Best Program in Every State Since 2010

College Basketball

College basketball is all about bragging rights. Every year, bragging rights are up for grabs in each state as to who can be called the best. If we are lucky as fans, we get to see these natural rivalries play out in person. Yet every year is not the same. As teams go through down years another contender can rise to the occasion to take the top spot.

At CBB Review we have counted down the Top 5 Games of the Decade, Top Coach of the Decade, Best Program of the Decade, and the Greatest Team of the Decade. To continue the theme it is time to give you the greatest program in every state since 2010.

Alabama

#1 Auburn Tigers

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Alabama and UAB have more wins than Auburn, but in the past few seasons, Auburn has been able to turn their program around under Bruce Pearl. With two NCAA tournaments and five wins, Auburn stormed past Alabama to earn the bragging rights in the state.

Total Programs: 10

Top 5: #2 Alabama, #3 UAB, #4 Jacksonville State, # South Alabama

Arizona

#1 Arizona Wildcats

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Arizona was one of the few states where there was no competition for the top spot. With nearly almost 100 more wins than Arizona State, Arizona has completely dominated the Grand Canyon State.

Total Programs: 4

Top 4: #2 Arizona State, #3 Grand Canyon, #4 Northern Arizona

Arkansas

#1 Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas’s tournament appearances equal the total appearances of every other team in the state. The Razorbacks are the only major conference team in the state and represent the SEC as the first team on this list.

Total Programs: 5

Top 5: #2 Little Rock, #3 Arkansas State, #4 Arkansas-Pine Bluff, #5 Central Arkansas

California

#1 San Diego State Aztecs

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This one may come as a surprise but the Aztecs have been quietly consistently reaching the NCAA tournament seven times. They only trail Saint Mary’s in wins and their average KenPom rating and only trail UCLA in tournament wins. However, across the board, the Aztecs have proven themselves as the cream of the crop in California.

Total Programs: 25

Top 5: #2 Saint Mary’s, #3 UCLA, #4 California, #5 Stanford

Colorado

#1 Colorado Buffaloes

Colorado is another team where the contest wasn’t quite there. With four NCAA tournaments and a .600 winning percentage, the Buffaloes have dismantled their competition.

Total Programs: 5

Top 5: #2 Colorado State, #3 Northern Colorado, #4 Denver, #5 Air Force

Connecticut

#1 UConn Huskies

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UConn has had a few down years here as of late, but they are also one of the only three teams that have been crowned National Champions multiple times within the decade.

Total Programs: 7

Top 5: #2 Yale, #3 Quinnipiac, #4 Fairfield, #5 Hartford

Delaware

#1 Delaware Blue Hens

An in-state rivalry is all that stands in Delaware. The stats all point toward Delaware and with 11 meetings with Delaware State the Blue Hens have won seven of them to earn the rights as the top dog in the “First State”.

Total Programs: 2

Top 2: #2 Delaware State

Florida

#1 Florida Gators

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Florida State has won the past six meetings between the two schools. Florida however still holds a higher winning percentage, higher KenPom rating, more NCAA tournament wins and appearances, as well as been ranked for more weeks in the AP poll. Florida State is right on the heels of the Gators and if they want to hold on to this spot Florida will need to remain extremely successful.

Total Programs: 13

Top 5: #2 Florida State, #3 Miami, #4 UCF, #5 Florida Gulf Coast

Georgia

#1 Georgia State Panthers

In all honesty, the state of Georgia has not fared all that well in college basketball. Georgia State earns this spot with the most wins in the state, highest winning percentage, and most tournament appearances and wins. Those that may feel Georgia was snubbed need to take a look at the facts.

Total Programs: 6

Top 5: #2 Georgia, #3 Georgia Tech, #4 Mercer, #5 Georgia Southern

Hawaii

#1 Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

The only team in Hawaii has a challenge when they play on the road but they make things work.

Idaho

#1 Boise State Broncos

Boise State hasn’t done much to earn this position, but they are the only ream in the state to have an above .500 winning percentage and the only team to make the NCAA tournament.

Total Programs:3

Top 3: #2 Idaho, #3 Idaho State

Illinois

#1 Illinois Fighting Illini

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The state of Illinois has a few teams who have all had a successful season but not many have had more than one. Illinois has been the most consistent to earn this position.

Total Programs: 13

Top 5: #2 Illinois State, #3 Loyola-Chicago, #4 Northwestern, #5 Southern Illinois

Indiana

#1 Purdue Boilermakers

 

http://gty.im/1124446358 This may have been the state with the most competition. The Hoosier State is just that, basketball heaven. Butler Notre Dame and Indiana all could have their arguments but it is Purdue that has earned this place. With almost an identical resume as Butler, Purdue earned the best of the Hoosier State with their tougher schedule for the entirety of the period.

Total Programs: 10

#2 Butler, #3 Notre Dame, #4 Indiana, #5 Valparaiso

Iowa

#1 Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa has been making a push but Iowa State has done just enough to maintain the top spot.

Total Programs: 4

Top 4: #2 Iowa, #3 Northern Iowa, #4 Drake

Kansas

#1 Kansas Jayhawks

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There wasn’t any doubt here, it’s Kansas. The bigger surprise may be Wichita State taking the second spot over Kansas State.

