New York is the state with the highest total number of victories in NCAA Division I men’s basketball. The Empire State has around two dozen active Division I programs, ranking them behind only Texas and California. Geographically, the state was settled before most other states, leading to a richer basketball history.
Let’s have a look at the top 10 states with the richest histories in this sport.
1. New York
As mentioned, New York has more than 20 DI programs, with 14 having at least 1,000 program history victories: Colgate, Columbia, Army, Canisius, Cornell, Fordham, Iona, St. Bonaventure, St. Francis, St. John’s, LIU, Manhattan, Niagara, and Syracuse.
There are many more than New York City, Syracuse, and St. John’s, although those are the first that usually come to mind.
The Golden State’s DI programs are relatively new to this level despite their national high. These include Cal Baptist, Sacramento State, UC Davis, San Diego, Cal State Bakersfield, Cal Poly, Cal State Northridge, and UC Riverside, with experience ranging from 32 years to just two seasons for UC San Diego. In their DI lifespan, they range from a baby to a millennial.
Stanford, UCLA, and USC have very rich basketball histories spanning more than a century.
It’s no surprise that Texas ranks as high as it does, given its population and geographic size. DI programs like SMU, Texas A&M, Baylor, Rice, TCU, and Texas boast over a century of competition in the division. Eight of the programs have been competing at this level for less than four decades, and over 33% of Texan DI programs have less than two decades of experience.
With 14 DI programs, Pennsylvania ranks fourth nationally. There are a lot of victories in this state, considering Penn State, the Top 5 in Philadelphia, and the Pittsburgh tradition.
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Albeit having around as many DI programs as Illinois and Florida, the Buckeye State has far more wins than both of those and as many victories of national championships as Illinois and Florida combined.
6. North Carolina
Despite its rich basketball history and tradition, North Carolina has fewer than 1000 average lifetime victories per school. Against the backdrop of the DI programs associated with excellent national universities like Duke, there are many championships and talented players in this state. Other notable programs include Wake Forest, NC State, and North Carolina.
Virginia has about the same number of DI programs as the Keystone State, but the latter has more wins by far.
Illinois has 13 DI programs, but they’ve won just one national championship. Collectively, their victories put them in the eighth position nationwide.
This state is practically synonymous with basketball. Indiana University has won the men’s basketball national championship multiple times. Quite a few of the largest high school basketball gyms in the US are located in the Hoosier State.
Tennessee is one position lower than Indiana, although it has two more DI programs than the Hoosier State. That’s because UT Martin, Lipscomb, Belmont, and other schools of that caliber have spent three decades or less at the highest college basketball level.