Throughout the college basketball season, the Associated Press releases a Top 25 poll ranking the best teams in the nation. This gives fans a grasp of who some of the best teams in the country and gives talking heads all over something to argue about.
After going through all polls dating back to January 1949, the AP ranked the Top 100 programs of all-time, with the UConn Huskies coming in at No. 16.
The rankings are only based on the AP’s weekly poll during the season, which ends with the regular season. The formula used gives one point for every appearance in the poll and two points for every No. 1 ranking.
The number of teams in the poll has fluctuated over time as well. At its inception, 20 teams were ranked. It moved to 10 teams from 1960-1968 before returning to 20. The expansion to 25 came before the 1989-1990 season, where it has remained ever since.
UConn totaled 402 points, having appeared in 30.04% of the polls with the first appearance coming January 26, 1954. At the time, UConn was a perfect 14-0 and coming off an impressive 106-81 victory over Boston College. However, the Huskies would drop their next two games and were later eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by Navy.
The Huskies only made the poll twice after that, in the 1980-1981 season, before Jim Calhoun took over. The program quickly rose to prominence once he did—after Calhoun’s third season UConn appeared in the poll every year but one.
The glory days of UConn’s program came in the 2000’s, as the Huskies appeared in 75.79% of polls and received the No. 1 ranking 18 times.
The Huskies have been the No. 1 team 29 times in program history, most recently on March 2, 2009. Their longest run at the top spot came during the 1998-1999 season, where the team which eventually won the national championship was No. 1 for 10 straight weeks. Coincidentally, today happens to be the 18th anniversary of the program’s first national championship in an upset win over Duke, 77-74.
Some notable programs which rank above UConn include former/current conference rivals No. 7 Louisville, No. 9 Syracuse, No. 10 Cincinnati and No. 15 Georgetown. Kentucky took the top spot while North Carolina and Duke rounded out the top three.
Since this list only accounts for regular season success, UConn’s spot is lower than most would put them as an all-time program. UConn’s ability to perform well in the postseason has really set it apart from the pack. Given how far back these rankings pull from and that postseason results aren’t included, this is an impressive result for the program.