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What Is College Basketball’s Pecking Order?

peckingorderBig shoutout to all the Economist readers out there…

Drew’s post about Washington being our wingman really got me thinking.  Who would Washington’s wingman be?  Wichita State?  What I’m saying is that college basketball must have a pecking order.  For the vast majority of recruits that are committed to a school, there has to be another school out there that, if offered, the recruit would drop his committment in a heartbeat for. 

So what does this order look like?  I spent a couple days thinking about it and came up with the following tiered list.  It should be read like this: All else being equal, if a player were offered by a team in Tier 4 and Tier 3, he would always pick the team from Tier 3.  The way I determined the tiers was based on several factors, including history, ability to produce pros, coaching, buzz and of course, championships.  It is also possible to move up and down the list.  I would have had Indiana in Tier 1 until recently, but they have only reached the second weekend of the tournament once in the past 18 years.  And I docked them for Tom Crean’s twitter account.  Just dreadful.  Anyway, on to the list-

(not in a certain order inside the tiers)
Tier 1
Kentucky
UCLA
North Carolina
Duke
Kansas 

Tier 2
Indiana
UConn
Michigan State
Syracuse

Tier 3
Louisville
Arizona
Villanova
Georgetown

Tier 4
Maryland
Tennessee
Ohio State
Florida
Cincinnati
Marquette
Pittsburgh
Texas
Purdue

Tier 5
Arkansas
Memphis
West Virginia
Wake Forest
Illinois
Oklahoma St.
Stanford

For brevity purposes I only ranked the Top 5 tiers.  They continue on after this, probably with the Michigans and Notre Dames of the world.  So what do you think?  I’m sure everyone has an opinion on this, so let’s hear it.  Where did I go wrong (or right)?

Article written by Patrick Barker