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Daniel Wilco | | July 6, 2018

These schools have won the most championships

  In 2018, Stanford won it's 116th overall NCAA championship with a women's swimming & diving title, and it's 117th with women's tennis.

Stanford is one of only 180 schools that have won an NCAA title at the highest level of competition (either Division I or NC). The Cardinal also happen to have done it the most, with 117 championships to their name, one ahead of second-place UCLA.

Here's the list of the top 15 schools by championships won:

Rank School Total titles Different sports won
1 Stanford 117 20
2 UCLA 116 20
3 Southern California 106 17
4 Oklahoma State 52 5
5 Penn State 50 10
6 Texas 46 10
7 Arkansas 44 6
T8 LSU 43 7
T8 North Carolina 43 7
10 California 37 10
T11 Florida 35 14
T11 Michigan 35 10
T13 Denver 33 3
T13 Oregon 33 8
15 Georgia 31 9

Okay then, California schools. Only three programs have won more than 52 championships in their history, and all three are in the Golden State.

Naturally, those schools have won their titles in a variety of sports.

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There have been championships in 39 different sports in the history of the NCAA. Stanford and UCLA have captured championships in 20 different sports each, while Southern California has won in 17.

Rank School Sport Titles
1 Oklahoma State Wrestling 34
2 Southern California Men's outdoor track and field 26
3 Denver Skiing 24
4 Iowa Wrestling 23
T5 North Carolina Women's soccer 21
T5 Southern California Men's tennis 21
T5 Yale Men's golf 21
8 Arkansas Men's indoor track and field 20
T9 UCLA Men's volleyball 19
T9 Colorado Skiing 19
T9 Stanford Women's tennis 19
T9 West Virginia Rifle 19
13 Stanford Men's Tennis 17
T14 Houston Men's golf 16
T14 UCLA Men's tennis 16

Here are some other takeaways from the data:

  • No school has won more championships in a single sport than Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have won a double-take-inducing 34 wrestling championships. During one stretch from 1928 until 1949, Oklahoma State won 16 of 20 titles. 

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  • The most dominance in any sport comes from Chapel Hill, where North Carolina has won 21 of the 36 possible women’s soccer titles. From 1982 until 2000, the Tar Heels won 16 of 19 championships. What’s more, from the very first championship (in 1982) until 2015 — a span of 34 years — UNC never went three years in a row without winning at least one championship. If you were a women’s soccer player at North Carolina during that span and stayed all four years, you were guaranteed to win at least one title. Not a bad deal.
  • Southern California has won 26 titles in men’s outdoor track and field, but there have also been 99 champions crowned in that sport. Denver has 24 of the 66 skiing championships, and Iowa has 23 of 89 wrestling titles.
  • Of the top 15 schools, none are more well-rounded than Florida. The Gators have 35 championships in 14 different sports. That's the most variety per title.
  • On the other end of that spectrum is Denver, which has 33 championships in just three sports. The Pioneers have won one men's lacrosse title, eight men's ice hockey crowns, and 24 skiing championships.

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