So the folks over at WWL have been counting down the most prestigious basketball programs since 1984-85. Curious choice on their part to start measuring from 1984-85, I know. And the sounded defensive about it right off the bat:
The 1984-85 season was when the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams, making it the first time a national champion had to win six tournament games to cut down the nets. It was also the start of the fairest inclusion in the NCAA tournament: Before that season, even the best conferences got only one team in the field. And with the introduction of the 3-point line in 1985-86, the past 24 seasons can be considered the most modern era of college basketball.
Okay whatever ... I am sure we can debate on and on about the merit of that argument. We will leave that for another day. But still using the matrix they outlined UCLA checked in at number 7 (behind UConn, Arizona, Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina and (SHOCKINGLY) Duke at number 1). Here is their lowdown on UCLA:
7. UCLA BRUINS, Pac-10
Positives: 15 conference titles (8 regular-season); 19 20-win seasons; 21 postseasons (19 NCAA, 2 NIT); 11 Sweet 16s; 4 Final Fours; 1995 national title; 38 NCAA tourney wins; 6 All-Americans; 5 NBA top-10 picks
Negatives: 2 losing seasons; tied with Arizona for most losses to 12-16 seeds with 4: lost to 13th-seeded Penn State in 1991, lost to 12th-seeded Tulsa in 1994, lost to 13th-seeded Princeton in 1996, lost to 12th-seeded Detroit in 1999
Total points: 272
Did you know? If this was an all-time list, the Bruins would be sitting on top of the heap. They are still near the top with their four Final Four appearances (including three in the last three years) and don't forget the 1995 national title. However, that was their first title since the 1975. Believe it or not, the Bruins haven't even won the most Pac-10 regular-season and tourney titles since 1985. That honor would belong to Arizona, which won 21, six more than the Bruins.
Ok, that's not bad considering we were coached by a joker for seven years following Jim Harrick.
We sure hope WWL decides to run the same survey five years from now. Shoot ... with Howland in charge not sure it will take that long to go back to the spot where we belong ... or which belongs to us ... at least if one uses the only measuring standard that actually matters ... number of national championships.