Top 10 winningest college basketball teams are Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, UCLA, Temple, Syracuse, Notre Dame, St. John’s and Indiana.
NCCA Div I basketball has emerged as one of the beloved college sports in the United States, with its high-flying dunks, last-second turmoil, and intense rivalries.
Founded as the NCAA March Madness in 1939, the competition has been giving a thrilling experience for fans ever since. Among all the teams, UCLA stands tall as the ultimate champion, having clinched the coveted trophy a record 11 times.
Besides, Kansas, Purdue, Wisconsin, and Illinois State are among the oldest university hoops teams. They have existed since the late 1800s, making their mark on the college basketball scene for quite a long time.
Best NCAA basketball teams of all time:
- UCLA Bruins
- Kentucky Wildcats
- North Carolina Tar Heels
- Duke Blue Devils
- Kansas Jayhawks
- Indiana Hoosiers
Kansas Jayhawks has recorded the most wins in NCAA basketball history. Jayhawks play their home games at Allen Fieldhouse arena.
The Crimson and Blue Jersey is a college basketball team of the University of Kansas that played its first competitive game in 1898. Their hoops program is one of the oldest in NCAA tournaments, with a rich history of 125 years.
Besides, the Jayhawks have won 4 national championships, most recently in 2022. Under the head coach Bill Self, Kansas defeated North Carolina in the championship game to secure their fourth NCAA title.
Moreover, the Jayhawks have made it to the championship finals 10 times, but unfortunately, they came up short and finished as the second-best team in six of those instances.
All-time record: 2385-885
First season: 1898
Kentucky Wildcats broke the record for most wins in NCAA basketball season in the 2014-15 campaign with 38 wins.
The Wildcats also boast the highest winning percentage in the league’s history. They have won 2,377 out of 3,125 games, a stunning win percentage of 76 with just 748 defeats as of the 2022-23 season.
The University of Kentucky team competes in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and plays home games at the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.
Additionally, the Wildcats have won the NCAA Tournament eight times, with their most recent championship coming in 2012. In the National Championship game, they emerged victorious against the Kansas Jayhawks to be the second most storied club in March Madness.
Legendary coach Adolph Rupp guided the team to victory in four championship titles in the 1940s and 1950s.
All-time record: 2377-748
First season: 1903
North Carolina Tar Heels have claimed the National Championship six times. Their sixth title triumph came in 2017 after beating Gonzaga Bulldogs in the final.
The Tar Heels are only behind UCLA and Kentucky in third on the list of most NCAA Division I basketball champions. Their titles came in 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009, and 2017.
Since their debut season in 1910-11 till the end of the 2021-22 season, North Carolina has achieved an impressive all-time winning rate of .733 (the second highest ever). They have won 2,343 games while losing 852 games over the course of more than 111 seasons.
One of the most illustrious figures associated with North Carolina basketball is Michael Jordan. Jordan played for the Tar Heels from 1981 to 1984 and helped lead them to the 1982 national championship.
All-time record: 2343-852
First season: 1910
Duke Blue Devils is the fourth-winningest team in college basketball history, with 2,273 wins. They currently play under head coach Jon Scheyer.
Established in 1905, the program play its home game in Cameron Indoor Stadium and was initially named the Trinity Blue Devils. They have emerged as champions in the NCAA national tournament five times, placing them fourth in the all-time rankings.
In 1991 and 1992, the Blue Devils won back-to-back NCAA Championships led by stars such as Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, and Grant Hill. Duke won its 3rd national championship in 2001 and their fourth national title in 2010.
In 2015, Duke captured its fifth NCAA crown, with freshmen stars Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, and Justise Winslow playing pivotal roles.
All-time record: 2273-920
First season: 1906
The UCLA Bruins have a shining record in collegiate athletics, with an incredible 11 NCAA tournament victories under their belt.
This makes them the most successful program in the history of the tournament. When it comes to the most dominating college basketball program of all time, there is no doubt that UCLA takes the crown.
