tbd by the editor
AP Photo

12. San Francisco, 1956

When Bill Russell played at San Francisco, advanced stats were still decades away. The NCAA didn't even count blocks then. So we only know about Russell's defensive prowess through stories and anecdotes. And they all suggest that he was a defensive monster. Russell scored 26 points and grabbed 27 rebounds in his team's 83-71 victory over Iowa in the national title game. He made the all-tournament team for the second consecutive season in his team's second national championship run in a row. But Russell could have led Topeka YMCA to the Final Four. He was that good. The NCAA expanded the lane prior to the start of the 1955-56 season to limit Russell's ability to single-handedly put a lid on the basket. Few programs in this pool matched San Francisco's level of dominance in this era. -- Myron Medcalf