Kentucky Ranked #1 Men's Basketball Team Since 1949

Ross Houston
March 30, 2017

UCLA has been the most frequent No. 1 in the AP ranking with 134 appearances at the top, mostly thanks to coach John Wooden's unmatched dynasty on the 1960s and '70s.

But in an effort to come as close as possible to determine the all-time best of the best, the Associated Press has compiled its own rankings, based on its weekly polls over the past 68 years.

There have been only three seasons in the history of the AP poll when Kentucky has never been ranked: 1952-53, 1988-89, and 1989-90.


Everyone knew Sunday's instant classic between Kentucky and North Carolina was a battle of college basketball bluebloods.

Now, for the first time, the AP is using that data to go past the Top 25 of the moment to rank the top 100 programs of all-time. The AP has released more than 1,100 polls during those 68 years with 200 different schools cracking the rankings and 59 reaching No. 1.

Of course the poll is now a top 25 format which was expanded in the 1989-1990 season. Incidentally, the AP poll dropped from a list of 20 teams to 10 for the majority of the 1960's. The first preseason poll was introduced at the start of the 1961-1962 season.


The Wildcats have appeared in 75.37% of polls created by the AP. It was the Seminoles' highest national ranking since being ranked sixth in February 1993.

No. 1 Kentucky; No. 2 North Carolina; No. 3 Duke; No. 4 UCLA; and No. 5 Kansas. Two other current ACC schools sneaked into the top 10 with Louisville appearing at No. 7 and Syracuse at No. 9.

FSU's in-state rivals Florida and Miami sit at No. 27 and No. 87, respectively. Jacksonville and Ole Miss rounded out the poll at No. 100.


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