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AP All-Time Top 100

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The Associated Press has been ranking the best teams in college basketball since January 1949. Over 68 years and more than 1,100 polls, a total of 200 schools have been ranked and 59 of them have been ranked No. 1 (Saint Louis was the first No. 1).

To determine the all-time Top 100, the AP formula counted poll appearances (one point each) to mark consistency and No. 1 rankings (two points each) to acknowledge elite programs. Keep in mind that AP doesn’t release a poll after the NCAA Tournament, so eventual national champions are not factored into these rankings. Instead, this list focuses more on those programs that consistently appear in the poll and/or at the top during the regular seasons.

The poll started with 20 teams ranked each week until it was reduced to just the Top 10 midway through the 1960-1961 season. It then returned to a Top 20 format for the 1968-69 season. The poll expanded to 25 teams starting with the 1989-1990 and it has remained that size since then. The first preseason poll was introduced at the start of the 1961-1962 season. 

1  KENTUCKY (1,111 Points)

75.37% of all polls
Jan. 18, 1949 (first-ever poll)
124
1950s, appeared in 89.63% of polls, but 1990s were close with 89.33%.
1960s, appeared in 59.59% of polls.
The Wildcats have missed appearing at least once in the poll for only three seasons during the 68-year history of the AP poll, the fewest poll-less seasons of any program. Those seasons were 1952-1953, 1988-1989, and 1989-1990.

2  NORTH CAROLINA (1,098 Points)

76.68% of all polls
Jan. 25, 1953 
110
1980s, appeared in 98.19% of polls.
1960s, appeared in 42.96% of polls.
The Tar Heels have appeared in more AP polls than any other program. UNC also has made the poll at least once each season since 1966-1967, the longest streak of any program at 51 years. What’s even more impressive is the streak started back when the poll only had 10 teams.

3  DUKE (1,032 Points)

67.6% of all polls
Dec. 10, 1951 
129
2000s, appeared in 98.95% of polls, but on pace to top that in the 2010s.
1970s, appeared in 17.86% of polls.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils have been ranked more times than any other team under the same coach. He has led them to nearly 80 percent of the program’s poll appearances. To top that off, Duke has been left out of only four weekly polls since the start of the 1996-1997 season, the highest percentage of any program over that span.

4  UCLA (957 Points)

60.17% of all polls
March 8, 1949
134, most of any program.
1970s, appeared in 100% of polls, only program with a perfect percentage over an entire decade.
1980s, appeared in 39.76% of polls.
The Bruins didn’t miss a single poll for 221 weeks, starting with the preseason 1966-1967 poll and ending with the fifth poll of the 1979-1980 season, the longest consecutive streak of any program.

5  KANSAS (857 Points)

63.49% of all polls
March 7, 1950 
65
1990s, appeared in 91.57% of polls, but also hasn’t missed a poll yet in the 2010s.
1960s, appeared in 30.14% of polls.
The Jayhawks have appeared in every poll since Feb. 2, 2009, the nation’s longest active streak. Since taking over as KU’s head coach in 2003, Bill Self’s teams have appeared in the poll more than 90 percent of the time.

6  INDIANA (662 Points)

48.38% of all polls
Jan. 5, 1950 
54
1990s, appeared in 71.35% of polls.
1960s, appeared in 15.75% of polls.
The Hoosiers’ longest stretch of consecutive weeks in the poll was 73, running from the 1990-1991 to 1994-1995 seasons.

7  LOUISVILLE (627 Points)

54.41% of all polls
Jan. 17, 1950 
2
1970s, appeared in 75.60% of polls, but so far on pace to top that in the 2010s.
1960s, appeared in 26.03% of polls.
While appearing in more than half of the polls to date, the Cardinals only reached No. 1 twice – on March 16, 2009, and Jan. 14, 2013. In fact, Louisville was ranked in 520 polls before landing a No. 1, the longest drought of any team that has appeared in the poll.

8  ARIZONA (594 Points)

45.41% of all polls
Feb. 7, 1950 
37
 1990s, appeared in 99.44% of polls, missing only one weekly poll during the decade..
1960s, didn’t appear in a single poll.
The Wildcats didn’t appear in a single AP poll over a 22-season period that started with 1951-52 and ended when ranked again in the 1973-1974 season, the longest poll drought of any team in the All-Time Top 10.

