Welcome to the Best Team Ever bracket series, where the greatest of all time have their most dominant seasons stacked up against each other until we ultimately crown a champion in each sport. The tournament will be decided by fan vote, so be sure to submit yours below! Check out the first round of voting here and the second round of voting here. Final Four polls will close at noon ET on Saturday.
Which team was the greatest of all time in each sport?
With leagues on hold for the time being, there's no better time to revisit which teams had the best seasons ever in their respective sports. Here's your chance to vote for who you think pieced together the most immaculate campaigns of all time.
The NFL’s “Best Teams Ever” bracket has been dominated by the higher seeds. While there have been many great teams and a few dynasties through the NFL’s 100 years, it’s easy to identify the most dominant teams we’ve seen.
Four of the most recognizable teams in football history are left standing. There’s the only perfect team in NFL history, the famed “Steel Curtain,” an entrant from the great 1980s 49ers dynasty and the immortal ‘85 Bears. Those were our top four seeds. You can’t ask for a better Final Four than that. Click here or on the image below to vote.
The first round of the NBA bracket produced just two mild upsets — the eighth-seeded 2008 Boston Celtics over the ninth-seeded 1967 Philadelphia 76ers and the 11th-seeded 2001 Los Angeles Lakers against the sixth-seeded 1983 Sixers — and Round 2 produced all chalk. The top four teams based on our custom G.O.A.T. Grade algorithm comprise the NBA’s greatest Final Four.
Gone are LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, among other all-time greats. The best of these best are left: Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant’s Golden State Warriors; Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish’s Celtics; Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen’s Chicago Bulls; and Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain’s Lakers. The four teams feature 12 Hall of Famers (not including Golden State’s future inductees) who combined to win 18 titles. Click here or on the image below to vote.
Truth be told, there wasn’t a bad Final Four to be had in our MLB Best Team Ever bracket. Our final eight were all titans, but the four finalists we’ve arrived at — well, voters, you’ve done well.
The 1927 New York Yankees, 1970 Baltimore Orioles, 1975 Cincinnati Reds and 1984 Detroit Tigers remain in our tourney. The lowest win total here is 104, which belongs to the Tigers. That’s saying something. There are 17 Hall of Famers between them, a list that includes Sparky Anderson, who managed two of these teams, but doesn’t include Pete Rose. Click here or on the image below to vote.
We’re coming down to the wire in our “Best Teams Ever” bracket, and the top four seeds — 1995 Nebraska, 2001 Miami, 2019 LSU and 2004 USC — have advanced past tough competition and into the Final Four.
How will LSU, college football’s most recent champion, stack up against the legendary ‘01 Hurricanes? And can the mighty ‘95 Huskers live up to their billing as the No. 1 seed against the ‘04 Trojans, one of the most exciting teams in recent memory? Click here or on the image below to vote.
Men’s college basketball
The men’s college basketball bracket is looking pretty chalky, skewing heavily toward the lower seeds in the early rounds. That means that we’re set up for some all-time showdowns between some of the most heralded blue-bloods in history.
It is no surprise the top-seeded UCLA Bruins have cruised to this point, but will they struggle getting by one of the more recognizable Duke teams ever? On the other side of the bracket, the Runnin’ Rebels eked out a close one in the Elite Eight and now face Michael Jordan’s title-winning UNC team. Click here or on the image below to vote.
Women’s college basketball
It’s an all-Huskies Final Four in the women’s college basketball tournament and frankly, no one should be surprised. Connecticut has the more national titles (11) than any other school and has watched its stars go on to incredibly successful WNBA and Team USA careers.
So which Huskies squad is the best of all? One of the three championship teams that featured Breanna Stewart in the last decade? Or the 2002 squad featuring legends Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi? Click here or on the image below to vote.
The 2000 Houston Comets are widely considered the greatest WNBA team of all time — until the 2019 Washington Mystics offense started obliterating their stats. But the Mystics fell out early and the ’00 Comets have cruised to the semifinals.
Can they keep up the domination, like they did 20 years ago? You make the call. Click here or on the image below to vote.
It speaks to the height of Spanish soccer that country’s famous tandem of Barcelona and Real Madrid produced three of the best four seasons of the modern era. And the contrast in our first matchup is interesting because it draws a sharp comparison between a team of ideologues and a side of pragmatists.
The second semifinal pits two treble winners against one another. And even if United was much less dominant than Barca in their respective seasons, they are both studies in how controversy is forgotten by the passage of time. Click here or on the image below to vote.
We’re onto the third round in our “Best Teams Ever” bracket and the very best squads from four separate dynasties — and four of the top five ranked clubs heading into the tourney — have made it through, as the ‘85 Edmonton Oilers, ‘77 Montreal Canadiens, ‘83 New York Islanders and ‘92 Pittsburgh Penguins remain.
Our voters also made it clear that hockey’s greatest all-time teams, including the four remaining in our NHL bracket, were forged within a 15-year span between the late 1970’s and early 1990’s. The ‘85 Oilers and ‘77 Canadiens are generally regarded as the best two squads ever, and could be on a collision to meet in our final. Click here or on the image below to vote.
Welcome to the Final Four. And you should not be surprised that the four drivers remaining are four of the most iconic drivers in NASCAR history.
We’ve got an all-Fox analyst matchup in one semifinal and the other features a matchup of seven-time Cup Series champions. Jeff Gordon looks like a heavy favorite over Darrell Waltrip. Will he make the final and face Dale Earnhardt or Richard Petty? Click here or on the image below to vote.
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