Which Is the Better Basketball Job: Oklahoma or Arizona?

Tim BondCorrespondent IApril 3, 2009

MIAMI - MARCH 22:  Guard Nic Wise #13 of the  University of Arizona Wildcats steals the ball from guard Cedric Jackson #11 of the Cleveland State University Vikings during the second round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the American Airlines Arena on March 22, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Now, before everyone of you jump to conclusions, just stop, relax, and read on.


Arizona has had a ton of success under their longtime coach, Lute Olson.

Coach Olson went on to win 598 games for the Wildcats. In my opinion, he is one of the best teachers to ever coach the game. However, that is not what this topic or this article is about.


I am wondering what everyone's opinion is when it comes to the different jobs. I know most of you will think Arizona is far and away the better job. I will not argue with your opinions on that. However, numbers do not lie.


From here on out, you will be looking at a minture of statistical numbers showing the differences between the two programs and my opinion. 


The History of Arizona Wildcat Basketball:


First Season: 1904

Games played: 2428

All-Time Record: 1567-861 (64.5%)

Conference Titles: 21

NCAA Appearances: 28

NCAA Sweet 16: 14

NCAA Elite 8: 8

NCAA Final Four: 4

National Championship Games: 2

National Championships: 1

20 win seasons: 30

30 win seasons: 3


As you can see, Arizona's history does not look that bad. In fact, it looks better than most of the 300+ programs in the NCAA division 1 league. However, you will notice later, how much of that impressive history occurred since 1983.


The History of Oklahoma Sooner Basketball:


First Season: 1908

Games Played: 2437

All-Time Record: 1497-940 (61.4%)

Conference Titles: 18

NCAA Appearances: 26

NCAA Sweet 16: 8

NCAA Elite 8: 6

NCAA Final Four: 4

National Championship Game: 2

National Championships: 0

20 win seasons: 28

30 win seasons: 5


As you can see, Oklahoma's history rivals that of Arizona. Yes, some things are in favor of Arizona, but overall, these stats are virtually even. So is Arizona truly the better program?

Lute Olson took over Arizona in 1983 following a 4-24 season for the Wildcats. The Wildcats were looking for a coach that had a history of turning programs around. Lute Olson was able to turn the Iowa Hawkeyes into contenders, so what better coach to get?


When he arrived at Arizona, he made an immediate impact. Like I stated earlier. I think Lute Olson was one of the best teachers to have ever coached this game.

So that brings us to the following stats. These stats show us what Arizona was able to accomplish with Lute Olson as their coach. It is very impressive.


However, on the other side of the coin, it shows Arizona lacks consistency without Lute Olson as their man.


Arizona Basketball from 1983-2007 (Under Lute Olson):


Record: 598-188 (76.1%)

Post Season Appearances (NIT and NCAA): 23 (all NCAA Tourney bids)

Sweet 16: 12

Elite 8: 7

Final Four: 4

Championship Games: 2
National Champions:


Oklahoma Basketball from 1983-2007:


Record: 597-227 (72.5%)

Post Season Appearances (NIT and NCAA): 24 (all but 4 are NCAA bids)

Sweet 16: 7

Elite 8: 4

Final Four: 2

Championship Games: 1

National Champions: 0


Can you see the difference?


Arizona tops Oklahoma in almost every category while Lute Olson was at the helm. However, it does show the Sooners had some very good success as well.


All these stats show Arizona might have the better history, no matter how slight it is. But it also shows Oklahoma has been the more consistent program throughout the history of each school.


So is Arizona the better basketball job over Oklahoma?


In my opinion, no. But I do think they are both very good programs and both programs are even with each other when it comes to their history in college basketball.