Top 15 Best College Basketball Teams Ever | 2022 Ranking

Throughout the 2019-20 men’s college basketball season, we questioned the lack of strong teams, yet there have been quite a few superb clubs in the NCAA tournament’s more than 80-year history.

College basketball has been played since the 1890s, with some schools making a name for themselves throughout the following 130 years. There are now more than 350 schools in America that play in NCAA Division I men’s basketball, which is almost three times the number that competes at the highest level in college football, meaning that competition to control the sport is fierce.

We went through the long history of college basketball and chose the top 15 best college basketball teams ever that have shown to be the best throughout time. These programs are the best in history because of a combination of renowned coaches, players, academic accomplishment, culture, and consistent success.

How to Become a College Basketball Player?

Because there are so few possibilities for young players, the chances of a high school basketball player making a college basketball team are extremely tiny.

Anyone who chooses this road must be realistic about their prospects, difficulties, and chances at all times.

Anyone aiming to make a collegiate basketball team is required to know the fundamentals. This includes the following:

Physical Characteristics – Anyone aspiring to play basketball on a higher level must be much taller than usual. You must also be coordinated, athletic, and have endurance.

Skill – To sout in the eyes of these college basketball coaches, a ball player must have exceptional skill and talent. With a capital I, you must be IMPRESSIVE. Raw skill may go a long way toward gaining you the attention you need to make a collegiate basketball team.

Work Ethic/Dedication – You must desire this above all else since it will help you endure the excessively long work hours at the gym. Talent can only carry you so far in this scenario. You will need a fair amount of grit.

If you’ve read this far, I’m assuming you’re familiar with the fundamentals. Now comes the hard part: getting you on that desired college team.

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Excellent marks

It is not enough to have exceptional basketball talents; it is also crucial to remember that schools are still for academic purposes, thus you will be rated mostly based on your grades.

Having high grades (much above average) will help your application be evaluated.

Also read: How can I become a Basketball Coach?

Locate a Good AAU Team

AAU stands for Amateur Athletic Union. Non-school basketball teams that participate in tournaments are referred to as “tournament teams.” These groups can assist you in improving your skills and profile.

It can also provide you with experience playing on a semi-professional squad. They also hold “showcase” competitions, which may be used to be noticed.

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Participate in Elite/Showcase Camps

Some institutions provide Elite camps, which allow you to compete against peers and individuals with similar interests to obtain a genuine sense of your abilities.

Make a Highlights Video

This is a no-brainer because you will need to send these films to the colleges to which you desire to apply.

Make a list of institutions that interest you and send them an email.

Many universities keep their coaches’ and athletic staff’s email addresses available on Google.

You can send them an email with a personal introduction, why you want to play for them and attend their school, your contact information, a link to your highlights video, and details about your high school varsity basketball or AAU team schedule.

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Top 15 Best College Basketball Teams Ever

Let’s get straight into it the top 15 best college basketball teams ever.

1. Kentucky Wildcats

It was a close battle between Kentucky and UCLA, but Kentucky has a longer winning run (dating back to the 1940s) and has 200 more victories than UCLA. Kentucky has seven National Championships, 13 Final Fours, 103 NCAA Tournament games, 27 Conference Championships, and a total of 27 Conference Tournaments.

The Kentucky Wildcats have been one of the best college basketball teams ever in college basketball since the 1940s, establishing a reputation as one of the game’s all-time great blue blood programs. The University of Kentucky’s eight national titles rank second only to UCLA’s, but the fact that they were won across five decades and by five different head coaches makes them much more notable.

No school has generated more first-round NBA Draft picks than Kentucky, but their recent legacy of one-and-done freshmen studs has harmed the sport in the eyes of many people. This adds to the program’s lengthy legacy of unethical practices, which includes a long series of winning head coaches with questionable personal legacies.

Best known figure: Adolf Rupp/Rick Pitino
Best player: Jamal Mashburn

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2. UCLA Bruins

The Bruins may have the second-best program in the country. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has won 11 NCAA titles, 17 Final Fours, 99 NCAA Tournament games, and 30 conference titles. It’s possible that no other school’s program can equal the legendary prominence of UCLA’s, which boasts names like John Wooden, Lew Alcindor, and Bill Walton.

When one thinks about teams who have achieved a level of domination that has never been seen before under the leadership of a single head coach, UCLA is the first squad that comes to mind. John Wooden, a future inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, was the driving force behind the greatest men’s basketball dynasty in history, which lasted from 1948 through 1975, and amassed a list of achievements that defies belief.

