Ranking College Basketball Programs All-Time

#1
During my insane amount of down time during this quarantine, I wanted to update a formula to rank the programs of the Big Ten on all-time success that I put together a few years ago. I wanted to see if my Loyalty buddies had suggestions on how to weight each category. Before I list the following categories, I want to emphasize just a couple of things I want to keep in mind when refining this points system:

1) I wanted to reward consistency. I am not just saying that because it might reward Illinois historically; I want a program like Wisconsin to get the credit it deserves for its amazing run from ~2000 to now, but I also want it to be penalized for making literally one NCAA Tournament from 1947 to 1994.

2) I will NOT be counting anything that was vacated. I know there are different views on this, but if the school itself isn't hanging a banner in accordance with the NCAA, I am certainly not giving credit.

3) I think the NCAA Tournament should have a lot of weight, but I don't want it to be everything ... the fact is, Purdue has a great basketball history, but it hasn't translated into prolonged Tournament runs. I wanted to try to find a way that a Purdue could somewhat equalize itself with a less consistent Ohio State or something. I know titles are the end game, but I wanted "perception" to play SOME role - for example, I doubt your ranking of best programs of the last twenty years would strictly be who has the most National Championships ... you'd subconsciously reward a program like Gonzaga for its consistency.

4) For all-time winning percentage, I had multiplied the percentage by 70 points, thinking that an awesome all-time winning percentage could gain back some lost points from not making a Final Four ... for example, a top 15 winning percentage like Illinois has amassed over decades and decades would earn a few more points than one Final Four is worth.

5) I just don't have the ability to accurately include Strength of Schedule, so if someone argues that the traditional Big Ten schools grinding it out in the 1980s were facing a tougher schedule ... I agree, but there isn't much I can do about it.

Anyway, here are the categories ... anyone interested, let me know how many points you think each one should be worth!

All-Time Winning Percentage (70 points x percentage)
National Championships (50 points each)
Final Fours (35 points each)
Elite Eights (25 points each)
Sweet Sixteens (18 points each)
NCAA Tournament Appearances (8 points each)
NCAA Tournament Wins (4 points each)
AP Top 25 Finishes (10 points each)
Weeks in the AP Top 25 (.05 points each)
30-Win Seasons (16 points each)
25-Win Seasons (12 points each)
20-Win Seasons (6 points each)
Losing Seasons, 1970 and Later (-7 points each) ... had to pick a cutoff at some year, IMO.

My old way, as of today, gave these overall rankings:

1. Indiana: 2,567.45
2. Michigan State: 2,422.26
3. Ohio State: 2,214.53
4. Michigan: 1,912.46
5. Illinois: 1,632.25
6. Maryland: 1,459.81
7. Purdue: 1,436.27
8. Wisconsin: 1,243.28
9. Iowa: 1,049.23
10. Minnesota: 407.67
11. Penn State: 269.13
12. Rutgers: 120.92
13. Nebraska: 106.29
14. Northwestern: (214.18) :p

It's super easy to change the point allocation and get new totals, so I wanted to reach out to some of you basketball folks and see what you think! Any input is appreciated, and I will share any new rankings.
 
#2
I'd think Tourney appearances and Tourney wins point totals would be flipped. Also, giving points for all-time winning percentage and for x-win seasons seems a little redundant
 
#3
Always Illini
Central Illinois
I don't know if you have accounted for it but it seems that tournament appearances should somehow reflect the different circumstances under which teams were selected. Prior to 1975, only a single team from each conference could appear in the tournament. Before that there were different numbers of teams invited - leaving out others that may have been more qualified. See the chart below taken from Wikipedia for the specifics:

YearsTeamsByesPlay-in
games
1939–19508
1951–195216
1953–196822–257–10
1969–1974257
1975–1978320
19794024
1980–19824816
198352164
198453165
1985–20006400
2001–20106501
2011–6804

I know that affects each of the conference teams the same way so maybe it is a wash in this analysis. It just somehow bends my mind that the second place Big Ten team couldn't go to an NCAA tournament for those years, not because they weren't good enough but because they weren't the champ. As I say, I can understand if that is not really statistically significant. I am not a data analyst for good reason!

Thanks for your work on this.
 
#5
Charleston
I do not see points for winning your first final four game and making the championship but losing in the title game (obv. National runner up). So, the 2005 team gets no more than a Final Four point allocation.
 
