7. 1990 King (Chicago)
With respect to the other great King teams (1986 and 1993 come to mind), the 1990 team was the best equipped to handle the rigors of March Madness, and could have won a first-round game.
Landon "Sonny" Cox built King into a powerhouse program from the early 1980s through the start of 2000s, and churned out top-flite talent routinely. His teams were often feared and revered by other schools, though he was often disliked by other coaches, who accused him of illegal recruiting.
In 1990, King, which was located in the heart of gang territory, rose above the mean streets on Chicago's South Side to national prominence, recording a 32-0 season and a Class AA state title.
Cox's squad was stockpiled with gifted players. The team's leader was Jamie Brandon, a senior who ranked alongside Anfernee Hardaway, Grant Hill and Shawn Bradley as one of the nation's top prospects. He ultimately decided on LSU.
The Jaguars also featured Division I talent at forward with Johnny Selvie and point guard with Ahmad Shareef. However, the team's X-Factor for a March Madness game would have been freshman Rashad Griffith. A 7-foot prodigy, Griffith was a much ballyhooed basketball phenom in middle school, and a huge presence defensively for King as a ninth-grader.
Griffith, a future first-round NBA draft pick, later led King to a state title in 1993, along with fellow 7-footer Thomas Hamilton. With his defensive and rebounding contributions complementing the team's explosive scoring, the 1990 Chicago King team would have been a difficult first-round matchup for any collegiate team that lacked either stellar guard play or a true interior presence. King had both.Continue reading