During his reign, the team won a total of ten national championships, including a run of seven straight triumphs from 1967 to 1973. The UCLA Bruins, coached by John Wooden, set an NCAA record by triumphing in 88 consecutive games between 1971 and 1974.

This is a streak that is highly unlikely to be surpassed in the future. After Wooden’s tenure, the Bruins had a period of regression, although they still managed to set a record by winning 11 championships in 1995. UCLA is one of the best college basketball teams ever.

Best known figure: John Wooden
Best player: Lew Alcindor

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3. North Carolina Tar Heels

The disparity between Carolina, Kentucky, and UCLA is nearly undetectable. The Tar Heels are presently ranked second all-time in wins, with five NCAA crowns and 102 NCAA Tournament victories to their credit.

The North Carolina Tar Heels have a lengthy history of famous basketball players, with names like Michael Jordan, James Worthy, and Bob McAdoo. Five former Tar Heels have been elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame after leaving Chapel Hill, tying the school with Kansas for the most productive producer of Hall of Fame players.

The North Carolina Tar Heels have won the NCAA Tournament six times, earning the crown in each of the last five decades and doing it under three different head coaches. This is evidence of a winning culture that transcends people and contributes to North Carolina being one of the best college basketball teams ever.

Best known figure: Michael Jordan
Best player: Phil Ford/Michael Jordan

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4. Duke Blue Devils

The Blue Devils have won 94 games in the NCAA Tournament, which ranks them fourth all-time, and 1,911 games overall, which also ranks them fourth. Their only shortcoming is that none of their NCAA Championships were earned before 1990.

Mike Krzyzewski, who took over the Duke program in 1980, has developed it into one of the most prestigious in the country, making him a contender for the title of finest men’s college basketball head coach in the game’s history.

Before becoming head coach, the Blue Devils had only appeared twice in the national championship game; however, since then, they have appeared in it nine times and won it five times.

Despite its steady success, the school has only failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament once since 1984; Coach K is responsible for 12 of the 16 visits to the Final Four during his career.

You can’t argue with stats like 2,200 victories and a.711-win percentage, both of which rank fourth all-time in NCAA history, but the fact that almost all of Duke’s success has come under the supervision of a single coach does lessen their overall legacy a little.

Duke Blue Devils are one of the best college basketball teams ever.

Best known figure: Mike Krzyzewski
Best player: Christian Laettner

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5. Kansas Jayhawks

Over a 58-year timeframe, the Kansas Jayhawks basketball program sits only ahead of the Indiana Hoosiers with 2,003 all-time victories, 13 Final Four appearances, 84 NCAA Tournament victories, and three national titles.

Although Kansas has won fewer championships than UCLA, the Jayhawks have a more famous history that covers a longer period.

The program is the only one that has produced at least 30 unanimous All-Americans, and it has sent a record-tying five players to the Hall of Fame. Kansas is one of just eight institutions to have won at least three national championships, and the Wildcats have appeared in the Final Four 15 times, including at least once in every decade but one since the 1940s.

Kansas is one of just eight schools that have won three national championships. Despite effectively ruling the Big 12 Conference every season, the Kansas Jayhawks have only missed the NCAA Tournament once since 1984. They are also one of the best college basketball teams ever.

Best known figure: James Naismith
Best player: Danny Manning

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6. Indiana Hoosiers

Another one of the best college basketball teams ever is Indiana Hoosiers. Between 1940 and 1987, the Indiana University Hoosiers won five NCAA Championships in a variety of seasons.

Despite competing in eight Final Fours, winning 60 NCAA Tournament games, and winning 20 Big Ten crowns, Indiana is rated third, just behind Duke and Kansas. This is due to Indiana’s lack of recent success compared to Duke and Kansas.

The 1975-1976 Indiana Hoosiers were the last team in NCAA men’s basketball history to finish a season with a perfect 27-0 record, which meant they were unbeaten in both the regular season and the NCAA Tournament. It was possibly the most memorable of the legendary program’s five championship seasons, three of which happened during their heyday in the 1970s and 1980s under controversial Hall of Famer Bob Knight.

The Hoosiers have six members in the Basketball Hall of Fame, four of them are players, and have had 26 players taken in the first round of the NBA Draft, putting them in exclusive company.

