50 Greatest Programs of All-Time (Updated Through 2021)

dukedevilz

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I think my next random stat to include here before the annual update in April, is to include the all-time leading scorers from each of the P6 schools, as well as any school in my top 75. If you know your school's all-time point scorer, go ahead and post it. That will save me some time.
 

Kevin Bryan

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I think my next random stat to include here before the annual update in April, is to include the all-time leading scorers from each of the P6 schools, as well as any school in my top 75. If you know your school's all-time point scorer, go ahead and post it. That will save me some time.
Dan Issel 2,138 (in 3 years - 83 games)
 

dukedevilz

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Darius Miller holds the UK record of 152, 1 more game than Turner.

Some super senior is going to crush the NCAA record for most games played this year. Jordan Bohannon is the most likely candidate. He's played 153 games... but still hasn't played in a Sweet 16.

Here is the 150 game club.

 

Kevin Bryan

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Some super senior is going to crush the NCAA record for most games played this year. Jordan Bohannon is the most likely candidate. He's played 153 games... but still hasn't played in a Sweet 16.

Here is the 150 game club.

Lighty was good. Dude could light it up for sure, fitting name.

Where is Perry Ellis? 24 years at Kansas, surely he played in over 150 games.
 

dukedevilz

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Lighty was good. Dude could light it up for sure, fitting name.

Where is Perry Ellis? 24 years at Kansas, surely he played in over 150 games.

Sure seemed like he was there forever!

The first 6 guys on that list had the benefit of playing 5-6 years. Darius Miller and Deon Thompson are the leaders for games played among those who only played 4 years. KU only won 7 tournament games during the Perry Ellis years, so that limited him a bit. Deon Thompson and Darius Miller were both a part of 13 NCAA Tournament wins.
 
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Bert Higginbotha

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Stats are so misleading.

Issel was special. But the times were against him. Four regionals. At that time Issel's regional had all the power teams.

Plus Issel was the second best player in the SEC. The best player was Maravich. He never got to play in an NCAA game because only one team from a conference could play in the NCAA. UK whipped his ass every time.
 

dukedevilz

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Again, I respect that it’s “all about the NC” … but San Francisco is not a better program all-time than Illinois, lol. Not close. So, I’d say that’s an indication that it’s being overvalued.

You're looking at the old rankings from the original post. I've modified the system and included a few more metrics. Still not perfect. But, Illinois is currently ranked 26th, while San Francisco is 28th.
 

dukedevilz

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And it's not like San Francisco just had two good runs with Bill Russell. They have 16 conference championships, coupled with 7 Elite Eight appearances.
 

Bert Higginbotha

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And it's not like San Francisco just had two good runs with Bill Russell. They have 16 conference championships, coupled with 7 Elite Eight appearances.
You know more about it than me; however, being 75 years old I remember how the Western region was so damned weak that anyone could win. 16 conference championships are meaningless. 7 Elite Eights in the "West" is meaningless also.

Hell half of the time UCLA got to the final four they had played few top 20 teams. Check it out. If I am wrong call me a liar.

Sorry, but the old setup sucked and that is why they changed it. The West and Midwest had an easy walk while the other two regions killed each other.
 

dukedevilz

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You know more about it than me; however, being 75 years old I remember how the Western region was so damned weak that anyone could win. 16 conference championships are meaningless. 7 Elite Eights in the "West" is meaningless also.

Hell half of the time UCLA got to the final four they had played few top 20 teams. Check it out. If I am wrong call me a liar.

Sorry, but the old setup sucked and that is why they changed it. The West and Midwest had an easy walk while the other two regions killed each other.

Yes, I would agree the regions weren't evenly balanced. And I'm not giving San Francisco a full 5 points for being a conference champion, only unless they were ranked in the final poll, as well as one other team in their conference.

The conference title thing is the hardest to quantify, because it's impossibly subjective. But, still feel like it's important to include in the numbers. Kentucky, for example, would still be #1 on my all-time list, regardless of which conference they were affiliated with. But, they almost certainly wouldn't have that many conference championships if they played in the ACC.

