50 in 50 rankings: No. 10 Arizona

August, 24, 2012
8/24/12
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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. If you disagree with the order -- and we're sure you do -- re-arrange our Top 25 here. Oh, and if your team didn't crack the top 50, click here to see where they rank among their peers.

10. Arizona (388 points)

Positives: Reached 25 straight NCAA tournaments from 1985 to 2009. With 346 points, the Wildcats were the fifth-ranked program during the Lute Olson era (1983-2007). Won the 1997 national championship, reached the 2001 title game and advanced to the Final Four in 1988 and 1994.

Negatives: Zero NCAA tournament appearances from 1963 to '76. Other than an Elite Eight year in '76, the Wildcats didn't win an NCAA tourney game before their '88 Final Four run. No consensus first-team All-American since Jason Terry in 1999.

Fun fact: When Arizona (Miles Simon, Mike Bibby) and Kansas (Raef LaFrentz, Paul Pierce) each had two first-team All-Americans in 1998, they were the first schools to do so since North Carolina in 1984 (Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins).

Rank by the decade
1962-69: -2 (T-228th)
1970-79: 24 (T-63rd)
1980-89: 60 (T-32nd)
1990-99: 163 (6th)
2000-present: 143 (12th)

SportsNation

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

  •  
    24%
  •  
    61%
  •  
    15%

Discuss (Total votes: 8,811)

50 in 50 Starting Five (1962-present)
G – Mike Bibby (1996-98)
G – Damon Stoudamire (1991-95)
F – Sean Elliott (1985-89)
F – Chris Mills (1990-93)
C – Bob Elliott (1973-77)

Top options off the bench
Jason Terry (1996-2000)
Jason Gardner (1999-2003)
Steve Kerr (1983-88)

50 in 50 coach: Lute Olson (1983-2007)

Best teams (1962-present)
1987-88 (35-3, NCAA national semifinals)
1996-97 (25-9, NCAA national champions)
2000-01 (28-8, NCAA national runner-up)

--Ryan Feldman and Brett Edgerton contributed to this post

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