When John Calipari says Kentucky is the gold standard in college basketball, it’s not hyperbole. Last season Kentucky used the hashtag #TGT, promoting “The Greatest Tradition” in college basketball. Many would like to discredit that claim, but as of today the Wildcats are the undisputed kings of college basketball.
We’ve been saying that for years. Those claims can be a bit subjective. CBS Sports used a specific set of data points to objectively rank the best 68 programs in the country. After crunching the numbers, Kentucky ranks No. 1.
The method to CBS’s madness was not too complicated. National Championships were worth the most (20) points, followed by Final Four appearances, conference regular season titles and Eight Eights, all the way down to draft picks. Calipari’s recruiting prowess and regular season success turned it into a run-away victory in this competition, but what makes UK the greatest is the program’s consistency since Adolph Rupp built Kentucky into a power.
It’s astounding. Kentucky is unequivocally the most successful and consistent program in college basketball in the past 10 years, the past 20, 30, 40, 60 and even 80 years. UK’s 131 NCAA Tournament wins: most ever. Its 2,320 wins in history: most ever. How about this: it has made 21 Elite Eights NOT including the years it also went to the Final Four, which adds another nine to that pile. By far the most ever. Kentucky’s 102 top-60 NBA picks since 1946: most ever. It’s been ranked for 919 weeks, tops in college basketball history. The 59 NCAA Tournament bids outpaces No. 2 North Carolina by NINE. Its domination of the SEC is silly; those 47 regular-season titles, in addition to 17 Final Fours, catapulted Kentucky past the competition.
The Wildcats had a large 300-point advantage over second place North Carolina in the formula created by Matt Norlander. Before you take a victory lap by reading the entire article, take a look at the Top 10 and try not to point and laugh at Indiana.
2. North Carolina