San Francisco was still an elite team. They were frequently ranked in the top 10/20. In 1964 and 1965, USF lost to UCLA in the regional finals- and UCLA's smallest margin of victory came to USF both years.

So, would USF be ranked lower if they played in the East? Yes, almost certainly. But, I can't play what-if games and subjectively dock teams. Conferences have never been perfectly even. Tournament matchups have never been even. Just trying to find a formula that is uniform across the board, has multiple metrics, and minimizes the errors as much as possible.
 

Bert Higginbotha

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Yes, I would agree the regions weren't evenly balanced. And I'm not giving San Francisco a full 5 points for being a conference champion, only unless they were ranked in the final poll, as well as one other team in their conference.

The conference title thing is the hardest to quantify, because it's impossibly subjective. But, still feel like it's important to include in the numbers. Kentucky, for example, would still be #1 on my all-time list, regardless of which conference they were affiliated with. But, they almost certainly wouldn't have that many conference championships if they played in the ACC.

San Francisco was still an elite team. They were frequently ranked in the top 10/20. In 1964 and 1965, USF lost to UCLA in the regional finals- and UCLA's smallest margin of victory came to USF both years.

So, would USF be ranked lower if they played in the East? Yes, almost certainly. But, I can't play what-if games and subjectively dock teams. Conferences have never been perfectly even. Tournament matchups have never been even. Just trying to find a formula that is uniform across the board, has multiple metrics, and minimizes the errors as much as possible.
Wow, Kentucky would "almost certainly wouldn't have that many conference championships if they played in the ACC."

Also if UNC and Duke had played in the SEC they certainly wouldn't have that many conference championships had they played in the SEC.

Holy crap, the ACC prior to the 1970's were not what you see today. In the 1940's who in the ACC would have stopped Kentucky? (Hell UK won the olympics in 1948.) In the 1950's who would have stopped Kentucky in the ACC (UNC in 1957?)? In the 1960's who would have stopped Kentucky in the ACC (Duke in 1966?)? Let us discuss how the ACC would have stopped UK in the 1970's when UK had some great teams?

I don't want to be nasty but the ACC is a "Johnny-come-lately" compared to Kentucky. Duke got their first title in the 1990's. Maryland? NC State? UNC?

UNC, NC State won prior to the 70's. Prior to that the ACC played second fiddle to the Big Ten, SEC and Pac 8/10. It was not close.

By the way this is the best thread on Rivals.

I love you Dukedevilz. You bring a lot to the board.
 

dukedevilz

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Wow, Kentucky would "almost certainly wouldn't have that many conference championships if they played in the ACC."

Also if UNC and Duke had played in the SEC they certainly wouldn't have that many conference championships had they played in the SEC.

Holy crap, the ACC prior to the 1970's were not what you see today. In the 1940's who in the ACC would have stopped Kentucky? (Hell UK won the olympics in 1948.) In the 1950's who would have stopped Kentucky in the ACC (UNC in 1957?)? In the 1960's who would have stopped Kentucky in the ACC (Duke in 1966?)? Let us discuss how the ACC would have stopped UK in the 1970's when UK had some great teams?

I don't want to be nasty but the ACC is a "Johnny-come-lately" compared to Kentucky. Duke got their first title in the 1990's. Maryland? NC State? UNC?

UNC, NC State won prior to the 70's. Prior to that the ACC played second fiddle to the Big Ten, SEC and Pac 8/10. It was not close.

By the way this is the best thread on Rivals.

I love you Dukedevilz. You bring a lot to the board.

It's good to have disagreement. Board would be stale otherwise. I certainly appreciate your passion, Bert.

So, yes, the ACC wasn't anything spectacular pre 1960's. But, look at all the years where Kentucky won the regular season SEC title, didn't advance to the Final Four, and an ACC team did. This doesn't mean these ACC teams necessarily would have outpaced Kentucky in the same conference, but it gives reason to believe that it's likely that Kentucky doesn't win as many conference championships when facing the likes of Carolina and Duke.

