Game’s bluebloods still lead theway
The programs that bleed blue have dominated when it comes to being No. 1 in The Associated Press college basketball poll — though the shades of the color have varied.
UCLA has been the most frequent No. 1 in the AP ranking with 134 appearances at the top, mostly thanks to coach JohnWooden’s unmatched dynasty on the 1960s and 1970s. Next come Duke ( 129), Kentucky ( 124), North Carolina ( 110) and Kansas ( 65).
The Associated Press has been ranking the best programs in college basketball since January 1949. Over 68 years and more than 1,100 polls, a total of 59 schools have been ranked No. 1, starting with Saint Louis. The Billikens wear blue.
Maybe it was a sign of things to come.
Wooden had been coaching at UCLA for 15 years, successful butwithoutwinning a national title. That changed in the 1963- 64, when the Bruins went 30- 0 and won the NCAA Tournament. Itwas the first of 10 championships in a 12- year span for UCLA.
The Bruinswere a regular fixture atop the AP rankings during UCLA’s era of dominance. Three of those championships (’ 67, ’ 68 and ’ 69) werewonwith LewAlcindor, nowKareem AbdulJabbar. Bill Walton played center on the ’ 72 and ’ 73 title teams.
“While our practiceswere the most demanding endeavors that I’ve ever been a part of, so physically, emotionally, mentally and psychologically taxing, there is always the sense of joy, of celebration and of people having fun playing a simple game,” Walton wrote on his website in a tribute to Wooden. The Associated Press has been ranking the best teams in college basketball since January 1949. 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 to mark consistency and No. 1 rankings ( two points each) to acknowledge elite programs: 1. Kentucky ( 1,111 points) 2. North Carolina ( 1,098) 3. Duke ( 1,032) 4. UCLA ( 957) 5. Kansas ( 857) 6. Indiana ( 662) 7. Louisville ( 627) 8. Arizona ( 594) 9. Syracuse ( 581) 10. Cincinnati ( 500)