50 in 50 rankings: No. 29 Notre Dame

August, 22, 2012
8/22/12
10:30
AM CT
Editor's note: Using a point system devised by the ESPN Stats & Information department, ESPN.com is counting down the 50 most successful programs of the past 50 years. A running list of the top 50 can be found here. For an explanation of the scoring system, read our intro.

29. Notre Dame (237 points)

Positives: Made Final Four in 1978; 10 top-15 finishes in a dozen seasons from 1970-81; 16 consensus All-Americans; five top-10 picks.

Negatives: No conference titles of any kind since joining Big East for 1995-96 season; haven't advanced past Sweet 16 since 1979; six losing seasons from 1991-99.

Fun fact: In our ranking system, Notre Dame was tied for the 16th-best program when Digger Phelps was head coach from 1972-91 (20 seasons).

Rank by the decade
1962-69: 11 (70th)
1970-79: 117 (7th)
1980-89: 60 (32nd)
1990-99: -6 (T-253rd)
2000-present: 55 (T-48th)

50 in 50 starting five (1962-present)
G – David Rivers (1984-88)
G – Austin Carr (1968-71)
F – Adrian Dantley (1973-76)
F – Troy Murphy (1998-2001)
F/C – John Shumate (1972-74)

SportsNation

Which is Notre Dame's best team of the past 50 years?

  •  
    18%
  •  
    65%
  •  
    17%

Discuss (Total votes: 3,641)

Top options off the bench
Luke Harangody (2006-10)
LaPhonso Ellis (1988-92)
Pat Garrity (1994-98)

50 in 50 coach: Digger Phelps

Best teams (1962-present)
1973-74 (26-3, NCAA Sweet 16)
1977-78 (23-8, NCAA national semifinals)
1978-79 (24-6, NCAA Elite Eight)

--Harold Shelton and Brett Edgerton contributed to this post.

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