1946- North Carolina
1950- NC State
1957- North Carolina
1962- Wake Forest
1964- Duke
1968- North Carolina
1969- North Carolina
1972- North Carolina
1977- North Carolina
1982- North Carolina
1983- NC State
1986- Duke
1988- Duke
1991- Duke
1992- Duke
1995- North Carolina
2000- North Carolina
2001- Duke
2005- North Carolina
2010- Duke
2016- North Carolina
2017- North Carolina

47 regular season championships between 1939 and present day for Kentucky. Crazy impressive. But, 22 of those occurred in a year where an ACC team made the Final Four, and Kentucky failed to do so. I'm not saying Kentucky isn't the greatest program of all-time. Simply saying I don't believe they would have as many conference ships in the ACC.

Of course, the ACC wasn't created until 1953, so I guess you could semi-cancel those first two. But, most ACC schools came from the Southern Conference.
 

boilerzz

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Hey @dukedevilz, I shared your table on the homeboard and a poster asked an interesting question.

Most consider modern college basketball to be the period that the NCAA tournament went to 64 teams (1985). When you are updating this year, how difficult would it be to do two analyses; One for all time as you have done, and one for the period 1985 and forward? It would be fascinating to look at the differences between the two tables.
 

Bert Higginbotha

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Hey @dukedevilz, I shared your table on the homeboard and a poster asked an interesting question.

Most consider modern college basketball to be the period that the NCAA tournament went to 64 teams (1985). When you are updating this year, how difficult would it be to do two analyses; One for all time as you have done, and one for the period 1985 and forward? It would be fascinating to look at the differences between the two tables.
Oh so get rid of half the data?

That would wipe out all of John Wooden's wins.
 

dukedevilz

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Hey @dukedevilz, I shared your table on the homeboard and a poster asked an interesting question.

Most consider modern college basketball to be the period that the NCAA tournament went to 64 teams (1985). When you are updating this year, how difficult would it be to do two analyses; One for all time as you have done, and one for the period 1985 and forward? It would be fascinating to look at the differences between the two tables.

That could be fun to compare the two. I think I'll do that this offseason.
 
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dukedevilz

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Oh so get rid of half the data?

That would wipe out all of John Wooden's wins.

I would still do the all-time table. But, it could be interesting to compare the two. UCLA clearly stands at #2 on the all-time list. But, there's a good chance they don't make the top 10, if you're going back to 1985.

Schools like Florida, Gonzaga, UNLV, and Wisconsin might find themselves a bit higher... UCLA, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, NC State, San Francisco and others will dip a bit.
 

Bert Higginbotha

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I would still do the all-time table. But, it could be interesting to compare the two. UCLA clearly stands at #2 on the all-time list. But, there's a good chance they don't make the top 10, if you're going back to 1985.

Schools like Florida, Gonzaga, UNLV, and Wisconsin might find themselves a bit higher... UCLA, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, NC State, San Francisco and others will dip a bit.
Duke and UNC would rocket as all of Duke's came after that and most of UNC's.

UConn would look a lot better.
 
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dukedevilz

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Duke and UNC would rocket as all of Duke's came after that and most of UNC's.

UConn would look a lot better.

Yep. If I were to guess, I'd say Duke and UNC would go 1-2. UConn might be in the top 5, but they sure do miss the tournament a lot. Looks like they've missed 16 times since 1985, so that will hurt. But, obviously 4 national titles should place them pretty high on the list.
 
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Fighter of the Nightman

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Hey @dukedevilz, I shared your table on the homeboard and a poster asked an interesting question.