Best known figure: Bob Knight
Best player: Scott May

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7. Louisville Cardinals

In their history, the Cardinals have won 1,607 games, including two NCAA championships, eight Final Four trips, sixty NCAA Tournament games, and more. The men’s basketball program at Louisville is the only one in Division I that has had a national title stripped away by the NCAA.

Louisville is the sole owner of this distinction. Looking back further than that disastrous spell in the early 2010s, though, it is clear that Louisville’s program has been one of the most consistent in the sport for many years.

They won two national championships in the 1980s under Hall of Fame coach Denny Crum, and they’ve been to the Final Four eight times if you don’t count the two visits that were canceled due to the previous event. Louisville has one of the best college basketball teams ever.

Best known figure: Denny Crum
Best player: Wes Unseld

8. Michigan State Spartans

The Spartans have won 52 NCAA Tournament games, two national championships, eight Final Four trips, and 10 Big Ten Championships. Tom Izzo, the head coach of the Michigan State men’s basketball team, has been there since 1995 and is mainly responsible for the Spartans’ ascension to the top of the men’s college basketball national rankings.

The Spartans had previously won the national championship in 1979 when the legendary Magic Johnson was their main attraction; however, the team had only made a few NCAA Tournament appearances between that time and when Izzo took over as head coach. Michigan State hasn’t missed the Big Dance since 1998, reaching the Final Four eight times and capturing another title in 2000. During this period, they have received 28 consecutive berths.

They are also one of the best college basketball teams ever.

Best known figure: Magic Johnson
Best player: Magic Johnson

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9. Syracuse Orange

With 1783 victories, the Orange is presently ranked sixth all-time, and they have won one NCAA Championship, four NCAA Final Fours, and 52 NCAA Tournament games. During Coach Boeheim’s stint with the squad, they have been highly consistent. Jim Boeheim, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, is in his 45th season as the Syracuse Orange’s head coach.

He is the sport’s longest-tenured coach by a big shot, and his name has become synonymous with the program he founded. There have been six Final Four appearances, with five of them occurring under Boeheim’s leadership.

This includes at least one tournament appearance in each decade since the 1970s. He has only missed the tournament nine times since taking over the Orange program in 1976.

He has taken them to the championship game three times, including a win in 2003. As a consequence of all of the victories that have come with those outstanding seasons, the program now has the seventh-best winning percentage in NCAA history, at.676 as of 2021.

Best known figure: Jim Boeheim
Best player: Derrick Coleman

10. Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State has finished as the runner-up in the NCAA tournament multiple times, in addition to winning one NCAA championship, ten NCAA Final Fours, and twenty Big Ten Championships. The Ohio State Buckeyes have reached the Final Four seven times in seven decades, indicating that their success spans several eras.

Ohio State topped the AP men’s basketball rankings for a total of 27 weeks from 1960 to 1962, the second-longest winning streak in the sport’s history. They finished second in the national championship in 1961 and 1962, their finest results in the program’s history, but they did win the national title in 1960.

After they revoked four NCAA Tournament invitations due to rule violations in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the school has reemerged as constant power, with only three absences from the tournament since 2006. Furthermore, Ohio State University is one of the few institutions with at least 10 men’s college basketball Final Four appearances and four former players elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Ohio State Buckeyes is one of the best college basketball teams ever.

Best known figure: Clark Kellogg
Best player: Jerry Lucas

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11. Michigan Wolverines

The Wolverines have one NCAA title, 15 Big Ten crowns, six Final Four appearances, and 42 NCAA Tournament victories. There’s a decent probability Michigan’s men’s basketball team would be much higher up on this list if it hadn’t been for NCAA violations committed by the program throughout the 1990s.

Even though their appearances in the Final Four in 1992 and 1993, as well as several stones from that decade, have been officially deleted from the record books due to self-imposed sanctions, the Wolverines have left quite an impression on them the sport. The University of Michigan has only won one national title, in 1989; however, they have had six Final Four appearances, none of which have been erased. And is currently one of the best college basketball teams ever.

Michigan has made considerable strides in recent years, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in all but one season between 2011 and 2019, and going to the Sweet 16 five times.

Best known figure: Chris Webber
Best player: Glen Rice

12. NC State Wolfpack

Another best college basketball team ever is North Carolina State Wolfpack. The Wolfpack have won 32 NCAA Tournament games, two National Collegiate Athletic Association championships, ten Atlantic Coast Conference championships, and three national championships.

The Wolfpack’s better overall rating is because it has won titles in many eras and under several head coaches. The 1983 North Carolina State University men’s basketball team, led by famous head coach Jim Valvano, won the national championship and is widely recognized as one of the most iconic teams in college basketball history.

