- Robbi Pickeral, College Basketball
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The Basketball Times' Jack Styczynski has compiled his latest analytical rankings of the best basketball programs in the country over the past 10 years. This time around, North Carolina came in second, behind rival Duke.
The formula for best program, Styczynski explained in the New York Times college sports blog, is this:
The qualifying criterion is teams that have won at least two-thirds of their games over the past 10 seasons, and in the latest version from the November 2012 issue, 33 programs made the cut. The teams were then ranked using six equally weighted criteria: winning percentage; number of former players currently in the N.B.A.; federal graduation rate; academic reputation, as determined by U.S. News & World Report; and coaching and perceived program 'cleanliness' as ranked by a panel.
Over on the College Basketball Nation blog, my colleague, Eamonn Brennan, has some reservations about whether the data used is really scientific, although he doesn’t dispute the legitimacy of the top teams.
For the record, UNC’s Roy Williams came in tied for fifth on the top coaches list, as voted on by a panel of 10 writers from the USBWA and Basketball Times; and the Tar Heels were 17th in the perceived “cleanliness” of the programs, also voted on by the panel. UNC was also sixth in winning percentage, third in the NBA player category, tied for eighth in federal graduation rate, and second in the USNWR academic reputation score.
On the New York Times blog, seven coaches whose teams qualified for the list were asked which programs they think are best. All but Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim -- who said there were 10 to 15 teams, but wouldn’t name them -- mentioned Duke. Only one other (Pittsburgh’s Jaime Dixon) didn't mention the Tar Heels.
Hat-tip: Eamonn Brennan
Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.