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Daniel Wilco | October 12, 2023

College basketball's 9 winningest teams

One Shining Moment | 2023 NCAA tournament

In the history of college basketball, only five programs have won 2,000 games. Four of the five have captured a national championship since 2008, combining for seven of the 15 titles in that span.

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Here are the top nine college basketball programs in terms of all time wins.

9: Notre Dame

Notre Dame basketball

All-time record: 1948-1088-1
Winning percentage: .641
First season: 1897

Notre Dame is the only school that appears in the top nine winningest schools in both basketball and football.

RELATED: College football's 9 winningest teams


8: St. John’s (NY)

St. John's basketball

All-time record: 1968-1086
Winning percentage: .644
First season: 1908

From 1975-1992, St. John’s made the NCAA tournament in all but two years. Of those 16 tournament appearances, 15 were led by coach Lou Carnesecca, who had a career coaching record of 526-200, all at St. John’s.

7: Temple

Temple basketball

All-time record: 1978-1135
Winning percentage: .635
First season: 1895

Temple holds the distinction of being the last national champion before the NCAA tournament began. The Owls won the NIT in 1938 after a 23-2 season, but would go 10-12 the next year and not make the NCAA tournament or the NIT.


UCLA basketball

All-time record: 1989-892
Winning percentage: .690
First season: 1920

UCLA owns two of the three longest winning streaks in college basketball history, but starting their program almost two decades later than most other teams on this list has handicapped the Bruins in this ranking.

5: Syracuse

Syracuse basketball

All-time record: 2074-964
Winning percentage: .683
First season: 1901

Syracuse's only losing season since going 9-16 in 1968-69 came in 2021-22, when they went 16-17.

4: Duke

Duke basketball

All-time record: 2273-920
Winning percentage: .712
First season: 1906

More than 1,000 of Duke's wins have come in the last 38 years under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

3: North Carolina

North Carolina basketball

All-time record: 2343-852
Winning percentage: .733
First season: 1911

UNC has had more seasons with over 20 wins than under. What’s more, in 108 years of basketball, the Tar Heels have just 11 losing seasons. That consistency will definitely help. 

2: Kentucky

Kentucky's success is unparalleled.
All-time record: 2375-749-1
Winning percentage: .760
First season: 1903

No coach with 1,000 games under his belt has a better winning percentage than Adolph Rupp, who led the Wildcats for 41 years, racking up 876 wins on a .822 winning percentage. Current coach John Calipari is following in those footsteps.

1: Kansas

Kansas basketball

All-time record: 2385-885
Winning percentage: .729
First season: 1899

The Jayhawks have had 16 seasons with 30 wins or more in their 120-plus-year history. 11 of those have come since the turn of the century. In 2023, Kansas surpassed Kentucky as the winningest team in college basketball after the Jayhawks won 28 games to the Wildcats 22 games. Kansas currently leads Kentucky by eight wins for the top spot on the list.

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