Kentucky became great under Adolph Rupp, and that’s a big reason the home arena bears his name. Everyone from Pat Riley to Anthony Davis played at Kentucky, and they have won several championships in their time. The team was involved in the greatest college basketball finish of all time giving up a long jumper to Christian Laettner in the NCAA tournament, and their coaches call to mind hall of famers of every kind. Eddie Sutton, Tubby Smith, Rick Pitino and John Calipari are all among the luminaries of the sport.
#2: North Carolina
North Carolina became the UNC of today under Dean Smith, and the school is the home of Michael Jordan. There is not much else to say about a program that birthed the best basketball player in the history of the sport, but it should be said that the North Carolina coaching and playing tree stretches to every end of basketball. Dean Smith created a dynasty that still gives back to the game decades after his debut.
Duke was not a very good basketball school until they hired Coach K to run their team. He was a nobody coming off a stint as an assistant under Bobby Knight at Army, but he is now the winningest coach in history. Duke has won five national titles under Coach K, and they appear in the Final Four regularly. The number of trips they have taken to the Final Four is staggering in comparison to other schools, and plenty of his former players have gone on to coach the game at every level.
Indiana is known as a basketball school primarily because it’s always been known as a basketball state. Bobby Knight had an undefeated season with the Hoosiers , and the school has several national titles to its credit. The red striped pants the Hoosiers wear to the court are as iconic as the school itself. Assembly Hall is a name that all basketball fans know, and the team has never once lost its relevance.
John Wooden’s run at UCLA featured so many great players and championships that there is not enough time to list them all. From Lew Alcindor to Bill Walton, UCLA is the home of championships. John Wooden became the Wizard of Westwood in his time at the school, and the Bruins still attract talent on name alone in the same way Alabama football does. UCLA is a true picture of greatness all basketball fans remember.
The Jayhawks are the last on the list, but they are not the least. Allen Fieldhouse is a beautiful place to watch basketball, and the team has several championships to its credit. They have hosted some of the greatest players in the game, and they are in contention nearly every season. A list of great basketball schools cannot be completed without Kansas.
Other schools such as Louisville, Villanova, Arizona, and Michigan have their own history that is worth mentioning. College basketball is a rich and diverse sport that begins with the six teams on this list. Their tradition of excellence makes the sport more exciting to watch.