9  SYRACUSE (581 Points)

47.77% of all polls
Dec. 25, 1951 
17
1990s, appeared in 76.97% of polls.
1960s, appeared in only 2.05% of polls.
The Orangemen appeared in the AP poll only 17 times before Jim Boeheim was promoted to head coach in 1976. Since then, Syracuse has appeared more than 500 times and at least once every season since 1982-1983.

10  CINCINNATI (500 Points)

35.81% of all polls
Jan. 18, 1949 (first-ever poll)
45
1990s, appeared in 61.25% of polls.
1980s, didn’t appear in a single poll during the decade.
The Bearcats are the top “mid-major” appearing more times than any other program not currently in a Power 5 conference.

11  ILLINOIS (479 Points)

38.86% of all polls
Jan. 18, 1949 (first-ever poll)
17
1950s, appeared in 65.93% of polls, but 2000s was a close second, making 65.79% of polls
1970s, appeared in 10.12% of polls.
The Illini’s most successful run was from 2000-2001 to 2005-2006, when the team missed only eight weekly polls and the program collected most of its No. 1 rankings. 

12  OHIO STATE (453 Points)

33.1% of all polls
Feb. 8, 1949 
37
1960s, appeared in 45.21% of polls, but so far on pace to top that in the 2010s.
1950s, appeared in 17.04% of polls.
Nearly 40 percent of the Buckeyes’ poll appearances have come since Thad Matta’s arrival as head coach in 2004.

13  MICHIGAN STATE (434 Points)

35.98% of all polls
Jan. 1, 1952 
11
2000s, appeared in 71.58% of polls, but so far on pace to top that in the 2010s.
1960s, appeared in 2.74% of polls.
Two-thirds of the Spartans’ total poll appearances have come since Tom Izzo was promoted to head coach in 1995. Before Izzo, their appearances were spotty at best.

14  MICHIGAN (423 Points)

33.1% of all polls
Preseason 1963-1964 poll 
22
1990s, appeared in 65.73% of polls.
1950s, didn’t appear in a single poll during the decade.
Since its first poll appearance, Michigan each decade gradually grew its percentage of poll appearances before a seven-year drought that started with the 1998-1999 season and then was followed by only eight poll appearances between 2005-2006 and 2010-2011.

15  GEORGETOWN (421 Points)

34.67% of all polls
Jan. 13, 1953
12
1980s, appeared in 83.13% of polls.
1960s, didn’t appear in a single poll during the decade.
After making their first appearance in the Jan. 13, 1953, poll, the Hoyas didn’t appear again for 25 seasons. Not until January 1978. After that, they were ranked at least once for the next 19 seasons, all under John Thompson’s coaching tenure.

16  CONNECTICUT (402 Points)

30.04% of all polls
Jan. 26, 1954
29
2000s, appeared in 75.79% of polls.
1960s and 1970s, didn’t appear in a single poll during those two decades.
After making their first two appearances during the 1953-1954 season, the Huskies only appeared two more times in the poll (both in 1980-1981) over the next 35 years. Since 1988-1989, coach Jim Calhoun’s third season, they’ve been ranked at least once every season except one.

17  MARYLAND (400 Points)

34.93% of all polls
Jan. 29, 1954
0
2000s, appeared in 75.79% of polls.
1960s, appeared in only one poll.
The Terrapins have the claim of being ranked the most without ever being No. 1. In six different seasons, including four straight in the mid-1970s, Maryland reached No. 2 at least once, but just hasn’t managed to get enough votes to take the top spot.

18  NOTRE DAME (382 Points)

32.49% of all polls
Jan. 31, 1950
5
1970s, appeared in 72.62% of polls.
1990s, appeared in only two polls.
The Irish haven’t had a season where they’ve appeared in every week’s poll since 1985-1986, the longest drought of its kind among the teams in the All-Time Top 25.

19 VILLANOVA (372 Points)

30.57% of all polls
Jan. 18, 1949 (first-ever poll)
11
1960s, appeared in 29.45% of polls, but will top this in the 2010s as it already has appeared in more than two-thirds of the polls so far this decade.
1970s, appeared in 13.69% of polls.
For every decade of the poll, Villanova consistently appeared in about 25 percent of the polls outside of its worst decade, the 1970s, and obviously it’s higher percentage of appearances in recent seasons. Eight of the program’s 11 appearances at No. 1 came in 2016-2017.

