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Daniel Wilco | June 24, 2019

College basketball's 9 winningest teams

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In the history of college basketball, only four programs have won 2,000 games. All of them have captured a national championship since 2008, combining for six of the 11 titles in that span.

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Here are the top nine college basketball programs in terms of all time wins.

9: St. John’s (NY)

St. John's basketball

All-time record: 1817-999
Winning percentage: .645
First season: 1908

From 1975-1992, St. John’s made the NCAA tournament in all but two years. Of those 16 tournament appearances, 15 were led by coach Lou Carnesecca, who had a career coaching record of 526-200, all at St. John’s.

8: Notre Dame

Notre Dame basketball

All-time record: 1845-994-1
Winning percentage: .650
First season: 1898

Notre Dame is the only school that appears in the top nine winningest schools in both basketball and football. Through more than 4,000 games across the two sports, the Fighting Irish have a winning percentage of .678.

RELATED: College football's 9 winningest teams


UCLA basketball

All-time record: 1849-824
Winning percentage: .692
First season: 1920

UCLA owns two of the three longest winning streaks in college basketball history, but starting their program almost two decades later than most other teams on this list has handicapped the Bruins in this ranking.

6: Syracuse

Syracuse basketball

All-time record: 1861-880
Winning percentage: .679
First season: 1901

Syracuse hasn’t had a losing season since 1968-69, when they went 9-16. Since that year, the Orange have won 73 percent of their 1,500+ games.

5: Temple

Temple basketball

All-time record: 1886-1053
Winning percentage: .642
First season: 1895

Temple holds the distinction of being the last national champion before the NCAA tournament began. The Owls won the NIT in 1938 after a 23-2 season, but would go 10-12 the next year and not make the NCAA tournament or the NIT.

4: Duke

Duke basketball

All-time record: 2115-873
Winning percentage: .708
First season: 1906

Duke is one of four teams to join the 2,000-win club. Impressively, more than 1,000 of those wins have come in the last 38 years, with Mike Krzyzewski at the helm.

3: North Carolina

North Carolina basketball

All-time record: 2206-781
Winning percentage: .739
First season: 1911

UNC has had more seasons with over 20 wins (60) than under (48). What’s more, in 108 years of basketball, the Tar Heels have just 10 losing seasons. That consistency will definitely help. 

2: Kansas

Kansas basketball

All-time record: 2217-841
Winning percentage: .725
First season: 1899

The Jayhawks have had 15 seasons with 30 wins or more in their 120-year history. Ten of those have come since the turn of the century. While they’re only 11 games ahead of No. 3 UNC in all-time wins (the closest of any two teams in the top five), that gap has only been growing in recent years.

1: Kentucky

Kentucky's success is unparalleled.
All-time record: 2237-688-1
Winning percentage: .765
First season: 1903

No coach with 1,000 games under his belt has a better winning percentage than Adolph Rupp, who led the Wildcats for 41 years, racking up 876 wins on a .822 winning percentage. Current coach John Calipari is following in those footsteps, having won 81.1 percent of his 339 games at Kentucky.

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