The Bruins have won the most NCAA national championships with eleven titles. They are known for their dominance in the 1960s and 1970s.
Under the coaching of John Wooden, who led the team from 1948 to 1975, UCLA won a remarkable 10 NCAA Division I Championships in just 12 years. This incredible run included seven consecutive titles, a record that still stands today.
All-time record: 1986-888
First season: 1920
Temple Owls represents Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They play their home games at Liacouras Center arena, with 10, 206 seating capacity.
The Owls partake in the NCAA Division I as a constituent of the American Athletic Conference (AAC). It is the oldest college sports program to compete in the tournament, with a hoops tradition tracing back to 1895.
The Owls basketball team has not claimed a national championship title throughout its extensive history. However, they experienced notable success during the 1956 and 1958 seasons, reaching the prestigious Final Four stage.
Besides, the Owls have earned a reputation as the fifth-most successful team by the total number of wins. By the 2022-23 season, they had accumulated 1,977 victories.
All-time record: 1977-1137
First season: 1895
Syracuse Orange became the NCAA tournament champion in 2003. The Orange is among the oldest team in the competition, founded in 1898.
The member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Syracuse Orange represents Syracuse University of New York, and its home arena is called JMA Wireless Dome, with a capacity of 35,642.
Jim Boeheim, one of the most respected coaches at the collegiate level, has been at the helm of the Syracuse program since 1976.
Under his leadership, the team achieved numerous accomplishments, including six Final Four appearances, two runner-ups, and a national championship in 2003.
Furthermore, Syracuse has established itself as a prominent force in March Madness, ranking sixth in total victories among all teams. Their overall record stands at 1,973 wins and 964 losses as of 2022-23.
All-time record: 1973-964
First season: 1901
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish represents the University of Notre Dame. Micah Shrewsberry is the current head coach of the team.
The program began in 1897 and played its first top-flight season in 1998. Notre Dame plays their home games in the Purcell Pavilion at the Edmund P. Joyce Center.
The Fighting Irish have won two retroactively awarded national champions from the Helms Foundation for the 1927 and 1936 seasons. Notre Dame is also the first Big East team to go invincible at home for two successive seasons.
Moreover, the team has made numerous appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including seven trips to the Elite Eight. In 1978, the Fighting Irish made it to the NCAA Final Four but fell short of ascending to the final.
All-time record: 1950-1089
First season: 1898
St. John’s Red Storm competes in the Big East Conference of the NCAA basketball division. The program has a win-loss record of 1922-1085.
The Red Storm has appeared in 30 NCAA Tournaments, most recently appearing in 2019. Their best finish in the competition was in 1952 when they were NCAA runner-ups and made the Final Four.
Besides, St. John’s also made a Final Four appearance in 1985 but could not advance to the championship game. Their home ground Carnesecca Arena in the Madison Square Garden holds an audience capacity of over 19,000.
Some of the notable players to have donned the Red Storm’s red and white are Chris Mullin, Walter Berry, David Wear, Malik Sealy and D’Angelo Russell.
All-time record: 1922-1085
First season: 1908
Indiana Hoosiers are the five times NCAA Champions. Their historic triumphs came in 1940, 1953, 1976, 1981, and 1987.
The Hoosiers have also won 22 Big Ten championships, the second most in conference history, behind only Purdue (25). They also rank tenth in all-time most victories in NCAA leagues with 1,913 wins and 25th in the teams with the highest win% at 63.4 percent.
The Indiana University Bloomington basketball program captured its first NCAA Championship, led by coach Branch McCracken, in 1940. Then 1953 NCAA Championship victory saw the Hoosiers dominate the competition.
The 1976 season marked an extraordinary achievement as the Hoosiers went undefeated the entire campaign securing their third NCAA Championship. Moreover, Indiana grabbed their fourth and fifth trophy in the 80s under the masterful coaching of Bob Knight.
All-time record: 1913-1102
First season: 1901