Top 5 college basketball programs
Five of the best colleges for NCAA basketball
College basketball, despite its decline as the major route for players looking to get drafted into the NBA, is still huge in America. In the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s division I alone there are 346 schools playing in 32 conferences still providing players with the opportunity to get into the sport professionally via higher education. Here is the realbuzz.com guide to arguably the five best programs around the country. They are in no particular order, so put down your pitchforks!
The University of North Carolina Tar Heels
The University of North Carolina’s Tar Heels are among the most successful and celebrated intercollegiate basketball outfits in the country. North Carolina boasts an illustrious list of names and retired Jersey numbers among their former rosters – Phil Ford, James Worthy, Antawn Jaimson, Jerry Stackhouse and some guy called Michael Jordan – and the hallowed court of the Dean Smith Arena is one of college ball’s greatest strong holds.
The Tar heels have won the NCAA championship five times and are currently enjoying a pretty fruitful period under Coach Roy Williams who has got them to two final fours and coached them to the 2005 championship.
University of Central Los Angeles Bruins
It will be difficult for the UCLA Bruins to reach the lofty heights they achieved in their period of NCAA dominance between 1964 and 1975 when under Coach John Wooden they won 10 championships out of 12 and produced greats of the game such as Kareem Abdul -Jabbar. However, this is really due more to the extent to which they achieved their stranglehold on the college game, winning seven championships on the run from 67 to 73.
Although the Bruins have fallen away from the pinnacle of the NCAA in recent years, they have added one championship notch to their sword taking the tally to 11, which remains a record. As well as this their fortunes have showed worrying (for the rest of the NCAA) signs of changing. A new period of consistency has started creep in under current helmsman Ben Howland who has now taken them to four final fours.
Duke University Blue Devils
Not only is Duke a superb school for basketball but it is also considered one of the best and most prestigious schools in the country period. The blue devils are recognized as one of the premier teams of the college game and are current NCAA champions (as of 2010).
The school is currently enjoying a golden age under national team coach Mike Krzyzewski who has led the Blue Devils to four championships and 11 final fours in 30 seasons at the helm.
The Blue Devils play their home games at the superb Cameron Indoor Stadium which is rated as one of the best college sports venues in the country as well as one of most hostile for away teams, populated as it is for every game by the “Cameron Crazies” notorious fanatics among college ball fans. It is hard to imagine a better school to play basketball.
University of Kansas Jayhawks
Looking for a school to play basketball? How about playing for the institution whose first coach, James Naismith, was the inventor of the game itself? Kansas University (and their three-time NCAA championship winning team the Jayhawks) is a school which throughout history has produced basketball hall of famers. Legend of the game Wilt chamberlain and Boston Celtics Jo Jo White among other notables were both former Jayhawks.
Despite this rich history, it is in the modern era of NCAA basketball that the Jayhawks have really shone and they are now considered among the most prestigious schools for basketball in the country. The team has gone from strength to strength under current coach Bill Self. This in spite of the constant gutting of their roster − including the exodus of their entire starting lineup − after their demolition of the 2007-08 season.
University of Kentucky Wildcats
The University of Kentucky has one of the richest basket-balling histories in the country. They are the most successful team in terms of win ration and (as of 2010) are the second most successful in terms of overall championships with seven, second only to UCLA’s 10.
The school’s most successful period occurred from 1948-58 under their legendary coach Adolph Rupp, who won the Wildcats four NCAA championships a record for any college ball coach. They remained competitive throughout the intermediary period − from Rupp’s retirement in 1972 to present − winning three more titles but under current coach John Calipari the wildcats are threatening to return to the lofty heights they achieved in their heyday. Under “Coach Cal” They have already broken host of records, and also had the honor of meeting the president as a reward for their fundraising effort in aid of the Haiti earthquake.