The NCAA basketball scene has developed several superstar caliber players across the tournament’s entire existence, with a number of specialized collegiate programs now establishing themselves as the top schools for any developing athlete to be a part of.
Alongside the NBA and the Euro League, college basketball ranks amongst the most elite and highly coveted competitions in the sport today, as well as providing fans of the circuit with a plethora of high-octane action and nail-biting finales featuring the very best up and coming talent in the sporting world today.
This is arguably the most notable and prolific platform available for younger prospects to prove themselves as viable commodities before heading to the NBA via the yearly draft event, with most players often being drafted much higher due to their ties with the college game.
Several players at the highest level had previously made a strong name for themselves and have further raised their notoriety to NBA scouts via the collegiate system with a number of schools benefiting greatly from some of their star athletes prior success.
These are the most successful NCAA programs based of their success in the sport of basketball:
- UCLA Bruins:
There has never been a collegiate program that has enjoyed a more storied dynasty than the one that the UCLA Bruins developed from 1964 through to 1975.
During that span, the Bruins won an impeccable ten National titles throughout that remarkable timeline and were headlined by the most prestigious athlete in all of collegiate sports and one of the all-time greats, Lew Alcindor, who is more famously known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar following his legendary run in the NBA a few years later and his patterned ‘skyhook’ shot.
The Bruins have won eleven titles in total, with their last coming back in 1995, as well as bolstering one of the most impressive castings of graduates including hall-of-famers Bill Walton, Reggie Miller among others, as well as notable current NBA stars such as Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love and Lonzo Ball.
- Kentucky Wildcats:
The Wildcats have always remained as a perennial contender throughout the entirety of the NCAA’s widespread history, with eight national titles to their name.
This year, the Wildcats are ranked at +750 to reach the Final Four in the upcoming March Madness tournament according to the latest NCAA basketball lines on the DraftKings sportsbook.
From 1948 to 1958, the Wildcats won four National titles before winning another championship in 1978 and another two titles in 1996 and 1998, with the school’s eighth and final title coming in 2012.
There have been several Kentucky Wildcats who were picked high in the draft as well as developing into NBA All-Stars such as Anthony Davis, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, De’Aaron Fox and Karl-Anthony Towns amongst many others.
- UNC Tar Heels:
When it comes to the history of the best UNC alumni, there are few that can compete with Michael Jordan for arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time and one of the world’s most distinguished star athletes.
After first winning a national title way back in 1957 with an undefeated 20-0 record, Jordan burst onto the scene during the early 1980s and won the school their second national title thanks to his famous game winning jump shot during the 1982 NCAA tournament championship win over Georgetown.
In the years following, the Tar Heels have won another four titles in 1993, 2005, 2009 and 2017 with some of their top names including the likes of James Worthy, Vince Carter, Bob McAdoo and Jerry Stackhouse.
- Duke Blue Devils:
UNC and bitter rivals Duke share an immensely passionate and die-hard fanbase, as well as the continuous development of several high-profile talents that have been selected during the first few picks of the opening round for a majority of NBA draft classes.
Duke are also five-time winners of the National title with their prior successes coming in 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010 and 2015 as well as a number of memorable final four finishes in recent seasons, thanks to their elite development of several talent.
Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Grant Hill, Elton Brand and this NBA season’s current number one overall pick Paolo Banchero, have all formally donned the illustrious royal blue Duke jerseys and have since enjoyed several moments of success during their NBA careers.
Outside of these illustrious and majorly successful schools, other programs that have enjoyed several years of success include the Indiana Hoosiers (5), Kansas Jayhawks (4), UConn Huskies (4) and the Villanova Wildcats (3) as well as a total of seven schools tied with two championships to their name.
Given that the March Madness tournament is set to begin within the next few weeks, many fans of the college game will be quick to question as to whether any of these teams listed above will be able to claim even more National title glory and continue to rise up the active listings of the top NCAA programs in the college basketball scene today.