Basketball Teams With Most NCAA Men’s Tournament Wins | Launderer’s report
0 out of 7
Tony Avelar/Associated Press
Regular season accomplishments are great, but success is largely seen through the lens of March Madness.
Throughout NCAA Men’s Tournament History—which started in 1939—UCLA has won a record 11 national championships. However, a different team sits atop the all-time Big Dance win list.
A note of clarification: Since its inception, the field has grown from eight to 68 teams and used a variety of formats. Over the years, byes and play-in games have changed the construction of the bracket. Any win is included.
The list, which includes nullified wins and does not take NIT into account, is accurate as of the Elite Eight results at the 2022 tournament.
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Darron Cummings/Associated Press
NCAA Tournament Wins: 70
Michigan State had appeared in the NCAA Tournament twice before Jud Heathcote took over in 1976-77. Three seasons later, a roster led by future NBA legend Magic Johnson propelled the Spartans to their first-ever national championship.
Heathcote guided MSU to 14 wins in nine appearances; Tom Izzo has overseen 24 consecutive trips to March Madness with 53 wins. Izzo’s teams have collected eight Final Four points and a national title.
Syracuse has a relatively similar history.
Before hiring Jim Boeheim in 1975, the Orange had won eight NCAA tournaments. He honed what Roy Danforth built, making Syracuse an eternal contender. The program has only missed the Big Dance in 10 of its 46 seasons, winning 62 games with a championship highlighting five trips to the Final Four.
2 out of 7
David J. Phillip/Associated Press
NCAA Tournament Wins: 71
The history of Villanova goes back to the beginning.
In the inaugural NCAA Tournament in 1939, the Wildcats picked up a win over Brown. They returned to the playoffs three more times under Al Severance, which preceded six NCAA offers for Villanova with Jack Kraft leading the program.
Rollie Massimino provided the championship breakthrough, helping the eighth-seeded Wildcats win a surprise title in 1985. In total, they notched 20 wins in 19 seasons.
Jay Wright replaced Steve Lappas in 2001 and made the program a powerhouse. Through the Elite Eight in 2022, Wright has 34 wins with national championships in 2016 and 2018.
3 out of 7
Chris Steppig/Associated Press
NCAA Tournament Wins: 76
Louisville’s program soared under Denny Crum, who coached the Cardinals for exactly 30 seasons from 1971-72 to 2000-01. They have reached March Madness 23 times, heading to six Final Fours and celebrating two national titles.
After his retirement, the school hired Rick Pitino. Although his tenure ended unceremoniously, Pitino enjoyed major success.
Pitino has overseen 13 tournament teams in 16 years, and Louisville has won a since vacated championship against Michigan in 2013. But we don’t ignore the reality that it happened.
Louisville has posted 70 of those 76 wins during their tenures.
4 out of 7
Greg Nelson/Getty Images
NCAA Tournament Wins: 113
Thanks to Sunday’s triumph over Miami, Kansas tied UCLA for the fourth most NCAA tournament wins.
Kansas has a proud basketball tradition with three championships, six runners-up and seven other Final Four appearances—which includes the 2022 team. Phog Allen, Larry Brown and Bill Self all won national titles while leading the Jayhawks.
And the most decorated program in Division I history, UCLA is most famous for its dominance during the John Wooden era.
Wooden began his tenure in 1949 and only reached the playoffs three times in his first 13 years. From 1962, however, the Big Dance was owned by the Bruins. They won 10 national titles over a 14-year period, including seven in a row from 1967 to 1973.
Wooden recorded 47 tournament wins during his career at UCLA, and 10 coaches combined for the other 66. Jim Harrick led the only non-Wooden Championship team in 1995.
A notable connection is that Brown oversaw UCLA’s run to the Final Four in 1980 before winning the 1988 title at Kansas.
5 out of 7
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NCAA Tournament Wins: 118
Duke put on a few respectable runs in the early years of the NCAA tournament, making the Final Four in three 1960s seasons under Vic Bubas and in 1978 with Bill Foster.
But there’s no doubt that this issue is about Mike Krzyzewski.
Foster’s successor in 1980, Coach K waited for his fourth season to finally land a ticket to the Big Dance. Over the past 39 seasons, Duke has appeared in 36 of 38 NCAA tournaments and just secured Krzyzewski’s 13th trip to the Final Four.
Heading into the final weekend of the 2022 tournament, Duke has five championships and four runners-up in its tenure. Krzyzewski is the all-time leader with 101 March Madness wins.
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David J. Phillip/Associated Press
NCAA Tournament Wins: 130
Thanks to the 2022 team’s run to the Final Four, North Carolina climbed in a single victory to share the record.
In his first season, Hubert Davis became the sixth UNC coach to oversee a Final Four team. And he’s aiming to join Frank McGuire, Dean Smith and his predecessor Roy Williams as the leaders of a national championship-winning team.
McGuire is best known for the 1956-57 Tar Heels 32-0 season, while Smith and Williams are college basketball legends. Smith took UNC to 11 Final Fours with a pair of titles, and Williams won three championships in five Final Fours.
North Carolina’s pursuit of the record triumph will pit Mike Krzyzewski against rival Duke.
7 out of 7
Greg Nelson/Getty Images
NCAA Tournament Wins: 131
In the aftermath of 2022’s crushing loss to Saint-Pierre, that’s probably not very comforting. Kentucky became just the 10th second-ranked team to lose a first-round game since 1985.
Still, an all-time record is iconic.
Kentucky’s eight national championships trail only UCLA’s 11, and no program has appeared more often in the NCAA tournament than the “Cats.” Kentucky (57) holds a solid lead over UNC (49), Kansas (48) and UCLA (47) in this category.
Current coach John Calipari has won 31 of Kentucky’s tournaments and celebrated a national title in 2012.