Who has the best college basketball program this decade?
That top 10 list features the usual blue bloods, including North Carolina, Duke, Kansas and Kentucky.
Villanova and Connecticut, along with Duke, are among the programs with multiple national championships this decade. That was one of the factors used to determine the top 10 since the 2009-10 season.
Sporting News typically ranks the top programs in the nation since 2000, but we shortened that window to this decade to get more of a feel for who the top 10 programs are right now.
Here is the point scale we used:
National championships: 10 points each
National runner up: 5 points each
Final Four appearances: 5 points each
Sporting News Player of the Year: 1 point each
Consensus First-Team All-Americans: 1 point per All-American
Overall winning percentage: Poll-style points for the top 10 schools: 10 points are given to the school with the highest-winning percentage; one point is given to the school with the 10th-best winning percentage.
Total NCAA tournament wins: Poll-style points from 10-1.
Total NBA Draft picks (since 2001 NBA Draft): Poll-style points from 10-1.
It’s not a perfect system, but it’s our system. Here is a look at the top 10, and the schools that just missed:
Five on the outside
11. Michigan State (20). The Spartans have two Final Four appearances (2010, 2015) and this ranking might seem too low, but the highest-ranked Big Ten programon this list has been to the championship game twice this decade.
12. Butler (20). All of these points are based on the back-to-back national championship appearances in 2010-11 under Brad Stevens, but the Bulldogs remain a tournament regular.
13. Wisconsin (19). Bo Ryan led the Badgers to a pair of Final Four appearances and the 2015 national championship game.
14. Wichita State (11). The Shockers rank fifth in winning percentage among all Division I programs this decade.
15. Ohio State (10). The Buckeyes have one Final Four appearance and four consensus All-Americans this decade.
Total score: 22.5
Final Fours: 2 (2013, 2016)
Lowdown: The Orange have two Final Four appearances this decade desipte some up-and-down play since joining the ACC. Jim Boeheim, 74, still has the program making runs in the NCAA tournament. That included a Sweet 16 appearance in 2018.
Final Fours:1 (2017)
Lowdown:The Bulldogs have the highest winning percentage of any program this decade, and the Bulldogs are in line for another No. 1 seed in this year’s NCAA tournament. The Final Four break-through in 2017 was big for Mark Few, but the success was validated long before that.
Total score: 23
Final Fours: 2 (2012, 2013*)
Lowdown: The Cardinals vacated the 2013 national championship, but this list accounts for results on the court. Rick Pitino led the program to back-to-back Final Fours, and Chris Mack has the program back on the right track.
Total score: 26
Final Fours: 2 (2013, 2018)
Lowdown: The Wolverines have been the top program in the Big Ten this decade with a pair of national championship appearances. John Beilein also has sent nine players to the NBA Draft this decade, the most in the conference.
Final Fours: 2 (2011*, 2014*)
Lowdown: The Huskies won two national championships, which accounts for most of this ranking. The program, however, is in danger of missing the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive season. This is the challenge for Danny Hurley.
Total score: 40
Final Fours: (2016*, 2018*)
Lowdown: The Wildcats have won two of the last three national championships and just sent four players to the 2018 NBA Draft. Yet Wright has Villanova playing at a high level heading toward another March Madness run. That’s the sign of a top-five program.
Total score: 40.5
Final Fours: 2(2016, 2017*)
Lowdown: If not for a buzzer beater by Villanova, the Tar Heels would be ranked in the top three. Roy Williams hasn’t slowed down, but the challenges remain against the other blue-bloods, who had produced more NBA talent this decade.
Total score: 45
Final Fours: 2 ( 2012, 2018)
Lowdown: Kansas won its last national championship in 2008. The Jayhawks have managed two FInal Four appearances and the same, steady dominance in the Big 12. The next two teams on the list are the only schools to send more players to the NBA Draft this decade.
Total score: 60
Final Fours: 2 (2010*, 2015*)
Lowdown: The Blue Devils have won two national championships this decade, and this year’s class led by Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett will be favored to bring home another one. Mike Krzyzewski’s program ranks second in tournament wins and third in winning percentage this decade. Duke can re-claim the top spot with another run this March, too.
Total score: 67
Final Fours: 4 (2011, 2012*, 2014, 2015)
Lowdown:The Wildcats have a national championship, four Final Four appearances and a NBA Draft factory that includes 35 picks this decade. That is why John Calipari has the top program, even if the margin with Duke is slim.
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