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Using a data-driven formula, UK blew away the field

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Greatest Tradition in the History of College Basketball has now been named the “Greatest College Basketball Program Ever” by CBS Sports.

The Kentucky men’s basketball program came out on top – and by a large margin – in a data-driven ranking of college basketball’s best programs since the advent of the NCAA Tournament in 1939. UK blew away the competition with 1,931.8 points, nearly 250 points more than North Carolina in second place. Duke ranked third, followed by UCLA and Kansas.

Matt Norlander headed up research to provide “a ranking built much more on statistics and achievements than broad perception or subjective rankings.”

Norlander came up with categories and assigned values to them, assigning points – in order of importance – for NCAA Tournament championships (20 points), Final Four appearances (10 points), regular-season titles (five points), Elite Eights without making the Final Four (three points), NIT titles (three points), NCAA Tournament bids (two points, win (0.5 points), losses (-0.5 points), wins over ranked opponents (0.5 points), weeks ranked (0.1 point), top-10 NBA picks (five points), 11-30 NBA picks (three points) and 31-60 NBA picks (one point).

Data from the NCAA record book, Sports Reference, RealGM.com, CollegePollArchive.com, Stats Inc., school record books, KenPom.com and ESPN’s College Basketball Encyclopedia was used.

Kentucky, the NCAA’s all-time leader in wins (2,319), NCAA Tournament wins (129), NCAA Tournament appearances (58) and NCAA Tournament games (181), ranked among the leaders in nearly every major category.

In addition to leading in the aforementioned fields, UK owns 49 Southeastern Conference regular-season championships, ranks second with eight national titles, is tied for second with 17 Final Fours and is second in Final Four wins with 20.

Of course, Kentucky has really asserted its dominance with its recent NBA Draft success, highlighted again this week when three more Wildcats were selected in the NBA Draft. UK has produced 41 NBA Draft picks, 31 first-rounders, 21 lottery selections and three No. 1 picks in just the last 11 years alone under current head coach John Calipari.

The current Wildcats will look to continue the tradition of dominance next week when they open the 2020-21 season in the Bluegrass Showcase. UK will take on Morehead State on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Rupp Arena on SEC Network.

For the latest on the Kentucky men’s basketball team, follow @KentuckyMBB on TwitterFacebookInstagram and TikTok, and on the web at UKathletics.com.

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