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Daniel Wilco | October 18, 2018

The best 3-point shooting college basketball teams this century

In 2018, Division I college basketball teams shot more 3-pointers than ever before, firing off more than 250,000 shots from beyond the arc.

The total 3-pointers taken have increased 66.7 percent since the turn of the century, becoming more and more of a factor in the college game.

3-point-shot-attempts-over-time


So which team has benefited the most from that? Which team is the best 3-point shooting team this century?

To decide this, we couldn’t just rank teams by shooting percentage (which would give an advantage to teams that shot fewer 3-pointers), or by total 3-pointers made (advantage to teams who shot more). Instead, we created a simple 3-point index, comparing each team's performance in both categories to the full range of performances in both categories. Each team’s 3-point index is calculated as follows:

3-point-index

Furthermore, we only looked at teams that have been in Division I for all 18 years this century, leaving us with 316 candidates.

And the winner? Duke. 

The Blue Devils have hit 5,235 3-pointers since the turn of the century (second-most) while hitting 37.8 percent of their attempts (sixth-best).

Before we get to the full rankings, a few takeaways from the data:

  • No team has made more 3-pointers in this century than Belmont. The Bruins have 5,449 since 2000. That’s an average of 9.5 made 3-pointers per game, adding up to 37.2 percent of all of Belmont’s points this century. For comparison, the average Division I team hits 6.5 3-pointers per game for a total of 28 percent of its points.
  • Of the 316 teams, Gonzaga is the most accurate from deep. Since the turn of the century, the Bulldogs have shot 38.2 percent from the line, quite a bit better than the average of 34.7 percent.
  • Of all teams, none have relied less on the 3-point shot than Texas Tech. The Red Raiders have shot just 8700 3-pointers since 2000 (the average is 10,171), and 3-pointers account for just 22 percent of their points this century.

Here is the full ranking:

Rank School 3PM 3P% 3-point index
1 Duke 5235 0.378 0.9318
2 Belmont 5449 0.366 0.9004
3 Notre Dame 4839 0.379 0.8706
4 Creighton 4859 0.377 0.8596
5 Davidson 5091 0.365 0.8264
6 Florida 4830 0.366 0.7812
7 Kansas 4286 0.381 0.7797
8 Gonzaga 4192 0.382 0.7668
9 Vanderbilt 4698 0.367 0.7642
10 Oregon 4680 0.367 0.7607
11 Akron 4588 0.364 0.7249
12 Villanova 4682 0.360 0.7207
13 Butler 4613 0.361 0.7121
14 Brigham Young 4224 0.372 0.7118
15 Weber State 3972 0.379 0.7081
16 Samford 4450 0.364 0.6978
17 Indiana 4162 0.372 0.6956
18 Troy 4945 0.348 0.6888
19 Lafayette 4359 0.364 0.6828
20 Denver 3912 0.376 0.6772
21 Michigan State 3949 0.375 0.6760
22 Utah State 3804 0.379 0.6741
23 Arizona 4014 0.372 0.6733
24 Saint Mary's (CA) 4213 0.366 0.6663
25 Eastern Kentucky 4402 0.360 0.6650
26 Air Force 4211 0.365 0.6598
27 Louisville 4655 0.351 0.6547
28 Iona 4181 0.365 0.6546
29 Marquette 4045 0.368 0.6528
30 New Mexico 4130 0.365 0.6445
31 Virginia Commonwealth 4327 0.358 0.6415
32 Michigan 4490 0.352 0.6338
33 Baylor 4189 0.361 0.6307
34 Iowa State 4107 0.363 0.6296
35 Eastern Washington 4088 0.363 0.6280
36 Drake 4058 0.364 0.6261
37 Oakland 4309 0.356 0.6255
38 Utah 3915 0.367 0.6228
39 Valparaiso 4196 0.359 0.6220
40 Wisconsin 4241 0.358 0.6212
41 Princeton 4043 0.363 0.6180
42 Wofford 4100 0.361 0.6162
43 Western Kentucky 4200 0.358 0.6156
44 Wichita State 4166 0.358 0.6071
45 Northern Iowa 4151 0.358 0.6071
46 Oklahoma 4114 0.359 0.6061
47 Ohio 4187 0.357 0.6057
48 Xavier 4027 0.361 0.6055
49 Missouri 4287 0.353 0.6011
50 UC-Irvine 3812 0.367 0.5980
51 Ohio State 4015 0.360 0.5966
52 UCLA 3859 0.365 0.5948
53 Illinois 4323 0.351 0.5939
54 Murray State 3977 0.361 0.5914
55 Dayton 4059 0.358 0.5909
56 Miami (FL) 4107 0.357 0.5891
57 Montana 3808 0.365 0.5867
58 North Carolina 4047 0.357 0.5839
59 Boise State 4179 0.353 0.5817
60 College of Charleston 4156 0.354 0.5795
61 Montana State 4041 0.356 0.5744
62 UC-Santa Barbara 3669 0.365 0.5610
63 Robert Morris 3947 0.357 0.5607
64 West Virginia 4353 0.344 0.5563
65 Illinois State 4000 0.354 0.5561
66 Purdue 3905 0.357 0.5542
67 Portland 3665 0.364 0.5538
68 North Carolina State 3936 0.356 0.5533
69 Saint Joseph's 4094 0.351 0.5533
70 Missouri-Kansas City 4159 0.349 0.5531
71 Boston University 4061 0.352 0.5530
72 William & Mary 4063 0.352 0.5508
73 Northwestern 4307 0.345 0.5496
74 Kentucky 4007 0.353 0.5467
75 Milwaukee 4344 0.343 0.5455
76 Portland State 3748 0.360 0.5443
77 Northern Arizona 3638 0.363 0.5416
78 Marist 4093 0.349 0.5415
79 Stanford 3664 0.362 0.5386
80 Southeast Missouri State 3695 0.361 0.5384
81 Oral Roberts 3544 0.365 0.5376
82 Virginia 3704 0.360 0.5376
83 Arizona State 3956 0.352 0.5343
84 Canisius 4120 0.347 0.5306
85 Central Michigan 4123 0.347 0.5287
86 Houston 4100 0.347 0.5270
87 Maryland 3695 0.359 0.5262
88 Pacific 3755 0.357 0.5248
89 Cornell 3837 0.354 0.5241
90 Furman 3981 0.350 0.5239
91 Rider 3937 0.351 0.5218
92 Colgate 3638 0.359 0.5201
93 Bucknell 3631 0.360 0.5198
94 Richmond 4152 0.344 0.5178
95 Oklahoma State 3872 0.352 0.5172
96 Temple 4355 0.338 0.5150
97 Columbia 3609 0.359 0.5148
98 Santa Clara 3960 0.349 0.5145
99 Mississippi 4114 0.344 0.5130
100 Tennessee 4057 0.346 0.5122
101 Lehigh 3560 0.360 0.5119
102 Mercer 3976 0.348 0.5118
103 Charlotte 4066 0.346 0.5117
104 IUPUI 3624 0.358 0.5117
105 Kent State 3970 0.348 0.5103
106 San Diego 3672 0.357 0.5099
107 Southern Utah 3183 0.371 0.5098
108 Appalachian State 3959 0.347 0.5035
109 American 3597 0.358 0.5034
110 VMI 4790 0.323 0.5016
111 Texas 3946 0.347 0.5016
112 Northeastern 3866 0.350 0.4997