20  OKLAHOMA (371 Points)

31% of all polls
Feb. 15, 1949
8
2000s, appeared in 66.84% of polls.
1960s, didn’t appear in a single poll during the decade.
The Sooners’ first season to have appeared in every week’s poll didn’t come until 1984-1985. Since then, OU repeated the feat eight times, with the most recent being the 2015-2016 season.

21  MARQUETTE (366 Points)

31.44% of all polls
Jan. 18, 1955
3, twice during 1970-1971 and once in 1977-1978.
1970s, appeared in every poll except one or 99.4% of polls.
1980s, appeared in 3.01% of polls.
The Golden Eagles were certainly golden in the ‘70s when they appeared in the poll for 166 consecutive weeks and recorded nearly half of their poll appearances in history as well as all three times at No. 1. Only two seasons since then have they been ranked in every week’s poll – 2002-2003 and 2011-2012.

21  NORTH CAROLINA STATE (366 Points)

29.69% of all polls
Jan. 25, 1949
13
1950s, appeared in 80% of polls.
1960s, appeared in 2.05% of polls.
The Wolf Pack’s dominance came in the first 11 seasons of the poll, from 1949-1959, when they recorded one-third of the program’s poll appearances, led by coach Everett Case. Their last season to appear in each week’s poll was 1988-1989.

23  IOWA (343 Points)

29.78% of all polls
Jan. 1, 1952
1
1980s, appeared in 68.67% of polls.
1970s, appeared in 8.33% of polls.
The Hawkeyes have been ranked No. 1 only once. That came in the Jan. 20, 1987, poll during the first season with Tom Davis as head coach. He would lead the team to 51 consecutive poll appearances over his first three seasons, the longest poll streak in school history.

24  PURDUE (339 Points)

29.61% of all polls
Jan. 11, 1955
0
1980s, appeared in 53.37% of polls.
1950s, appeared in 3.7% of polls.
The Boilermakers come and go. Since 1980, they’ve appeared in all the weekly polls for at least one season per decade while also missing the poll altogether at least three other seasons per decade. They are second to only Maryland for the most poll appearances without being No. 1. They’ve reached No. 2 in 10 polls.

25  UNLV (321 Points)

22.45% of all polls
Preseason 1973-1974 poll
32
1980s, appeared in 65.06% of polls.
1950s and 1960s, didn’t appear in any polls both decades.
The Runnin’ Rebels made their poll debut on the eve of Jerry Tarkanian’s first season at UNLV. The towel-biting coach would lead the program to all 32 of its No. 1 rankings and 207 poll appearances, more than 80% of the school’s total, over the next 19 seasons.

 

TOP 100 TEAMS

Rank Team name Points
26 Memphis 307
27 St. John's 306
27 Florida 306
29 Missouri 300
30 Alabama 297
31 Arkansas 289
32 Virginia 283
33 Wake Forest 281
34 Oklahoma State 271
35 Pittsburgh 264
36 Texas 255
37 Wisconsin 250
38 Tennessee 243
39 Utah 239
40 Stanford 232
41 Gonzaga 230
42 West Virginia 229
43 Minnesota 226
44 Kansas State 224
45 Georgia Tech 213
46 Vanderbilt 204
47 LSU 198
48 San Francisco 191
49 DePaul 186
50 USC 174
51 Temple 169
52 Washington 154
53 Xavier 153
53 Iowa State 153
55 New Mexico 149
56 Houston 148
57 Providence 143
58 Mississippi State 140
58 Wichita State 140
60 Bradley 138
60 Oregon State 138
62 South Carolina 135
63 BYU 129
64 Florida State 127
65 Clemson 125
66 Oregon 123
67 Butler 121
68 Massachusetts 118
69 Saint Louis 115
69 La Salle 115
71 Baylor 113
72 Seton Hall 112
73 Western Kentucky 111
74 Boston College 110
75 Texas A&M 105
76 Dayton 98
77 California 97
78 Duquesne 95
79 Arizona State 94
80 Auburn 90
81 Holy Cross 89
82 Creighton 83
83 St. Bonaventure 82
83 Tulsa 82
85 Penn 78
86 SMU 77
87 Miami (FL) 75
88 George Washington 74
89 Davidson 71
90 Oklahoma City 69
91 Saint Joseph's 68
92 Georgia 66
92 San Diego State 66
94 Seattle 65
95 New Mexico State 64
96 Long Beach State 60
96 UTEP 60
98 Loyola Chicago 57
99 Virginia Tech 50
100 Jacksonville 49
100 Mississippi 49