NCAA Basketball: Kentucky, Harvard, and the Top 10 Home Winning Streaks

Max RogersCorrespondent IFebruary 26, 2012

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky, Harvard, and the Top 10 Home Winning Streaks

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    The New York Knicks' and Jeremy Lin's hot streak slowed down on Thursday night, with Lin scoring only eight points, while making eight turnovers in an 88-102 loss to Miami. The home winning streak of Jeremy Lin's alma mater, Harvard, also came to an end this week. 

    With Saturday's 54-55 loss to Penn at the Crimson’s Lavietes Pavilion, Harvard’s home-court winning streak ended at 28 games.   

    Harvard (24-4, 10-2) went into the Penn game ranked second in NCAA Division I men’s basketball home game winning streaks, behind No. 1 Kentucky that currently has 51-consecutive home-court wins. 

    At 24 wins this season, the current Crimson squad has the most wins in Harvard history, which stands at one above last season’s record of 23 wins. By beating Princeton on Friday, Harvard still stands a good chance at receiving an NCAA tournament bid. The Crimson’s last appearance in the NCAA tournament was also their first in 1946. 

    Leading the NCAA Division I men's basketball home winning streaks is Kentucky (28-1, 14-0). With Saturday's 83-74 win over Vanderbilt, the Wildcats claimed their 51st consecutive home win, and their 45th SEC regular season championship. Kentucky looks almost certain to claim an NCAA tournament No. 1 seed come Selection Sunday.

    Kentucky has made 52 NCAA tournament appearances, and been in 14 Final Fours. With seven championships, the Wildcats have the second most in NCAA tournament history, behind UCLA’s 11 championships in 44 appearances.

    With 51-consecutive home-court wins, the current Kentucky Wildcat's home winning streak is still 20 wins behind the 10th longest NCAA Division I men’s basketball home-court winning streak.

    What teams hold the top 10 longest home-court winning streaks? I'll give you one hint: Kentucky ranks somewhere in the top 10.

    Let’s take a look at the full top 10 list.

    (Official NCAA home-court win record information can be found on page 53 of the 2010-2011 NCAA Division I Records.)

Honorable Mention #11 Kansas Jayhawks

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    With a 69-game home-court winning streak, Kansas ranks No. 11, and receives an honorable mention for the most recent home-court winning streak to approach the top 10.

    Between 2007-2011 Kansas won 69 games in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks’ streak was eventually broken in 2011 when they lost to then-No. 10 Texas (74-63).  

#10 Arizona Wildcats

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    Between 1987 and 1992 the Arizona Wildcats racked up an impressive 71-consecutive wins in Arizona's McKale Center, earning them the No. 10 spot on this list.

    That all came to an end in January of 1992, when the UCLA Bruins beat the Arizona Wildcats 89-87. 

    The UCLA Bruins also rank on this list, can you guess where? 

#9 UNLV Rebels

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    Between 1974 and 1978 the UNLV Runnin' Rebels accumulated 72-home game wins, earning them the No. 9 spot. In 1978, a 98-102 loss to the New Mexico Lobos put an end to the Rebels' home game winning streak. 

    During the later part of this time, UNLV was in a two-year NCAA probation period that included various sanctions. The Rebels' coach during UNLV's longest home winning streak period, Jerry Tarkanian, was also the coach of the No. 8 team on this list. Coach Tarkanian had a long history of disputes with the NCAA.

    On a side note, the Rebels' home winning streak occurred close to the time UNLV made some changes to the school's mascot (seen in the included photo). For an interesting history on the UNLV Rebel mascot check out here.

#8 Long Beach State 49ers

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    From 1968 to 1974 the Long Beach State 49ers pulled off 75-consecutive home wins, placing them at No. 8. LBSU's home winning streak came to an end at the hands of San Francisco after a 1974 84-94 loss. 

    It should be noted that LBSU, under Coach Jerry Tarkanian, vacated a total of six NCAA tournament wins and three tournament losses between the years of 1971-1973. However, all of their regular season wins during this time still stand.  

    Still wondering who will take the No. 1 spot on this list? Here's a clue: in 2009 LBSU lost 73-86 to the school with the longest home winning streak in NCAA Division I men's basketball history.  

