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Ranking the No. 1 men's college basketball recruiting classes in the ESPN era

RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish were the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 recruits in the 2018 class, and all of them signed with Duke. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Recruiting is a sign of looking ahead toward the future. Given it's national signing week, however, we are going to look back.

This is the 15th season in which ESPN has ranked men's college basketball recruiting classes and prospects. Currently, Michigan leads the race for the No. 1 spot in the Class of 2021. Here are the teams that have earned that ranking since 2007:

2007: USC
2008: UCLA
2009: Kentucky
2010: Kentucky
2011: Kentucky
2012: UCLA
2013: Kentucky
2014: Duke
2015: Duke
2016: Kentucky
2017: Duke
2018: Duke
2019: Memphis
2020: Kentucky

But of those, which ones are the best? We rank the top five No. 1-ranked recruiting classes based on how their groups of prospects impacted their school, how far they led their college in the NCAA tournament, where those players were drafted and how they are faring professionally.