Total Programs: 3

Top 3: #2 Wichita State, #3 Kansas State

Kentucky

#1 Kentucky Wildcats

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Another state where there wasn’t much doubt. Kentucky has dominated the state and even dominated Louisville even with allowing Louisville’s National Championship.

Total Programs: 6

Top 5: #2 Louisville, #3 Western Kentucky, #4 Morehead State, #5 Northern Kentucky

Louisiana

#1 LSU Tigers

They haven’t been the most consistent but as the only major conference team in the state with a few years of great success, LSU ran away with this spot.

Total Programs: 12

Top 5: #2 Louisiana Tech, #3 Louisiana, #4 Northwestern State, #5 Southern

Maine

#1 Maine Black Bears

As the only team, there wasn’t any doubt that Maine has earned this position despite a .303 winning percentage.

Maryland

#1 Maryland Terrapins

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Maryland easily earned this place as the only team in the state with an above .500 win percentage.

Total Programs: 9

Top 5: #2 Mt. St. Mary’s, #3 Loyola, #4 Towson, #5 Morgan State

Massachusetts

#1 Harvard Crimson

Harvard has certainly earned this position. A .690 winning percentage, four NCAA tournament appearances, and the only team in Massachusetts to win a tournament game since 2010.

Total Programs: 8

Top 5: #2 Northeastern, #3 Boston, #4 UMass, #5 Boston College

Michigan

#1 Michigan State Spartans

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Between Michigan and Michigan State the state is in good hands. The Spartans however, have just edged out Michigan in just about every category. There is no guarantee that Michigan State can maintain this position.

Total Programs: 7

Top 5: #2 Michigan, #3 Oakland, #4 Western Michigan, #5 Eastern Michigan

Minnesota

#1 Minnesota Golden Gophers

Surprisingly the only division I program in the state. Minnesota does however have four NCAA tournament appearances to sit behind as well.

Mississippi

#1 Ole Miss Rebels

Ole Miss has just been a little bit more consistent than Mississippi State. Neither have resumes to brag about but Ole Miss does have more NCAA tournament appearances wins, and a higher KenPom average.

Total Programs: 6

Top 5: #2 Mississippi State, #3 Southern Miss, #4 Jackson State, #5 Alcorn State

Missouri

#1 Missouri Tigers

The early half of the decade gave this position to Missouri over Saint Louis. They don’t have as many wins or as many wins in the NCAA tournament but have a higher KenPom average and have been ranked for almost 40 more weeks than Saint Louis.

Total Programs: 5

Top 5: #2 Saint Louis, #3 Missouri State, #4 UMKC, #5 Southeast Missouri State

Montana

#1 Montana Grizzlies

A fantastic in-state rivalry that has been dominated by Montana. The Grizzlies were the easy selection here.

Total Programs: 2

Top 2: #2 Montana State

Nebraska

#1 Creighton Bluejays

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It isn’t even close to the consistency of Creighton to be challenged by either Nebraska or Omaha. The one thing Creighton os missing is some success in the NCAA tournament.

Total Programs: 3

Top 3: #2 Nebraska, #3 Omaha

Nevada

#1 Nevada Wolfpack

Another state with two programs that make a classic natural rivalry. UNLV has certainly held this spot in the past but it belongs to Nevada now. The two are pretty similar but Nevada has the edge in the head-to-head match-ups given them this title.

Total Programs: 2

Top 2: #2 UNLV

New Hampshire

#1 New Hampshire Wildcats

Neither team is above .500, but New Hampshire has done better than Dartmouth.

Total Programs: 2

Top 2: #2 Dartmouth

New Jersey

#1 Seton Hall Pirates

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Kevin Willard has completely changed Seton Hall around and has now made it the basketball school to attend in New Jersey. From the trajectory, it looks as if they may hold this sport for some time.

Total Programs: 8

Top 5: #2 Princeton, #3 Rider, #4 Rutgers, #5 NJIT

New Mexico

#1 New Mexico Lobos

This is one of the few in-state rivalries left to play one another twice a season. On their resumes, the two schools are extremely similar but New Mexico has doubled the wins over their rival making them the best in the state.

Total Programs: 2

Top 2: #2 New Mexico State

New York

#1 Syracuse Orange

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With quite a few programs this was no easy task for Syracuse but with many of the programs struggling at times, Syracuse has earned the right to be the best.

Total Programs: 22

Top 5: #2 Buffalo, #3 Iona, #4 Stony Brook, #5 St. Bonaventure

North Carolina

#1 Duke Blue Devils

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It was going to be Duke or North Carolina that was without question. North Carolina has had down years for its standard and Duke has dominated the series as of late making the Blue Devils the best program in what could arguably be the best state to play college basketball.

Total Programs: 18

Top 5: #2 North Carolina, #3 NC State, #4 Davidson, #5 NC Central

North Dakota

#1 North Dakota State Bison

North Dakota State hasn’t stepped off the gas in their runs to multiple NCAA tournaments.