#7 Lamar Cardinals

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    Between the years of 1978 to 1984 the Lamar Cardinals went on an 80-home game winning streak, which was good enough to earn them to the No. 7 spot on the list of longest home-court winning streaks.

    Lamar's streak was ended in 1984, when the Cardinals lost 65-68 to Louisiana Tech.  

    During this period, Lamar made four of their five appearances (1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 2000) in the NCAA tournament. The Louisiana Tech Bullfrogs have also made five NCAA tournament appearances, all from the mid-80s to 1991. 

#5 (tie) Marquette Golden Eagles

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    The No. 5 spot on the list is a two-way tie. 

    Up first, the Marquette Golden Eagles who from 1967 to 1973 accumulated a grand total of 81-home game wins. The Golden Eagles' streak ended after a 69-71 1973 loss to Notre Dame.

    In 1974 the Fighting Irish ended a different type of win streak (88-continuous total wins) for another team on this list.  Keep reading to find out which team. 

#5 (tie) Arizona Wildcats

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    Arizona, the other team tied for the No. 5 spot on the list of top 10 home winning streaks, holds the unique distinction of being the only team to make this list twice. 

    From 1945 to 1951 Arizona built an 81-home game winning streak. Now in the Pac-12 (since 1978), Arizona was a member of the BIAA during this period. Arizona was the BIAA Conference regular season champion every year from 1946-1951.

    The Wildcats made their first NCAA tournament appearance in 1951, where they lost to Kansas State (61-59) in the second round.  Interestingly, the Kansas State Wildcats were also the team to break Arizona's home game winning streak after a 1951 76-57 win over Arizona in Tucson. 

#4 Cincinnati Bearcats

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    The No. 4 spot on the list belongs to the Cincinnati Bearcats, which from 1957-1964 went on a tear, accumulating 86 home-court wins. The Bearcats reign came to an end after a 77-87 loss to Bradley in 1964. 

    During this period, the Bearcats earned both of their two NCAA tournament championships (1961, 1962) out of a total of 25 appearances. The Bradley Braves, on the other hand, have yet to win a tournament championship in their eight appearances.  

#3 UCLA Bruins

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    With the most NCAA tournament championships (11) of any team, it would be a surprise if UCLA didn't make this list. The Bruins come in at the No. 3 spot, having won a consecutive 98 home-court wins from 1970-1976. 

    During this time, UCLA managed to also pull off another incrediable feat by piling up 88 consecutive total wins, which came to an end in 1974 after a thrilling 70-71 loss to Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

    UCLA was in the NCAA tournament every year between 1970 and 1976. The Bruins won five (1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975) of their 11 tournament championships during this time. 

#2 St. Bonaventure Bonnies

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    Coming in at No. 2 is a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies. In an impressive span of years from 1948-1961 the Bonnies won a total of 99 consecutive home wins.

    The Bonnies home-court winning streak came to end in 1961 after a 77-87 loss to Niagara.

    St. Bonaventure made its first of five NCAA tournament appearances in 1961. In the 1961 tournament the Bonnies defeated Rhode Island (86-76) in the second round, then lost to Wake Forest (73-78), before defeating Princeton in the third place game (85-67). 

#1 Kentucky Wildcats

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    If you were paying attention at the beginning when it was mentioned that Kentucky was on this top 10 home-court winning streak list, it should be no surprise to see the Wildcats in the No. 1 spot. 

    The Wildcats currently play in Rupp Arena, which opened in 1976 in Lexington, Kentucky. With a capacity approaching 24,000, Rupp is the largest arena in the US built specifically for basketball. The arena is named after famed Wildcats basketball coach, Adolph Rupp. 

    Coach Rupp led Kentucky to an insane 129 consecutive home-court wins between the years of 1943-1955. Making Kentucky's home-court winning streak both the longest and oldest on this top ten list.  A 1955 58-59 loss to Georgia Tech in Memorial Coliseum ended the Wildcats' home winning streak at 129 games. 

    With Kentucky's current 51 home-court wins, they're still a long way away from even approaching their own record in this category that in itself is 30 wins over the No. 2 spot.

    Will the Wildcats keep winning at home to break into the top 10 again? Only time will tell.