Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ranking the top 10 college basketball programs of all-time

By late Monday night, the NCAA will have crowned a college basketball champion for this year's tournament.

In what began as a 68-team field, only four teams now remain: Louisville, Wichita State, Michigan, and Syracuse. That group will battle for basketball supremacy this weekend at the Georgia Dome.

Three of those four schools have already won at least one national title in their respective histories. The only school who has not is Wichita State.

So, given the fact that we are approaching the end of the college basketball season, I thought it would be interesting to rank the top 10 basketball programs in NCAA history.

Feel free to agree or disagree with the rankings by dropping a line in the comment section below.

Honorable Mentions: Arizona Wildcats, Cincinnati Bearcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Utah Utes, North Carolina State Wolfpack, Michigan Wolverines, and Georgetown Hoyas

Syracuse Orange athletic logo

#10 - Syracuse Orange

Wins: 1,867
Win Percentage: .694
National Titles: 1
Final Fours: 5
Sweet Sixteens: 21
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 36
Conference Regular Season Titles: 10

Michigan State Spartans athletic logo

#9 - Michigan State Spartans

Wins: 1,534
Win Percentage: .538
National Titles: 2
Final Fours: 8
Sweet Sixteens: 17
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 27
Conference Regular Season Titles: 13

Connecticut Huskies athletic logo

#8 - Connecticut Huskies

Wins: 1,567
Win Percentage: .641
National Titles: 3
Final Fours: 4
Sweet Sixteens: 16
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 31
Conference Regular Season Titles: 28

Louisville Cardinals athletic logo

#7 - Louisville Cardinals

Wins: 1,694
Win Percentage: .661
National Titles: 3
Final Fours: 10
Sweet Sixteens: 26
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 39
Conference Regular Season Titles: 22

Indiana Hoosiers athletic logo

#6 - Indiana Hoosiers

Wins: 1,719
Win Percentage: .640
National Titles: 5
Final Fours: 8
Sweet Sixteens: 21
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 37
Conference Regular Season Titles: 21

Kansas Jayhawks athletic logo

#5 - Kansas Jayhawks

Wins: 2,101
Win Percentage: .721
National Titles: 3
Final Fours: 14
Sweet Sixteens: 30
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 42
Conference Regular Season Titles: 56

Duke Blue Devils  athletic logo

#4 - Duke Blue Devils

Wins: 2,001
Win Percentage: .704
National Titles: 4
Final Fours: 15
Sweet Sixteens: 27
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 37
Conference Regular Season Titles: 22

North Carolina Tar Heels athletic logo

#3 - North Carolina Tar Heels

Wins: 2,078
Win Percentage: .738
National Titles: 5
Final Fours: 18
Sweet Sixteens: 30
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 43
Conference Regular Season Titles: 36

UCLA Bruins athletic logo

#2 - UCLA Bruins

Wins: 1,789
Win Percentage: .698
National Titles: 11
Final Fours: 18
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 45
Conference Regular Season Titles: 30

Kentucky Wildcats athletic logo

#1 - Kentucky Wildcats

Wins: 2,111
Win Percentage: .762
National Titles: 8
Final Fours: 15
Sweet Sixteens: 39
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 53
Conference Regular Season Titles: 52


  1. ucla has 10 no way wildcats beat that

    1. I think the reason UK is ahead of UCLA is because they lead UCLA in all other categories. Other than the John Wooden era, UCLA hasn't been that great of a program. And they've only got one title since the 70's. I feel UCLA being #2 is only because of championships, they have the worst win percentage of any team in the top 5

    2. BB....Wooden's titles were bought by Poppa Sam Gilbert. Not like everyone else who won theirs. It's a shame that the truth was covered up about how much creating Wooden did in winning his titles. Sam Gilbert spent no telling how much money buying players for UCLA. I lived in the LA area during those yrs and know how those players lives and was taken care of. Poor Wooden....It's Bull Crap.

    3. That's a bull**** comment....that's right no other team cheats....only UCLA....allegedly...UCLA #1...championships and final fours are the ONLY thing that counts...

  2. How many Sweet Sixteens did UCLA appear in?

  3. UCLA has eleven banners, and that should hold sway!

    1. When making an all-time list I think you have to look at sustained excellence over the entire history of the program. UCLA had the most amazing run ever but they were not much before the Wooden era and have been a roller coaster ride since.

  4. KU has Duke on 5 of the seven categories and only 1 behind on each that they drop, plus wins go all the way back so what of the 2 Helms titles that would put one ahead...

