Which school has the most NCAA Tournament titles? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament ended with a blue blood battle in the bayou.
Kansas and North Carolina faced off in the national championship game. The No. 1 Jayhawks beat Villanova in the first Final Four game, while the No. 8 Tar Heels beat rivals Mike Krzyzewski and Duke in an instant classic Saturday night.
North Carolina built a 16-point lead at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, but that merely set the stage for a historic Kansas comeback. The Jayhawks wound up winning 72-69 for their fourth national title.
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How do Kansas’ four championships stack up against the most storied programs in NCAA history? Here’s a glance at Kansas, North Carolina and other prominent programs with the most championships as 2023 March Madness nears:
1. UCLA – 11
1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1995
The most decorated team in men’s college basketball history resides in the City of Angels.
John Wooden’s team ran college basketball in the 1960s and 1970s. The team won 10 of 12 titles, including four undefeated seasons and a championship sendoff for Wooden in his final season.
Twenty years after Wooden’s departure, UCLA earned its 11th national title by winning the 1995 NCAA Tournament.
2. Kentucky – 8
1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998, 2012
Next up is another blue blood program.
Adolph Rupp led Kentucky to four national championships during his 41-year tenure as head coach. Since Rupp left the school in 1972, four different coaches have led the Wildcats to their four most recent titles.
3. North Carolina – 6
1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009, 2017
Even with a heartbreaking defeat against Kansas, North Carolina has the third-most national championships in history.
The Tar Heels won their first title in 1957 and didn’t win another until Michael Jordan and James Worthy came along. UNC claimed its third championship in 1993 and won three more in the Roy Williams era, which began with the 2004-05 season.
One thing that worked in the Tar Heels’ favor was its ability to put a championship defeat in the rearview. The team bounced back from Kris Jenkins’ iconic buzzer-beater in 2016 to win the 2017 championship over Gonzaga. UNC did not have the same kind of turnaround in 2022-23, though, missing out on the 2023 tournament entirely.
T-4. Duke – 5
1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015
Duke had just two title game appearances before 1980. Then, Coach K arrived.
After a decade at the school, Krzyzewski and Co. won their first title in 1991 and won it again the next season. The Blue Devils collected three more trophies in the 21st century, with the most recent coming in 2015. Duke is the only school with five or more championships since 1990.
T-4. Indiana – 5
1940, 1953, 1976, 1981, 1987
Indiana won the second ever national championship game in 1940. It took 13 years before it won a second title and had an even longer stretch before getting a third. Bob Knight then led the Hoosiers to three championships from 1976 to 1987.
Of the eight schools that have won three or more titles, Indiana has the longest active title drought.
T-6. Kansas – 4
1952, 1988, 2008, 2022
Kansas moved up the list and into a tie for sixth place in all-time national championships.
While Kansas is one of the most storied programs in NCAA history, its four titles are spread out. Its second title came 36 years after its first, and its third came 20 years after its second. With a historic win in 2022, the Jayhawks raised the national championship trophy for the first time in 14 years.
T-6. UConn – 4
1999, 2004, 2011, 2014
The UConn Huskies won all four of their titles over a 16-season stretch. Jim Calhoun was in charge for the first three championships, while Kevin Ollie was the head coach for the most recent one in 2014.
UConn has one thing the five teams higher on this list do not: an undefeated championship game record. The Huskies are the only team to play in four or more national title games and win each one.
8. Villanova – 3
1985, 2016, 2018
Villanova’s first championship was one of the most improbable in NCAA Tournament history. The 1984-85 Wildcats remain the lowest seed to ever win the national title, accomplishing the feat as a No. 8 seed.
Twenty-one years later, the school won its second championship thanks to an unforgettable buzzer-beater from Jenkins. It didn’t take long for Villanova to get a third one, either, as it rolled to a national title game win over Michigan in 2018.
T-9. Cincinnati, Florida, Louisville, Michigan State, NC State, Oklahoma State, San Francisco – 2
Seven schools have won two national titles.
Of those seven programs, four defended their first title. Oklahoma State (1945 and 1946), San Francisco (1955 and 1956), Cincinnati (1961 and 1962) and Florida (2006 and 2007) earned their two championships in back-to-back years.
Louisville won three national championship games, but its 2013 title was later vacated by the Committee on Infractions.