#7
I do not see points for winning your first final four game and making the championship but losing in the title game (obv. National runner up). So, the 2005 team gets no more than a Final Four point allocation.
Good point. Maybe 40 points for that?
 
#8
I think missing the NCAA Tournament should be on there and should be a significant deduction. In this day and age....making/missing the tournament is what each program is truly graded by. For a decade and a half, we've been irrelevant....that model is not reflective of that.

Missing the tournament should be -30 IMO.
 
#9
Thanks for all of the great feedback, guys! I'll mess around with it in my free time and see how it changes things, if it does.

May you all get through this quarantined offseason okay!
 
#10
South Carolina
Thanks for all of the great feedback, guys! I'll mess around with it in my free time and see how it changes things, if it does.

May you all get through this quarantined offseason okay!
During my insane amount of down time during this quarantine, I wanted to update a formula to rank the programs of the Big Ten on all-time success that I put together a few years ago. I wanted to see if my Loyalty buddies had suggestions on how to weight each category. Before I list the following categories, I want to emphasize just a couple of things I want to keep in mind when refining this points system:

1) I wanted to reward consistency. I am not just saying that because it might reward Illinois historically; I want a program like Wisconsin to get the credit it deserves for its amazing run from ~2000 to now, but I also want it to be penalized for making literally one NCAA Tournament from 1947 to 1994.

2) I will NOT be counting anything that was vacated. I know there are different views on this, but if the school itself isn't hanging a banner in accordance with the NCAA, I am certainly not giving credit.

3) I think the NCAA Tournament should have a lot of weight, but I don't want it to be everything ... the fact is, Purdue has a great basketball history, but it hasn't translated into prolonged Tournament runs. I wanted to try to find a way that a Purdue could somewhat equalize itself with a less consistent Ohio State or something. I know titles are the end game, but I wanted "perception" to play SOME role - for example, I doubt your ranking of best programs of the last twenty years would strictly be who has the most National Championships ... you'd subconsciously reward a program like Gonzaga for its consistency.

4) For all-time winning percentage, I had multiplied the percentage by 70 points, thinking that an awesome all-time winning percentage could gain back some lost points from not making a Final Four ... for example, a top 15 winning percentage like Illinois has amassed over decades and decades would earn a few more points than one Final Four is worth.

5) I just don't have the ability to accurately include Strength of Schedule, so if someone argues that the traditional Big Ten schools grinding it out in the 1980s were facing a tougher schedule ... I agree, but there isn't much I can do about it.

Anyway, here are the categories ... anyone interested, let me know how many points you think each one should be worth!

All-Time Winning Percentage (70 points x percentage)
National Championships (50 points each)
Final Fours (35 points each)
Elite Eights (25 points each)
Sweet Sixteens (18 points each)
NCAA Tournament Appearances (8 points each)
NCAA Tournament Wins (4 points each)
AP Top 25 Finishes (10 points each)
Weeks in the AP Top 25 (.05 points each)
30-Win Seasons (16 points each)
25-Win Seasons (12 points each)
20-Win Seasons (6 points each)
Losing Seasons, 1970 and Later (-7 points each) ... had to pick a cutoff at some year, IMO.

My old way, as of today, gave these overall rankings:

1. Indiana: 2,567.45
2. Michigan State: 2,422.26
3. Ohio State: 2,214.53
4. Michigan: 1,912.46
5. Illinois: 1,632.25
6. Maryland: 1,459.81
7. Purdue: 1,436.27
8. Wisconsin: 1,243.28
9. Iowa: 1,049.23
10. Minnesota: 407.67
11. Penn State: 269.13
12. Rutgers: 120.92
13. Nebraska: 106.29
14. Northwestern: (214.18) :p

It's super easy to change the point allocation and get new totals, so I wanted to reach out to some of you basketball folks and see what you think! Any input is appreciated, and I will share any new rankings.
Gut feel tells me that over the long history of the NCAA Indiana is #1, with Illinois, Michigan St, Purdue and Ohio State rounding out the Top 5. Fifteen years ago we were clearly #2 (source: 2006 ESPN All-Time NCAA basketball programs), but I don't know how far we've fallen over that time frame. Given that the Big 10 hasn't won a title since MSU in 2000, I doubt there's been any significant movement. Izzo certainly gets credit for making M