clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Sagarin's All Time College Basketball Rankings

New, comments

Interesting to say the least. The full list can be found here. Here is your top five:

1. Kentucky
2. UCLA
3. Kansas
4. North Carolina
5. Indiana

ESPN's Pat Forde takes immediate issue with the rankings which are part of ESPN"s new College Basketball Encyclopedia. Forde argues that the rankings, which are strictly based on computer ratings tabulated based on wins/losses and scoring margin. The rankings do not account for the more subjective accomplishments such as conference titles, NCAA Tournament appearances and national titles. Forde points that Illinois is a spot ahead of Duke which is patently ridiculously when you consider what Duke has done from a conference and NCAA title perspective.

Forde's biggest gripe and undoubtedly the same one most UNC fans will have is with the top five. Forde ranked them this way:

1. UCLA
2. North Carolina
3. Kentucky
4. Indiana
5. Kansas

Forde's logic on putting UNC at #2 is as follows:

The Tar Heels are Kentucky without the scandals. They have achieved decades of excellence under a variety of coaches, having won titles under Frank McGuire, Dean Smith and Roy Williams. And they're breathing down the Wildcats' furry neck on the all-time victory list (1,988 for UK, 1,984 for UNC) despite playing in a historically tougher conference.

You could argue that the Heels should have won more titles than they have, given the all-time talent, but Williams seems intent on making up for Smith's lost hardware.

I really do not have anything to add to that. Forde basically uses UNC's strength of conference schedule and the fact they have won five titles with a generally clean program(Forde does not mention or forgot about the fallout after Frank McGuire left) as trumping Kentucky's seven titles and four more wins. This undoubtedly will drive UK fans nuts but that is short trip and therefore will not require an overnight bag or hotel reservations. The tough part of this debate is the fact you are dealing with 70 years of history and most of us have a working grasp of only the past 20 or 30 years. It is difficult to judge success in early years of the NCAA Tournament era and as THF reader william once pointed out, desegregation is certainly a factor in the debate.

Since the THF community is easily the most astute and historically savvy Tar Heel fans on the internet I will put the question to you: How would rank them?