For me…

Tier One:


2. Kentucky

3. UNC

4. Duke

5. KU

6. IU

It’s the combination of titles, FFs and longevity of success. You have to remember that IU has two titles outside of Knight, so it’s not just about his run entirely.

Tier Two:

7. Louisville

8. Michigan State

9. UConn

10. Ohio State

Louisville has pulled ahead of MSU in recent years IMO with one more FF and one more national title. MSU and UConn is a really good test as to what you prioritize. Michigan State has a decided edge in Final Fours (9-5) and longevity of success (FFs in the 50s and 70s and occasional spikes of relevance in the 80s and early 90s prior to Izzo…UConn has no equivalents). However, if you value national titles above all else, UConn has the edge. For me, when you’re in this kind of discussion, the Final Fours really matter. Yes, it absolutely counts as to who wins the whole deal, but it’s not an arguable point that Final Fours are really how “success” for a program at an elite level is most commonly measured. It’s unusual…isn’t true in any other sport, but in college basketball, I think that’s really the measure. If UConn had say 7 or 8 FFs, I’d say that’s close enough that the national titles obviously outweigh the difference but when MSU has 4 more FFs, I think that plus the longevity thing slightly eeks out a win vis a vis the Huskies. OSU has one more FF than MSU but also one fewer national titles…so there, I think MSU’s additional title overcomes the one FF gap between the two in OSU’s favor. Definitely very close between 8, 9 and 10.