    1. I agree that KU should be ahead of Duke and it's not my dislike for the Devils that sways my thoughts. KU has been consistent over the years and has over 100 more wins and a better winning percentage. To be honest it should be UK, UNC, KU then UCLA. Everyone gets blinded by a decade of dominance from the Bruins and the great John Wooden but that is all they have done. They are well over 300 wins behind UK, UNC and KU and very little success after Wooden left. Only 5 FF's since the 70's and 3 of those were with the coach they just fired. Great coach but not a great tradition and when talking about the best all-time you have to have greats after your program has been established. That's why I say UK, UNC and then KU. Multiple titles with different coaches.....I understand UCLA has won it with 2 different coaches but UK has 5 coaches with a ring, UNC has 3 as does KU. Plus those schools did theirs over multiple decades.

  5. Marquette---history as independent, 3 final fours, numerous Sweet 16's (only one of 4 schools to be 3 in row right now), Nit champ years ago; AT LEAST HONORABLE MENTION

    1. Slowly step away from the keyboard. This is a discuss on the greatest of all time...not who you think is a good team right now. You have nearly 600 less wins than UK, UNC and KU. 3 FF's don't get you into the discussion. Honorable mention is reserved for schools that have won a title more than once. Florida, Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, San Francisco, North Carolina State.....and/or multiple FF's like Ohio State and Georgetown.

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  7. Pretty good list. I would have put Georgetown rather than Syracuse
    but my hatred of Syracuse might have something to do with that.

  8. Oklahoma State before Syracuse....The Pokes have had some dry years in between Iba and Sutton (and again) - but we have more National Championships and a Coach (Mr. Iba) who was so great that they changed some rules in basketball because of him.

    Syracuse just gets more media exposure.

  9. Good list. And ya, I also agree that UCLA shouldn't be #1 since so much of their success came from just one era.

    1. @anonymous: so what!!! they won the championships. This is a basketball programs of all-time list, get it? OF ALL TIME!!!

  10. Include all NCAA BB programs not just the men's then make your list. If it is just men's programs then say "Top Ten Men's NCAA Programs" You guys always ignore what women's programs and the coaches have done. (example you guys always say most wins by a coach and all I hear is Coach K.....Pat Summit has more wins than any coach and is hardly mentioned.)So I think if you are making a list of all time then some women's programs are deserving for example Tennessee and U-Con they have better programs and percentages than some on your so called top ten list.

    1. I believe it's implied that this list is primarily comprised of men's programs. I begin the article by outlining the men's Final Four teams, and even reference Monday night's title game, which would obviously not be true for the women's side. If you included women's programs, than you would certainly have to include the likes of UConn and Tennessee. Their dominance in the women's game rivals any program on the men's side.

  11. UCLA with got there banners when the NCAA wasnt a long drawn out fight to the top. Wasnt it like 12 teams was all that got a chance at a Championship?? Honestly your arguments are good but i think if you go with the last 10 years as the most important or even the last 20 years it changes there list alot. and i agree the womens teams should be in the mix. number one is ucon womens then Pat Summets tenn vols then the guys teams start showing up. but not UCLA i have a hard time thinking there even in the top ten. thanks

  12. Whats the stats on Ohio State Buckeyes?

    1. Wins - 1,931
      Win Percentage - .605
      National Titles - 1
      Final Fours - 10*
      Sweet Sixteens - 15
      NCAA Tournament Appearances - 26**
      Conference Regular Season Titles - 20***

      * 1999 Final Four vacated due to NCAA violations
      ** 1999, 2000, 2001, & 2002 appearances vacated
      *** 2000 & 2002 titles vacated

  13. Como? Porque no esta nombrado UNLV en la Segundo lista? Champion in '90, y con 4 finale quatros!

  14. Sorry! 18 Final Four appearances and 11 championships vs. Kentucky's 15 appearances and 8 championships says it all unless, of course, championships don't matter! Sounds like some Kentucky bias. Any way you cut it, they are the two top programs in history!

    1. Sure, UCLA has more titles and Final Four appearances, but the bulk of those came all at once, and in a time when the college basketball landscape was far less competitive. Kentucky gets the nod because of their sustained success throughout history, as well as the fact that they have the most wins, more NCAA Tournament appearances, and more conference titles. Furthermore, they also boast a considerable edge in winning percentage. No Kentucky bias here. I'm an alum of the University of Louisville.

  15. UK is an easy #1 here. However, is this list was about the greatest run in NCAA history UCLA no doubt has the nod.

  16. top three easy is uk,ku and nc. next three ind.,ucla and duke. just based on winning pct. and consistency. of course, if we were talking about tradition it would be kansas by a long shot.

  17. I disagree Jimmi.
    I am a Syracuse and Indiana fan.
    Top 10 -
    10 - UCLA
    9 - Florida
    8 - Indiana
    7 - Syracuse
    6 - Louisville
    5 - Kentucky
    4 - Kansas
    3 - Connecticut
    2 - UNC
    1 - Duke
    Honorable -
    Ohio St
    Oklahoma St
    NC St
    Michigan St

    1. Seiously? UK #5 on list and UCLA #10?....and UCONN #3...How did you come up with that if you don't mind me asking