Editor's note: This is a story that has been updated since its first release in March of 2008.
Since the NCAA Men's Basketball Division I Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985 (and later to 65 teams in 2001 and now 68), there have been countless Cinderella stories each March.
Occasionally, it's an inconsistent team from a power conference that finally puts the pieces together for a deep tournament run. Other times, mid-major teams shock name-brand schools and find themselves playing beyond the first weekend.
If previously struggling teams from major conferences and little known programs from smaller leagues can surprise heavily favored squads in a fit of March Madness, couldn't some of the historically great high school teams do the same?
MaxPreps Senior Writer Stephen Spiewak thinks so, and looks at the top 10 high school teams that would've fared well amid the chaos of March Madness.10. 1999 Rice (New York City)
Perennial New York City powerhouse Rice has seen its share of basketball prodigies. The small Catholic school, located in Harlem, has been home to Sports Illustrated cover-boy Felipe Lopez, late blossoming scoring machine Keydren Clark, and current Big East point guards Edgar Sosa and Kemba Walker.
The school's 1999 team featured none of these players, but still may have had the best shot of beating a successful college team.
The Raiders' best player that year was Kenny Satterfield, a gritty playmaker who personified the New York City point guard archetype, later developing a reputation for his performances in streetball games. He was the NYSSWA state player of the year, displaying a mix of mental and physical attributes.
As if having the best high school player in talent-rich New York City doesn't make a team a threat to win a tournament game, Rice also featured super talented junior guard Andre Barrett.
The 5-8 Barrett was part of Seton Hall's landmark recruiting class that featured Marcus Toney-El and Eddie Griffin. He led the team to the second round of the tournament in 2004, and with the help of Kyle Cuff and Andre Sweet, could've done the same for the 1999 Rice team.
Cuff was a 6-7 forward who played for St. John's. Sweet was an inch shorter and had a leaner build, and often flew under the radar. However, he was a two time All-City selection who made stops at Duke and Seton Hall in his collegiate career.
Kenny Bell was also a valuable contributor overshadowed by the likes of Barrett and Satterfield.
The Raiders captured the coveted CHSAA crown, beating long time rival Christ the King*. The team then went on to capture the New York Federation state title behind 32 points from Satterfield and 19 from Barrett.
Finishing 27-1, many people pegged Rice as the country's top team. Finishing atop USA Today's national rankings, which were compiled by current MaxPreps Senior Writer Dave Krider, was another team however, Oak Hill Academy (Va.). But the Warriors needed overtime to edge Christ the King by two points, whereas the Raiders won by double figures.
If they got to set the pace of the game and pushed the tempo, the 1999 Rice Raiders would have challenged many of the teams in the bracket's first round.
*NOTE: In 1996, Christ the King's team was thought to be the city's best in more than a decade. It featured Lamar Odom, Speedy Claxton, and Erik Barkley. However, that squad was upset by a less talented Rice team that went on to win the state title. Still, the 1996 Christ the King squad no doubt would have given a scare to several tournament teams.Continue reading