50 in 50 rankings: No. 4 Duke

August, 24, 2012
8/24/12
10:30
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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.

4. Duke (777 points)

Positives: The Blue Devils have 13 top-10 picks since 1986, the most of any team. They have four national championships since 1990, the most of any team. Duke's 607 points during the Coach K era (since 1980) are the second-most, behind only rival North Carolina (656).

Negatives: Went through four coaches and missed 11 straight NCAA tournaments from 1967 to 1977. Just one Final Four appearance from 1967 to 1985.

Fun fact: How valuable is a coach? After Mike Krzyzewski took a hiatus during the 1994-95 season, the Blue Devils lost 15 of their final 19 games and finished in last place in the ACC. It's the only NCAA tournament they've missed since 1984.

Rank by the decade
1962-69: 116 (2nd)
1970-79: 34 (T-49th)
1980-89: 126 (7th)
1990-99: 227 (1st)
2000-present: 274 (1st)

SportsNation

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

  •  
    3%
  •  
    80%
  •  
    17%

Discuss (Total votes: 14,745)

50 in 50 starting five (1962-present)
G – Bobby Hurley (1989-93)
G – J.J. Redick (2002-06)
F – Grant Hill (1990-94)
F – Art Heyman (1960-63)
C – Christian Laettner (1988-92)

Top options off the bench
Johnny Dawkins (1982-86)
Jason Williams (1999-2002)
Shane Battier (1997-2001)

50 in 50 coach: Mike Krzyzewski (1980- )

Best teams (1962-present)
1985-86 (37-3, NCAA runner-up)
1991-92 (32-4, NCAA champions)
1998-99 (37-2, NCAA runner-up)

--Ryan Feldman and Brett Edgerton contributed to this post

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