113 Arkansas 3848 0.350 0.4964
114 Green Bay 3428 0.362 0.4960
115 Iowa 3798 0.351 0.4960
116 San Francisco 3834 0.350 0.4946
117 Idaho 3572 0.357 0.4945
118 Central Florida 3845 0.349 0.4939
119 Toledo 3757 0.352 0.4936
120 Cal State Fullerton 3759 0.352 0.4935
121 Georgia State 3725 0.353 0.4930
122 Georgetown 3714 0.353 0.4926
123 Memphis 4018 0.344 0.4915
124 Chattanooga 4113 0.341 0.4882
125 Fresno State 4020 0.343 0.4875
126 Tulsa 3755 0.351 0.4856
127 Vermont 3546 0.356 0.4824
128 Arkansas State 3551 0.356 0.4817
129 Middle Tennessee 3504 0.357 0.4813
130 Citadel 4118 0.339 0.4780
131 Syracuse 3925 0.344 0.4770
132 Florida State 3744 0.349 0.4764
133 Nevada-Las Vegas 3928 0.343 0.4727
134 Winthrop 3871 0.345 0.4717
135 Evansville 3054 0.369 0.4700
136 Charleston Southern 3827 0.346 0.4692
137 Elon 3974 0.341 0.4687
138 Army 3668 0.350 0.4681
139 Minnesota 3708 0.349 0.4680
140 Washington State 3684 0.350 0.4679
141 Pennsylvania 3669 0.350 0.4653
142 Colorado 3620 0.351 0.4640
143 Wright State 3522 0.354 0.4640
144 Missouri State 3531 0.353 0.4621
145 Boston College 3849 0.344 0.4618
146 North Carolina-Greensboro 3759 0.347 0.4613
147 Washington 3665 0.349 0.4602
148 Texas Christian 3803 0.345 0.4601
149 Georgia Southern 3760 0.346 0.4601
150 Wake Forest 3561 0.352 0.4594
151 East Tennessee State 3715 0.348 0.4592
152 Pittsburgh 3693 0.348 0.4586
153 Duquesne 3890 0.342 0.4575
154 La Salle 3719 0.347 0.4567
155 Sam Houston State 3910 0.341 0.4556
156 New Mexico State 3533 0.352 0.4532
157 Buffalo 3743 0.346 0.4520
158 Western Michigan 3701 0.347 0.4509
159 Southern Methodist 3421 0.355 0.4496
160 Colorado State 3427 0.354 0.4493
161 North Carolina-Wilmington 3780 0.344 0.4491
162 Hofstra 3766 0.344 0.4490
163 Marshall 4035 0.337 0.4486
164 Albany (NY) 3434 0.354 0.4475
165 Tennessee Tech 3661 0.347 0.4474
166 Cincinnati 3967 0.338 0.4462
167 Connecticut 3464 0.353 0.4459
168 Campbell 3602 0.349 0.4459
169 Western Illinois 3199 0.360 0.4450
170 Brown 3527 0.351 0.4441
171 Coastal Carolina 3687 0.346 0.4424
172 Tennessee State 3708 0.345 0.4418
173 Austin Peay 3546 0.350 0.4413
174 Providence 3826 0.341 0.4386
175 Long Beach State 3747 0.343 0.4374
176 South Alabama 3675 0.345 0.4372
177 Auburn 4006 0.335 0.4349
178 Cal Poly 3805 0.341 0.4348
179 Penn State 3827 0.340 0.4340
180 Indiana State 3721 0.343 0.4338
181 North Carolina-Asheville 3515 0.349 0.4314
182 Virginia Tech 3518 0.349 0.4308
183 Mississippi State 3885 0.338 0.4303
184 Saint Francis (PA) 3463 0.350 0.4303
185 Clemson 3797 0.341 0.4295
186 Little Rock 3328 0.354 0.4277
187 Florida Atlantic 3572 0.347 0.4274
188 Western Carolina 3840 0.339 0.4271
189 Seton Hall 3770 0.341 0.4260
190 Nevada 3565 0.347 0.4252
191 Eastern Illinois 3219 0.357 0.4252
192 Alabama-Birmingham 3789 0.340 0.4219
193 Harvard 3312 0.353 0.4189
194 Idaho State 3296 0.353 0.4166
195 Texas State 3620 0.343 0.4157
196 Jacksonville State 3505 0.347 0.4147
197 Monmouth 3704 0.341 0.4137
198 Illinois-Chicago 3422 0.349 0.4127
199 Texas-Arlington 3664 0.341 0.4098
200 St. Bonaventure 3579 0.344 0.4084
201 Long Island University 3723 0.339 0.4069
202 Rice 3572 0.343 0.4068
203 High Point 3322 0.351 0.4057
204 Texas A&M 3498 0.345 0.4055
205 Wagner 3517 0.345 0.4051
206 Ball State 3477 0.346 0.4049
207 Hartford 4015 0.330 0.4041
208 Southern California 3500 0.345 0.4041
209 Texas-Rio Grande Valley 3591 0.342 0.4027
210 New Hampshire 3880 0.334 0.4009
211 Pepperdine 3476 0.345 0.4002
212 University of California 3327 0.350 0.3996
213 South Carolina 3838 0.335 0.3995
214 East Carolina 3753 0.337 0.3988
