Duke/North Carolina Summer Fun Continues:Duke is #1 in basketball…..

Posted by Andy Durham on July 27, 2008 at 1:46 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

Our Triangle correspondent Burce Mitchell, who is teaching summer school at Archer Elementary this year, has had plenty of time to track the ESPN polling of college basketball’s Top Ten programs. In between his work at Archer and his reports to the Pro Wrestling Torch, here is what Bruce found while researching college hoops at ESPN.com. This is an eye-opening Top Ten:

And then there were 10……ESPN says:

All week, we’ve outlined our criteria for the Prestige Rankings, a numerical method of ranking the best Division I men’s college basketball programs since the 1984-85 season. The 1984-85 season was when the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams, making it the first time a national champion had to win six tournament games to cut down the nets. It was also the start of the fairest inclusion in the NCAA tournament: Before that season, even the best conferences got only one team in the field. And with the introduction of the 3-point line in 1985-86, the past 24 seasons can be considered the most modern era of college basketball.

So, to rank the most consistent, most prestigious programs since 1984-85, we let the numbers do the talking.

• National title … 25
• Title game loss … 20
• National semifinal loss … 15
• Elite Eight loss … 10
• Best W-L record in conference’s regular season … 5
• 30-plus wins in a season … 5
• Sweet 16 loss … 5
• Conference tournament title … 3
• AP first-team All-American … 3
• Losing in NCAA second round … 3
• Player in Top 10 of NBA draft … 2
• NCAA first-round win as a 12-16 seed … 2
• NIT title … 2
• AP second-team All-American … 2
• 20-29 wins in a season … 1
• NCAA tournament berth … 1
• Postseason NIT berth … 1
• AP third-team All-American … 1
• NCAA first-round loss to a 12-16 seed … -2
• Losing season … -3
• Ban from NCAA tournament … -3
>> Minimum 15 seasons in Division I
** Ties are broken by overall winning percentage since the 1984-85 season
^^ Teams are listed with their current conferences
!! In conferences without postseason tournament champions, the points were awarded to the regular-season champ.

And now, the top 10 programs of the past 24 seasons:

10. GEORGETOWN HOYAS, Big East
9. SYRACUSE ORANGE, Big East
8. UNLV REBELS, Mountain West
7. UCLA BRUINS, Pac-10
6. CONNECTICUT HUSKIES, Big East
5. ARIZONA WILDCATS, Pac-10
4. KENTUCKY WILDCATS, SEC
Positives: 20 conference titles (8 regular-season, 12 tourney); 6 30-win seasons; 21 NCAA berths; 7 No. 1 seeds; 14 Sweet 16s; 4 Final Fours; 1996 and ’98 national titles; 52 NCAA tourney wins; 10 All-Americans; 5 NBA top-10 picks
Negatives: 1 losing season (13-19 in 1988-89); 2 NCAA sanctions; has not advanced past the NCAA tourney first weekend since 2005
Total points: 378
Did you know? The premier program in the SEC cracks the Top 5 despite being banned from the NCAA tournament twice. The Wildcats dominated the conference tournament, earning 12 automatic berths (tied with Penn for the most). UK hasn’t been too shabby in the Big Dance either, making three straight national title games from 1996-1998 and winning twice. However, the Wildcats haven’t made the Final Four since.

3. NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS, ACC
Positives: 16 conference titles (9 regular-season, 7 tourney); 6 30-win seasons; 23 postseasons (22 NCAA, 1 NIT); 9 No. 1 seeds; 16 Sweet 16s; 8 Final Fours; 1993 and 2005 national titles; 61 NCAA tourney wins; 17 All-Americans; 11 NBA top-10 picks
Negatives: 1 losing season (8-20 in 2001-02); lost to 14th-seeded Weber State in 1999
Total points: 448
Did you know? A stat-sheet stuffer in every category, including NIT appearances and losing seasons. Along with Kansas, Kentucky, Connecticut and Florida, the Tar Heels have won two national titles. They also have been a No. 1 seed nine times and have six 30-win seasons. Very impressive, but still not as impressive as their big rival eight miles down the road.

2. KANSAS JAYHAWKS, Big 12
Positives: 22 conference titles (14 regular-season, 8 tourney); 8 30-win seasons; 23 NCAA berths; 8 No. 1 seeds; 15 Sweet 16s; 7 Final Fours; 1988 and 2008 national titles; 58 NCAA tourney wins; 13 All-Americans; 5 NBA top-10 picks; 0 losing seasons
Negatives: 1 NCAA sanction; lost to 14th-seeded Bucknell in 2005; lost to 13th-seeded Bradley in 2006
Total points: 455
Did you know? The Jayhawks had eight 30-win seasons in the time span, tied for the most with Duke. A big part of KU’s undoing was the failed tournament runs in the mid-1990s when they were 1- or 2-seeds. Others will point to the back-to-back first-round losses to Bucknell and Bradley in 2005 and 2006.

1. DUKE BLUE DEVILS, ACC
Positives (with overall ranking):
• 21 conference titles (11 regular-season, 10 tourney): T-2nd
• 21 20-win seasons: T-3rd
• 8 30-win seasons: T-1st (with Kansas)
• 23 NCAA tournament berths: T-2nd
• 10 No. 1 seeds: 1st
• 17 Sweet 16s: 1st
• 10 Final Fours: 1st
• 3 national championships (1991, 1992, 2001): 1st
• 69 NCAA tournament wins: 1st
• 12 first team All-Americans: 1st
• 25 All-Americans: 1st
• 11 NBA top-10 picks: T-1st (with North Carolina)
Negatives: 1 losing season (13-18 in 1994-95)
Total points: 538 (83 points more than No. 2 Kansas)
Did you know? By any measure of success, Duke is king of the hill in college basketball in the 64-team era of the NCAA tournament. Besides the three national titles, Duke is No. 1 among all basketball programs with 69 NCAA tournament wins, 12 first team All-Americans, 11 top-10 NBA picks, 10 No. 1 seeds and seven title game appearances. An easy selection in any format for No. 1.

*****To learn more go to espn.com and keep it here at GREENSBOROSports.com for another one of Bruce Mitchell’s red-hot topics from the Pro Wrestling Torch or from the Duke Basketball Report.*****


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