Most consider modern college basketball to be the period that the NCAA tournament went to 64 teams (1985). When you are updating this year, how difficult would it be to do two analyses; One for all time as you have done, and one for the period 1985 and forward? It would be fascinating to look at the differences between the two tables.
Would also be cool to add a weight for this! E.g., an Elite Eight in 1988 when there are 3-pointers and a full Tournament is worth slightly more than one in the 1950s.
 

dukedevilz

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Would also be cool to add a weight for this! E.g., an Elite Eight in 1988 when there are 3-pointers and a full Tournament is worth slightly more than one in the 1950s.

There already is more weight for tournaments in the latter years, albeit the margin is minimal. In the early days of the tournament there were only 8 teams. So, they don't get credit for the Round of 32 or the Sweet 16. They do receive points for the R64, however, as that to me is just the equivalent of making the tournament.

So, missing out on those two rounds only amounts to 5 points. Not much, but still a little difference.

Don't know how I could add more weight for the 3-point shot rule change . Everybody is operating by the same rules. But, feel free to expand on that thought on what you think that might look like.
 

Fighter of the Nightman

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The more I think about this, the more I think "WEEKS in the Top 25" should be an element ... not sure on the weight or anything, but I'm a sucker for consistency. UCLA's titles are untouchable, but there should be SOME equalizer for the fact that they randomly go into slumps while Kansas stays perpetually good. I just made a post in the B1G thread about Ohio State is super "feast-or-famine" historically, and it makes it really hard to compare them to a program like, say, Syracuse.

Also (and I admit this is more of a "gut" thing than based on logic, so ... grain of salt!), I think the gap between the Elite Eight and the Final Four should be much larger than the Final Four and making it to the Championship Game. Our "college basketball culture" puts so much emphasis on ~the Final Four~, and I think it's taken on a status of its own. Your average fan doesn't distinguish that much between teams that lose in the Final Four and those who lose in the Championship Game, IMO; it's kind of like the "National Champion" and the "three runners-up." There should obviously be more points for a Championship Game appearance, but I don't think it should be an equal jump from Elite Eight to Final Four.

Overall, though, thanks again for doing this! It's super cool.
 
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dukedevilz

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@dukedevilz are you still planning on doing this for the modern era only? I think we all know Duke will be #1 but I'm interested in seeing Kentucky's position.

I think so, yes. The all-time table should be updated pretty quickly. I could easily do that in a half-hour or less.

The modern era database is going to take a lot more time to develop. I'm going to have to start from scratch. May not be until May or June until that's out.
 

Mr.Razorback

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I think so, yes. The all-time table should be updated pretty quickly. I could easily do that in a half-hour or less.

The modern era database is going to take a lot more time to develop. I'm going to have to start from scratch. May not be until May or June until that's out.
Thanks for doing this. Looking forward to the update, for obvious reasons.
 

dukedevilz

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The-Field-Of-68.png


The Field of 68 is following me on Twitter. Obviously trying to steal my ideas.
 

dukedevilz

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And I will update these tables. The metric I've been debating with the longest is how to quantify conference championships. This is what I think makes the most sense. And I realize the RPI is flawed, but it at least evaluates all of the D1 schools and doesn't stop at just 25 schools.


1939-1948: Collective Winning Percentage of a Conference
5 points- conference champ of a league in the top-third in the country in winning percentage
4 points-conference champ of a league in the middle-third in the country in winning percentage
3 points- conference champ of a league in the bottom-third in the country in winning percentage

1949-1980: AP Poll began in the 48-49 season.
5 points- Win the conference title, ranked, and 3 other schools in the conference are ranked
4 points- Conference title, ranked, and 1 other school in the conference is ranked
3 points- All other conference championships

1980-2001: RPI
5 points- Conference title, top 25 in the RPI, plus 3 other schools in the conference are in the top 25
4 points- Conference title, top 25 in the RPI, plus 3 other schools in the conference are in the top 50
3 points- All other conference champions

2002-Present: KenPom
-Same criteria as the RPI, but simply using the KenPom numbers.
 
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dukedevilz

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And for Independents, I'm only giving them credit for years where they were ranked in the top 10. But, I'll give them the full 5 points.