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Andy Wittry | | April 6, 2022

The 50 states, ranked by the total number of men's basketball championships

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Did you know that the next time there's a first-time men's basketball national champion from a state that has never produced the winner of the NCAA tournament, there will be 25 states that have had one of its schools win a national title and 25 that haven't?

The map below shows the 50 states, plus Washington D.C., based on how many Division I men's basketball national championships each state's schools have combined to win. Darker shades of red indicate more national championships.

There's a dot for each city that is home to at least one school that has won a national title. Larger dots represent more national championships.

Here are the states with the five highest national championship totals.

1. California

Total championships: 15
Number of schools that have won a championship: 4

It's no surprise that California is atop this list given the state's population, basketball talent, number of Division I universities and the fact that it was home to the greatest Division I men's basketball dynasty ever at UCLA.

But what is a surprise is that the state hasn't produced the sport's national champion in 25 years, since the Bruins won their last national title in 1995. Thanks to UCLA's seven straight national championships from 1967 to 1973 (and 10 in 12 years), the state of California took home the men's basketball national title 13 times in the 21-year stretch from 1955 to 1975.

San Francisco won back-to-back titles in 1955 and '56, California won its first and only title in '59, then the Bruins started their unprecedented run five years after that.

In total, four schools in California have won a title, starting with Stanford in 1942.

2. North Carolina

Total championships: 13
Number of schools that have won a championship: 3

Thanks to The Triangle — Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh, and each city's ACC institution — the state of North Carolina ranks second among the 50 states in terms of men's basketball national championships.

The Tar Heels have won six titles, the Blue Devils have five and the Wolfpack have two.

Just look at the overlap of the dots that represent Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State on the map above and you'll realize that this state, especially The Triangle region, is home to as much concentrated, high-level men's basketball talent as anywhere in the country.

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3. Kentucky

Total championships: 10*
Number of schools that have won a championship: 2

Can you name the two decades in which a school from the state of Kentucky hasn't had a school win the men's basketball national championship, among full decades since the NCAA tournament started?

That would be the 1960s and the 2000s. In-state rivals Kentucky (1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998 and 2012) and Louisville (1980, 1986) have combined to win at least one title in six of the last eight decades, with the Wildcats doing most of the heavy lifting in that regard.

Kentucky ranks second all-time in national championships, behind only UCLA. The Wildcats have won three national championships since UCLA's most recent national title and four since John Wooden's run ended.

We mentioned the high concentration of national championships in the Chapel Hill-Durham-Raleigh triangle, and similarly, the greater tri-state area of southwest Ohio, southeast Indiana and Northern Kentucky offers a host of college basketball success, between Cincinnati, Indiana, Louisville and Kentucky.

*Louisville's participation in the 2013 national championship was vacated and not included in this story

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4. Indiana

Total championships: 5
Number of schools that have won a championship: 1

No school in the country can match the men's basketball national championship quantity and percentage that Indiana (the university) can claim in Indiana (the state). The Hoosiers are responsible for all five of the national championships that have been won by schools in the basketball-crazy state.

Other schools in Indiana have come close — Butler had national runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2011, Notre Dame has lost in the regional final six times (and has a 1978 Final Four appearance), and Purdue lost in the national championship in 1969 and in the Final Four in 1980 — but none has ultimately cut down the nets at the end of the season.

Indiana is still looking for its first post-Bob Knight national title, having last won a championship in 1987.

RELATED: Read about all five of Indiana men's basketball championship teams

T-5. Connecticut

Total championships: 4
Number of schools that have won a championship: 1

We mentioned what Indiana University's championship success means to the Hoosier State. UConn has a similar status in the Nutmeg State. The Huskies have won all four of the state's national titles — and their two most recent championships (2011 and 2014) were two of the more improbable championship runs in recent college basketball history.

UConn rattled off 11 postseason wins in a row to win the 2011 national title after it lost four of its last five regular season games. Three years later, the Huskies won the national championship as a No. 7 seed.

UConn won its first two titles as a No. 1 seed and No. 2 seed, respectively, so it's not as if the program has been a Cinderella story every time it has cut down the nets. But for a 20-year span, the Huskies had as much goodwill in March as any program in the country.

RELATED: A complete breakdown of all four of UConn's men's basketball titles

T-5. Kansas

Total championships: 4
Number of schools that have won a championship: 1

The University of Kansas won its fourth national championship in 2022 and the Jayhawks have single-handedly carried their home state into the top five nationally, similar to Indiana and UConn. Kansas State was the national runner-up in 1951 and the Wildcats have appeared in four Final Fours — the last coming in 1964 — and Wichita State has two Final Four runs, but so far, Kansas is the only program in the state that has cut down the nets.

T-5. Pennsylvania

Total championships: 4
Number of schools that have won a championship: 2

Just five years ago, the state of Pennsylvania had half as many men's basketball national championships as it does today.

That's because Villanova has elevated itself from a competitive Big East program with a storybook run to a national title as a No. 8 seed in 1985 to a modern-day power, which won two national titles in three years in the last decade.

Many college basketball fans may not realize (or have forgotten) that fellow Big 5 school La Salle won the state's first national championship in 1954.

Here's the complete list of every state, plus D.C., that has won at least one men's basketball national championship.

State titles Number of Schools with a title Last Title
California 15 4 1995
North Carolina 13 3 2017
Kentucky 10 2 2012
Indiana 5 1 1987
Connecticut 4 1 2014
Kansas 4 1 2022
Pennsylvania 4 2 2018
Michigan 3 2 2000
Ohio 3 2 1962
Florida 2 1 2007
New York 2 2 2003
Oklahoma 2 1 1946
Texas 2 2 2021
Wisconsin 2 2 1977
Arizona 1 1 1997
Arkansas 1 1 1994
Illinois 1 1 1963
Maryland 1 1 2002
Massachusetts 1 1 1947
Nevada 1 1 1990
Oregon 1 1 1939
Utah 1 1 1944
Virginia 1 1 2019
Washington D.C. 1 1 1984
Wyoming 1 1 1943

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