Sweet Sixteen: The Best Cinderellas in the Modern Era

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. dacuseman on said:

    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.

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