Power Ranking the Top 20 College Basketball Programs of All Time

Jim OTDContributor IJune 24, 2010

Power Ranking the Top 20 College Basketball Programs of All Time

0 of 20

    Which college basketball programs have been the best over the years? Is UCLA or Kentucky the #1 program?

    Triangle Hoops Journal has ranked the top programs of all-time.

    The factors considered were national championships, total wins, NCAA Tournament wins, Final Fours, and conference championships. In addition, a key component to the rankings was name recognition, which took into account whether the ranking made sense based on the program’s reputation and whether the program is generally associated with college basketball success.

    The following rules were applied in order to improve the logic of the rankings:

    • A program without a national championship cannot attain a top 10 ranking. The top 10 programs are the truly elite programs, and a program cannot seriously be considered as the best of the best without ever cutting down the nets.

    • NCAA Tournament success was a major factor and is given more credit than any other factor. Therefore, in ranking programs with similar resumes, this was the deciding factor in which program deserved the higher ranking.

    • A program with success in multiple eras was given more credit than a program with success in only one era. For example, Michigan State's two National Championships (79, 00) indicate greater long-term achievement and consistency than UConn's two National Championships (99, 04), and assuming all other factors were equal, Michigan State would earn the higher ranking.

    Did your favorite school make the Top 20? Read on to find out!

20. Temple Owls

1 of 20

    Rounding out the Top 20 is Temple, which attained its ranking based on its 1,740 all-time wins (#6), two Final Fours, 31 NCAA Tournament wins, and 10 conference championships.

    Best known figure: John Chaney
    Best player: Mark Macon

19. Marquette Golden Eagles

2 of 20

    Marquette has one NCAA Championship, 1,445 all-time wins, three Final Fours, and 34 NCAA Tournament wins.

    Best known figure: Al McGuire
    Best player: Dwyane Wade

18. Oklahoma State Cowboys

3 of 20

    The Cowboys have two NCAA Championships, 1,502 all-time wins, six Final Fours, and 38 NCAA Tournament wins.

    Their ranking was hurt by the fact that their championships were won in the 1940s.

    Best known figure: Eddie Sutton
    Best player: Bob Kurland

17. Illinois Fighting Illini

4 of 20

    Illinois has 1,630 all-time wins, five Final Fours, 38 NCAA Tournament wins, and 17 Big 10 Championships.

    Best Known Figure: Lou Henson
    Best Player: Kendall Gill

16. Villanova Wildcats

5 of 20

    Villanova has one NCAA Championship, 1,530 all-time wins, four Final Fours, and 49 NCAA Tournament wins (#8).

    Best known figure: Rollie Massimino
    Best player: Paul Arizin

15. Arkansas Razorbacks

6 of 20

    Arkansas was another team underrated by ESPN/Sagarin. The Razorbacks have one NCAA Championship, six Final Fours, and 40 NCAA Tournament wins. Their success has spanned multiple eras.

    Best known figure: Nolan Richardson
    Best player: Sidney Moncreif

14. Georgetown Hoyas

7 of 20

    The Hoyas have one NCAA Championship, five Final Fours, 45 NCAA Tournament wins, 10 Big East Championships, and 1,499 all-time wins.

    Best known figure: John Thompson
    Best player: Patrick Ewing

13. Cincinnati Bearcats

8 of 20

    The Bearcats have two NCAA Championships, 1,572 all-time wins, six Final Fours, and 40 NCAA Tournament wins.

    Cincinnati's NCAA Championships were won in the 1960s ('60 & '61).

    Best known figure: Oscar Robertson/Bob Huggins
    Best player: Oscar Robertson

12. NC State Wolfpack

9 of 20

    The Wolfpack has two NCAA Championships, 1,560 all-time wins, 10 ACC Championships, three Final Fours, and 32 NCAA Tournament wins. The Wolfpack is ranked slightly ahead of Cincinnati because its titles were won in multiple eras under different coaches.

    Best known figure: Jim Valvano
    Best player: David Thompson

11. Michigan Wolverines

10 of 20

    The Wolverines have one NCAA Championship, 15 Big 10 Championships, six Final Fours, and 42 NCAA Tournament wins.

    Best known figure: Chris Webber
    Best player: Glen Rice

10. Ohio State Buckeyes

11 of 20

    Ohio State has one NCAA Championship, 10 Final Fours, 20 Big 10 Championships, and has been the NCAA runner-up several times. The Buckeyes' success spans multiple eras, reaching Final Fours in seven different decades.

    Best known figure: Clark Kellogg
    Best player: Jerry Lucas

9. Syracuse Orange

12 of 20

    The Orange are No. 5 in all-time wins with 1783, have four Final Fours, one NCAA Championship, and 52 NCAA Tournament wins. They have been incredibly consistent under Coach Boeheim.

    Best known figure: Jim Boeheim
    Best player: Derrick Coleman

8. Michigan State Spartans

13 of 20

    The Spartans have two NCAA Championships, eight Final Fours, 10 Big Ten Championships, and 52 NCAA Tournament wins.

    Best known figure: Magic Johnson
    Best player: Magic Johnson

7. Louisville Cardinals

14 of 20

    The Cardinals have two NCAA Championships, eight Final Fours, 60 NCAA Tournament wins, and 1,607 all-time wins.

    Best known figure: Denny Crum
    Best player: Wes Unseld

6. Indiana Hoosiers

15 of 20

    The Hoosiers' five NCAA Championships were won in several eras from 1940 to 1987. Indiana is just below Duke and Kansas because IU has not had as much recent success, but does have eight Final Fours, 60 NCAA Tournament wins, and 20 Big Ten Championships.

    Best known figure: Bob Knight
    Best player: Scott May

5. Kansas Jayhawks

16 of 20

    The Jayhawks' program comes in just ahead of Indiana based on their 2,003 all-time wins (#3), 13 Final Fours, 84 NCAA Tournament wins, and three National Championships spanning a period of 58 years.

    Best known figure: James Naismith
    Best player: Danny Manning

4. Duke Blue Devils

17 of 20

    The Blue Devils have four NCAA Championships, 15 Final Fours (#3), 94 NCAA Tournament wins (#4) and 1,911 all-time wins (#4). Their only weakness is that all of their NCAA Championships were won after 1990.

    Best known figure: Mike Krzyzewski
    Best player: Christian Laettner

3. North Carolina Tar Heels

18 of 20

    Carolina is just slightly below Kentucky and UCLA. The Heels have five NCAA Championships, 18 Final Fours (#1), 102 NCAA Tournament wins (#1), and is #2 in all-time wins.

    Best known figure: Michael Jordan
    Best player: Phil Ford/Michael Jordan

2. UCLA Bruins

19 of 20

    The Bruins' program could really be considered #1b. UCLA has 11 NCAA Championships, 17 Final Fours, 99 NCAA Tournament wins, and 30 conference championships. Perhaps no program can match UCLA's legendary status, with the likes of Wooden, Alcindor, and Walton.

    Best known figure: John Wooden
    Best player: Lew Alcindor

1. Kentucky Wildcats

20 of 20

    A close call between UK and UCLA, but Kentucky is #1 in all-time wins (200 more than UCLA) and has had success dating back to the 1940s. Kentucky has seven National Championships, 13 Final Fours, 103 NCAA Tournament wins, and 27 conference championships.

    Best known figure: Adolf Rupp/Rick Pitino
    Best player: Jamal Mashburn