Teams With Most NCAA Tournament Wins Since 2000

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The NCAA Basketball Tournament’s popularity has been fueled in recent years by upsets and Cinderella teams that far exceed everyone’s expectations. Yet each year as the field narrows, many of the same teams usually appear in the final mix. In fact, 17 of the past 28 tournaments have been won by either Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina or UConn. Several of those schools have been part of basketball royalty for 50 or 60 years. We decided to take a look at which teams have the most NCAA tournament wins since the year 2000, just to see which teams have outperformed — or underperformed — traditional expectations. Statistics are current through the 2015 tournament.

 

10. Louisville

Terry Rozier led the Cardinals to the Elite 8 in 2015. © Thornton Krell

Terry Rozier led the Cardinals to the Elite 8 in 2015. © Thornton Krell

NCAA Tournament Wins Since 2000: 27
All-Time NCAA Tournament Record (Wins Rank): 75-42 (6th)
If 27 wins in 16 tournaments this century sounds like a lot, consider this: traditional powers Indiana, Michigan, Georgetown and Cincinnati all have had 12 or fewer NCAA wins since the turn of the century. By the way, while coach Rick Pitino owns all 27 of those wins, he’s got a ways to go to catch Cardinals legend Denny Crum, who recorded 42 tournament victories.

 

9. Arizona

All-American guard Nick Johnson keyed Arizona's NCAA Tournament succes in 2013 and 2014. © Beaver Basketball

All-American guard Nick Johnson keyed Arizona’s NCAA Tournament success in 2013 and 2014. © Beaver Basketball

NCAA Tournament Wins Since 2000: 28
All-Time NCAA Tournament Record (Wins Rank): 54-31 (11th)
There’s no question this program would get more media coverage and recognition for its track record if it were on the East Coast. Totally weird fact: In seven seasons, Sean Miller has a.755 winning percentage, exactly the same mark as Arizona coaching legend Lute Olson.

 

8. Wisconsin

Frank Kaminsky led the Badgers to two Final Fours. © Dennis Adair

Frank Kaminsky led the Badgers to two Final Fours. © Dennis Adair

NCAA Tournament Wins Since 2000: 29
All-Time NCAA Tournament Record (Wins Rank): 34-30 (tie-27th)
This is a surprise. The Badgers did win a national title back in prehistoric times (1940-41), but had only five NCAA tournament wins heading into this century. Bo Ryan established a winning tradition in Madison during his 14 full seasons before unexpectedly retiring late last year; his successor will be expected to maintain that success.

 

7. Connecticut

Kemba Walker carried UConn to a national championship in 2011. © Matthew D. Britt

Kemba Walker carried UConn to a national championship in 2011. © Matthew D. Britt

NCAA Tournament Wins Since 2000: 32
All-Time NCAA Tournament Record (Wins Rank): 58-29 (10th)
Given they’ve won three national titles this century, you’d think the Huskies would be higher on this list. But it seems to be all or nothing for UConn in the postseason. They’ve missed five of the past 15 tournaments as of last year, and four other times they exited in the first or second round.

 

6. Florida

Billy Donovan led the Florida Gators to two national championships and transformed the program into a national power. © Dennis Adair

Billy Donovan led the Florida Gators to two national championships and transformed the program into a national power. © Dennis Adair

NCAA Tournament Wins Since 2000: 33
All-Time NCAA Tournament Record (Wins Rank): 42-17 (Tie-18th)
Hard to believe that Florida had never been to an NCAA Tournament until 1987. Billy Donovan, who arrived to start the 1996-97 season, made the Gators relevant, with back-to-back national titles in 2006-2007.

 

4. (Tie) North Carolina

North Carolina coach Roy Williams talks strategy with his team in this vintage photo circa 2005. © Michelle Donahue Hillison/Shutterstock.com

North Carolina coach Roy Williams talks strategy with his team in this vintage photo circa 2005. © Michelle Donahue Hillison/Shutterstock.com

NCAA Tournament Wins Since 2000: 36
All-Time NCAA Tournament Record (Wins Rank): 112-44 (2nd)
The Tar Heels don’t seem to be attracting the NBA Lottery-type freshmen that can carry a team in the tournament, ala Kentucky. And they’re not the perennial AP Top 10 team they were in the Dean Smith era. But after battling through the brutal ACC regular season each year, Carolina is always a tough team come tournament time.

 

4. (Tie) Kentucky

Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the latest in a line of one-and-done players at Kentucky. © Dennis Adair

Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the latest in a line of one-and-done players at Kentucky. © Dennis Adair

NCAA Tournament Wins Since 2000: 36
All-Time NCAA Tournament Record (Wins Rank): 122-49 (1st)
The Wildcats ran off the rails a bit in the first decade of the 21st century, missing the tournament once, and falling out in the first or second round on five other occasions. John Calipari has mastered the art of recruiting one-and-done players and getting the most of them come tournament time, before bringing in a new class of freshman stars.

 

3. Kansas

Kansas Jayhawks guard Frank Mason III defends against Temple. © Aspen Photo/Shutterstock.com

Kansas Jayhawks guard Frank Mason III defends against Temple. © Aspen Photo/Shutterstock.com

NCAA Tournament Wins Since 2000: 39
All-Time NCAA Tournament Record (Wins Rank): 97-43 (5th)
Oh, if it weren’t for those first-round upsets to 14th-seed Bucknell and 13th-seed Bradley in 2005-06, the Jayhawks would be atop this list. Nevertheless, old-time Kansas coach James Naismith would be proud of the job Bill Self has done since arriving in 2003.

 

1. (Tie) Michigan State

Tom Izzo has led Michigan State to 40 NCAA Tournament wins since 2000. Credit: David Danals

Tom Izzo has led Michigan State to 40 NCAA Tournament wins since 2000. Credit: David Danals

NCAA Tournament Wins Since 2000: 40
All-Time NCAA Tournament Record (Wins Rank): 63-28 (8th)
Everyone knows Tom Izzo has done a great job, but this is a bit of a surprise to see the Spartans atop this list. The Spartans have been so prolific in the postseason, there’s even a saying around East Lansing that the calendar goes “January, February, Izzo.”

 

1. (Tie) Duke

Mike Krzyzewski is setting coaching standards that may never be broken. © Adam Glantzman

Mike Krzyzewski is setting coaching standards that may never be broken. © Adam Glantzman

NCAA Tournament Wins Since 2000: 40
All-Time NCAA Tournament Record (Wins Rank): 105-34 (3rd)
The Blue Devils have three national titles this century. The surprising thing here is, this win total reasonably could be even higher. Duke has uncharacteristically lost four times in the first or second round in upsets in the past nine tournaments.

Sources: Sports-Reference.com, 2015 NCAA Final Four media guide

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