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#tbt: What is the Best Program in College Basketball The Last Five Years

Over the course of this offseason we will use Thursday to look back at various events, games, players, anything you want. Think of it as #tbt for Today’sU.com. Some of these will be first-hand accounts or just a rambling about the good ‘ole past. Follow me @uklefty22 for all #tbt posts as well as other ones throughout the week.

Who is the best team over the last five years? It’s something many college basketball fans offer, often using their own school bias for opinions. What if there was a scoring system that could help people argue what program has had the best five year run?

Well, luckily for you, I came up with that. The scoring system is fairly easy: Conference Tournament titles were worth 2 points, No. 1 seeds=5, No. 2/3 seeds = 3, No. 4/6 seeds = 2, NCAA Tournament Bid = 1, National Title = 5, Final Four = 3, Sweet 16 = 1. All progressive scoring.

Was UConn winning two titles over that five year span enough to make them the greatest? What about the consistency of a school like Duke or Kentucky? Below are the five best programs over the last five seasons based on the scoring system.

Just missed the cut: Wisconsin (26), Ohio State (24), Michigan State (23)

  1. UCONN (29 points)

Best Season: Tied 2010/11 and 2013/14 14 points

Worst Season: Tied 2012/13 and 2014/15 – 0 points

The definition of boom or bust for UConn is winning two titles in five years and missing the NCAA Tournament twice in the same span. The best year came during the first title run with Kemba Walker and Jim Calhoun at the helm. The Huskies defeated Butler in the title game as a No. 3 seed, giving them three more points than the most recent title year.

15 February 2010: UCONN head coach Jim Calhoun (right) talks with Kemba Walker during the second half of the Connecticut Huskies at Villanova Wildcats game at The Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Connecticut defeated Villanova 84-75.

Kemba Walker led Jim Calhoun’s Huskies with one of the most impressive individual tournament runs in the last 5 years.

  1. Duke (32 Points)

Best Season: 2014/15 -14 points

Worst Season: Tied 2011/12 and 2013/14 – 3 points

Duke obviously had a ton of success, but for the majority of the five year span it resulted in early exits in the NCAA Tournament. This past year was the first year Duke made the Final Four during the five season span, obviously resulting in a national title. If the Blue Devils didn’t lose to Lehigh and Mercer and played to seed it could be argued that Duke would contend for the best program over this time. However, the knock will always be there that Duke isn’t as successful in the NCAA Tournament as many believe.

T2 Kansas (34 points)

Best Season: 2011/12 – 12 points

Worst Season: Tied 2013/14 and 2014/15 – 3 points

What shouldn’t shock anyone is Kansas is the only program in this group of five not to win a national championship. However, Kansas always makes the NCAA Tournament with a high seed and has won a couple Big 12 Conference Tournaments. Despite only making one Final Four, the ranking here shows the consistency of Kansas under Bill Self. However, the knock on Kansas, much like Duke, is not playing to seed in the NCAA Tournament.

T2 Louisville (34 Points)

Best Season: 2012/13 season – 16 points

Worst Season: 2010/11 season – 2 points

Shockingly, the only team to score a perfect season is the 2012/13 Louisville Cardinals. After winning the ACC and getting the No. 1 seed, the Cardinals came back to beat Michigan in the title game. Despite getting knocked out early in the 2011/12 season, back-to-back Final Four trips helped bolster the Cardinals point total. Now, I don’t believe the 2012/13 Louisville team is the best individual team of this time span, but it’s hard to argue how good they were with the perfect score.

  1. Kentucky (38 points)

Best Season: 2011/12 season – 14 points

Worst Season: 2012/13 season – 0 points

Arguably the most consistent program of this era, the Wildcats show it by the dominating points total. Kentucky has made the Final Four four out of five years, despite missing the NCAA Tournament in the 2012/13 year. The loss to Wisconsin in the Final Four this year cost Kentucky a chance at a perfect season and perfect score in this system. However, it was the second group to score double digits for Kentucky.

Shocked by anything? Agree with it all? Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter.

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