Total Programs: 2

Top 2: #2 North Dakota

Ohio

#1 Ohio State Buckeyes

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Indiana, North Carolina, and Ohio all stood out as quite possibly the best states for college basketball. Within Ohio, Ohio State jumped out on top which seemed effortlessly even though we are certain it wasn’t easy. Xavier and Cincinnati are right on the heels of the Buckeyes, but Ohio State has remained the best of Ohio.

Total Programs: 14

Top 5: #2 Xavier, #3 Cincinnati, #4 Dayton, #5 Akron

Oklahoma

#1 Oklahoma Sooners

Every program in the state is above .500 and Oklahoma is one of only three states that have at least three programs to accomplish that. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are fairly equal until you take a look at NCAA tournament wins where the Sooners have six and are the only program in the state to win an NCAA tournament game.

Total Programs: 4

Top 4: #2 Oklahoma State, #3 Tulsa, #4 Oral Roberts

Oregon

#1 Oregon Ducks

 

http://gty.im/1204075189 Oregon has been dominant. They have over 100 wins more than the second place team Oregon State and are the only team in the state to have any tournament wins.

Total Programs: 4

Top 4: #2 Oregon State, #3 Portland State, #4 Portland

Pennslyvania

#1 Villanova Wildcats

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Along with UConn and Duke, Villanova is the only other program to claim two NCAA Championships within the decade. Within Pennslyvania, it was no question that Villanova was the top dog.

Total Programs: 13

Top 5: #2 Pittsburgh, #3 Temple, #4 Bucknell, #5 Lehigh

Rhode Island

#1 Providence Friars

It came down to the head-to-head results between Providence and Rhode Island as their resumes are extremely similar. Providence has outperformed Rhode Island to take the top spot.

Total Programs: 4

Top 4: #2 Rhode Island, #3 Brown, #4 Bryant

South Carolina

#1 Clemson Tigers

They don’t have the best winning percentage, the most NCAA tournament appearances, or NCAA tournament wins. However, Clemson is right there in the conversation in all of those categories as well as boasting the highest KenPom average in the state to claim the top spot.

Total Programs: 12

Top 5: #2 Wofford, #3 South Carolina, #4 College of Charleston, #5 Winthrop

South Dakota

#1 South Dakota State Jackrabbits

South Dakota State has just carried the way in South Dakota making five NCAA tournaments to South Dakota’s none.

Total Programs: 2

Top 2: #2 South Dakota

Tennessee

#1 Tennessee Volunteers

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With the most tournament wins, most tournament appearances, and most weeks ranked this spot belongs to Tennessee. It certainly wasn’t easy as Tennessee could be the best state for mid-major programs.

Total Programs: 13

Top 5: #2 Memphis, #3 Belmont, #4 Murray State, #5 Middle Tennessee

Texas

#1 Baylor Bears

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Without Scott Drew, this would have never been possible. Yet, Baylor has easily been the most successful and consistent program in the past decade. This spot was easily given to Baylor above the others.

Total Programs: 23

Top 5: #2 Texas, #4 Houston, #4 SMU, #5 Stephen F. Austin

Utah

#1 BYU Cougars

Not necessarily the school many think of when they think of Utah but it is without question that BYU is currently the best in the state. BYU leads in almost every field easily making them the best team in Utah.

Total Programs: 6

Top 5: #2 Utah State, #3 Utah, #4 Weber State, #5 Utah Valley

Vermont

#1 Vermont Catamounts

They may be the only program in the state but Vermont could also be competitive in many other states runnings as they have reached the NCAA tournament four times and boast a winning percentage above .700.

Virginia

#1 Virginia Cavaliers

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It doesn’t feel like they have been dominant that long but as we know time flies and Virginia has been a threatening force in the ACC and college basketball for some time now. With a National Championship and a winning percentage above .700, this spot was easily theirs.

Total Programs: 14

Top 5: #2 VCU, #3 Virginia Tech, #4 Old Dominion, #5 Richmond

Washington

#1 Gonzaga Bulldogs

 

http://gty.im/1206508137 Without any doubt this spot belongs to Gonzaga. Gonzaga could arguably be the greatest program without an NCAA title.

Total Programs: 5

Top 5: #2 Washington, #3 Eastern Washington, #4 Washington State, #5 Seattle

Washington DC

#1 Georgetown Hoyas

It may not be a state, but it houses many great programs and a rich history. Georgetown holds this spot despite their struggles as of late and still aren’t challenged by many.

Total Programs: 4

Top 4: #2 George Washington, #3 American, #4 Howard

West Virginia

#1 West Virginia Mountaineers

West Virginia has this place easily over a good Marshall program.

Total Programs: 2

Top 2: #2 Marshall

Wisconsin

#1 Wisconsin Badgers

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It certainly wasn’t easy to fend of Marquette but Wisconsin has done just that. Wisconsin leads in just about every category within the state and is top 10 in NCAA tournament wins within the decade.

Total Programs: 4

Top 4: #2 Marquette, #3 Green Bay, #4 Milwaukee

Wyoming

#1 Wyoming Cowboys

The only team in Wyoming but they have made the NCAA tournament despite having a below .500 winning percentage.

 

All images courtesy of Getty Images

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