215 Texas-San Antonio 3725 0.338 0.3974
216 Detroit Mercy 3429 0.345 0.3919
217 Youngstown State 3499 0.343 0.3906
218 Kansas State 3415 0.345 0.3903
219 Nebraska 3555 0.341 0.3901
220 Jacksonville 3430 0.345 0.3883
221 Louisiana-Monroe 3552 0.341 0.3869
222 Texas-El Paso 3378 0.346 0.3868
223 Liberty 3578 0.340 0.3858
224 Bradley 3548 0.341 0.3858
225 Morehead State 3404 0.344 0.3816
226 Louisiana State 3531 0.341 0.3812
227 Siena 3467 0.343 0.3811
228 Massachusetts 3816 0.332 0.3810
229 Cleveland State 3583 0.339 0.3797
230 Mount St. Mary's 3655 0.337 0.3781
231 Georgia Tech 3464 0.342 0.3772
232 Niagara 3974 0.327 0.3766
233 Delaware State 3591 0.338 0.3756
234 Alabama 3663 0.336 0.3754
235 Bowling Green State 3280 0.347 0.3739
236 Texas Tech 3067 0.353 0.3706
237 Southern Illinois 3282 0.346 0.3688
238 Central Connecticut State 3141 0.350 0.3666
239 San Diego State 3508 0.339 0.3661
240 Louisiana 3663 0.334 0.3660
241 James Madison 3515 0.339 0.3649
242 St. Francis (NY) 3806 0.330 0.3624
243 Fairfield 3600 0.336 0.3612
244 Stephen F. Austin 3092 0.350 0.3610
245 George Washington 3255 0.346 0.3608
246 Georgia 3367 0.342 0.3571
247 Quinnipiac 3353 0.342 0.3545
248 Saint Peter's 3465 0.338 0.3538
249 Sacred Heart 3326 0.341 0.3481
250 Louisiana Tech 3609 0.333 0.3453
251 Fairleigh Dickinson 3488 0.336 0.3448
252 Southeastern Louisiana 3234 0.344 0.3446
253 Holy Cross 3247 0.343 0.3430
254 Maine 3511 0.335 0.3412
255 Manhattan 3261 0.342 0.3408
256 Loyola (IL) 3286 0.341 0.3375
257 Yale 3168 0.343 0.3316
258 Dartmouth 3060 0.346 0.3290
259 Delaware 3513 0.332 0.3244
260 Sacramento State 3234 0.340 0.3234
261 Nicholls State 3584 0.329 0.3192
262 North Texas 3238 0.339 0.3168
263 Drexel 3302 0.337 0.3168
264 Radford 3450 0.333 0.3162
265 Miami (OH) 3399 0.334 0.3157
266 Oregon State 3268 0.338 0.3151
267 Wyoming 3561 0.329 0.3144
268 Lamar 3330 0.336 0.3142
269 George Mason 3244 0.338 0.3141
270 Tennessee-Martin 3504 0.331 0.3139
271 Stony Brook 3188 0.340 0.3121
272 Saint Louis 3257 0.338 0.3112
273 Hawaii 3307 0.336 0.3094
274 Rhode Island 3401 0.333 0.3084
275 Coppin State 3529 0.329 0.3077
276 Maryland-Baltimore County 3249 0.337 0.3044
277 Cal State Northridge 3045 0.342 0.3001
278 Northwestern State 3362 0.333 0.2988
279 McNeese State 3253 0.335 0.2963
280 Mississippi Valley State 3598 0.324 0.2904
281 Florida A&M 3414 0.330 0.2889
282 Northern Illinois 3163 0.337 0.2882
283 Stetson 3478 0.327 0.2874
284 Old Dominion 3378 0.328 0.2716
285 DePaul 3306 0.330 0.2714
286 Navy 3460 0.325 0.2680
287 Eastern Michigan 3344 0.328 0.2639
288 Tulane 3187 0.331 0.2571
289 Loyola (MD) 3121 0.333 0.2555
290 San Jose State 3151 0.332 0.2540
291 Southern Mississippi 3090 0.331 0.2373
292 Rutgers 3154 0.328 0.2322
293 Fordham 3453 0.318 0.2217
294 Norfolk State 3098 0.327 0.2159
295 Texas Southern 3299 0.321 0.2143
296 Chicago State 3220 0.323 0.2128
297 Towson 3054 0.327 0.2061
298 Howard 3158 0.323 0.1965
299 Loyola Marymount 2989 0.327 0.1959
300 St. John's (NY) 3087 0.324 0.1947
301 Alabama State 3243 0.319 0.1919
302 Bethune-Cookman 3114 0.323 0.1916
303 North Carolina A&T 3474 0.312 0.1875
304 Hampton 3296 0.313 0.1603
305 Southern 3004 0.320 0.1540
306 Florida International 2863 0.324 0.1497
307 Maryland-Eastern Shore 3205 0.312 0.1402
308 Alcorn State 2962 0.319 0.1396
309 South Florida 2853 0.322 0.1393
310 Grambling 2811 0.321 0.1213
311 Prairie View 3054 0.313 0.1151
312 Jackson State 3073 0.310 0.1007
313 South Carolina State 2887 0.314 0.0915
314 Morgan State 2754 0.316 0.0804
315 Arkansas-Pine Bluff 2857 0.306 0.0340
316 Alabama A&M 2927 0.303 0.0321