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Kentucky is Officially the Greatest Basketball Program of All-Time

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.

10. Cincinnati
9. Villanova
8. UConn
7. Indiana
6. Louisville
5. Kansas
3. Duke
2. North Carolina
1. Kentucky

[CBS Sports]

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

22 Comments for Kentucky is Officially the Greatest Basketball Program of All-Time

  1. serdi
    8:27 pm November 19, 2020 Permalink

    I am ok with all but #2. They had 25 years of fraud and cheating. They won at least two NCAA championships with ineligible players. So in my mind that is a top 9

  2. nocode96
    8:53 pm November 19, 2020 Permalink

    Damn straight!

  3. GoCatz
    9:10 pm November 19, 2020 Permalink

    Cincinnati…. Really??

  4. BIGblueFootBallGuy
    9:52 pm November 19, 2020 Permalink

    I find it very interesting 3 of the top 10 are all with in about an hour of each other each way UK, Loserville, Cincinnati

  5. FloridaCat88
    10:12 pm November 19, 2020 Permalink

    “elite eight” lol

  6. Bluebloodtoo
    6:09 am November 20, 2020 Permalink


  7. Bluebloodtoo
    6:10 am November 20, 2020 Permalink

    Look at that young Calipari….

  8. CahillsCrossingNT
    6:26 am November 20, 2020 Permalink

    Kentucky hasn’t been THE best program since the 1950s. Why should final eight (there’s nothing elite about it) choke jobs since count? Plus they’ve generally been the best program in a football league. If they were in the ACC they would be consistently behind Duke and UNC and have been since the 1980s. Dean Smith was 13-3 vs UK, and Krzyzewski owns them as well.

    6:57 am November 20, 2020 Permalink

    9 FF’s?? Thats way off more like 17 FF’S!

  10. KentuckyBoy
    8:16 am November 20, 2020 Permalink

    Top 5 makes sense to me. I was surprised to see Louisville at 6. Thought they would be a bit further down the list. Also, Indiana hasn’t been relevant in years. Just shows you how dominant they were during Knights tenure. Cincy at 10?? Is that a typo??

    • IndianaSucks
      10:18 am November 20, 2020 Permalink

      Same could be said for UCLA. I wouldn’t put them above Kansas but I guess that whole banner thing under one coach way back when helped their case.

  11. bbn606
    9:02 am November 20, 2020 Permalink

    I don’t see Cincinnati in the top ten and Indiana should be higher considering all-time even though they haven’t done much lately.

    • IndianaSucks
      10:21 am November 20, 2020 Permalink

      Going on 34 years to be exact lol
      Imo indiana is in the right spot considering the rest of the list.

    • IndianaSucks
      10:22 am November 20, 2020 Permalink

      You could maybe put them ahead of Louisville but no way cracking the top 5

  12. BlueWildcat_99
    10:56 am November 20, 2020 Permalink

    Next we’ll see a headline that says “sharks swim in water” and “McDonald’s sells hamburgers.” Everyone already knows Kentucky is far and away the greatest program in NCAA history. Joking aside, I can appreciate this guy taking the initiative to use metrics that aren’t often used, like players drafted, which is key in today’s game. Let’s be real, if the Cats weren’t getting people drafted we wouldn’t have had the success we’ve had under Cal.

  13. ClutchCargo
    2:07 pm November 20, 2020 Permalink

    Cincinnati was a very strong program many years ago, and a lot of people either forget or don’t realize that. We’re talking all-time here, so it doesn’t matter that their heyday was in the 40’s – 60’s. Also, WKU is #21 on this list, and for good reason.