This Cinderella team, which featured no players eventually elected into the Hall of Fame, was the program’s second championship team, having previously won its first title in 1974.

That first championship team was invincible, finishing the season 30-1 thanks to David Thompson’s remarkable play. As a result, they were able to snap UCLA’s seven-year title streak. With almost 1,750 victories under their belt, the Wolfpack are currently placed in the top 25 of all-time program victories.

Best known figure: Jim Valvano
Best player: David Thompson

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13. Cincinnati Bearcats

The Bearcats have a total of 1,572 victories in their history, including six Final Four visits and forty NCAA Tournament victories. The Cincinnati Bearcats are considered one of the most successful collegiate sports teams in their historic history, encompassing several eras of unequaled dominance.

The University of California has made six appearances in the national championship game, including a record run of five consecutive appearances between 1959 and 1963, when the school’s basketball team was largely regarded as the best in the country. They won the national title back-to-back in 1961 and 1962, but when they attempted the highly rare three-peat in 1963, they were beaten in the championship game. They were able to reclaim their former grandeur in the 1990s and have played in 23 NCAA Tournament games since 1992.

Cincinnati won the NCAA Championship in the 1960s (particularly in 1960 and 1961).

Best known figure: Oscar Robertson/Bob Huggins
Best player: Oscar Robertson

14. Georgetown Hoyas

In their existence, the Hoyas have won 1,499 games, including one NCAA championship, five Final Four appearances, 45 NCAA Tournament victories, and ten Big East championships. When most people think of Georgetown basketball, they think of hard-nosed teams from the 1980s and Coach John Thompson roaring in front of the bench with a white towel hung over his shoulder.

Even though that period was responsible for the program’s single national title, which they won in 1984, and three of its five Final Four trips, the Hoyas had a strong basketball history. Because of the inclusion of four former men’s basketball players, Georgetown currently ranks second all-time in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s elite category.

Since 1943, they have qualified for the NCAA Tournament 30 times, including every tournament hosted between 1979 and 1992, and nine times since 2001.

Best known figure: John Thompson
Best player: Patrick Ewing

15. Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas was another team that ESPN and Sagarin failed to analyze properly. The Razorbacks have won the NCAA championship, six Final Four trips, and forty NCAA Tournament wins on their resume. Their accomplishments have received acclaim from people of all ages.

If you ask any Arkansas basketball fan about “40 Minutes of Hell,” they will look back on the 1990s with a big smile as they remember those games. During that decade, the Razorbacks were perhaps more exciting to watch than any other school in the country.

This was largely due to their coach, Nolan Richardson, who is now in the College Football Hall of Fame. Players like Todd Day and Corliss “Big Nasty” Williamson exemplified the club’s run-and-gun style of play, which drove opponents to double over and air battle. Arkansas has appeared in the Final Four six times, winning the championship in 1994 and returning the following year (1995).

The Razorbacks reached the Final Four three times during the 1990s, including once in the decade. They are also among the top 30 in the NCAA in terms of overall win percentage and a total number of victories.

Best known figure: Nolan Richardson
Best player: Sidney Moncrief

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which college basketball team was the best of all time?

The UCLA Bruins of 1972 were the best squad of all time. They concluded the season 30-0, had the greatest player in the country, Bill Walton, and won by an average of 32 points.

What college team has the most NBA players in its history?

UCLA is close behind Kentucky for first place, with 76 of their collegiate basketball players representing an NBA club and appearing in at least one game. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is undoubtedly the most entertaining player to come out of UCLA.

Which university has the most NBA Hall of Famers?

UCLA and Kansas lead the way with seven hall-of-Famers each. The Bruins have luminaries like Bill Walton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Gail Goodrich, and Ann Meyers, the first woman to ever try out for an NBA team. Wilt Chamberlain, Clyde Lovelle, Paul Pierce, and Lynette Woodard are among the Jayhawks’ players.

Which college has the most top-50 NBA players?

Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, Texas, North Carolina, and UCLA have the most active players in the current 2021-22 NBA season.

Who is the best college basketball player in the country?

Oscar Tshiebwe is from Kentucky. Katz chose tshiebwe’s men’s basketball player of the week on Monday, following a 27-point, 19-rebound double-double against Florida on Saturday.


Over the years, some fantastic teams have come up in the world of college basketball and the above list highlights the 15 best college basketball teams ever based on specific achievements. We hope you enjoyed the read.



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