Michigan #13 program in CBB over past 50 years

Submitted by Leaders And Best on August 23rd, 2012 at 11:21 AM

ESPN is counting down the 50 most successful basketball programs of the past 50 years, and Michigan came in #13 in their countdown today.  Checked in a lot higher than I would have expected. Pretty nice especially considering the struggles of the last decade and the upward trajectory the program is currently on.




August 23rd, 2012 at 4:11 PM ^

I theorize that something was up with posting earlier today, judging by the post below mine.  There was also another thread with a post that addressed a completely different topic.  Depending on the situation, Rakefight may have had a point.


August 23rd, 2012 at 11:33 AM ^

That's higher than you would have expected?  From 1968-2007 we had no losing seasons (and 39 winning seasons out of 40) and won 21 Big Ten titles and a national title.  I would expect us to be in the top 10 over the last 50 years.  #13 is low to me.



August 23rd, 2012 at 12:19 PM ^

But I could see an argument against Louisville, and a strong one against Georgetown. But you could make an argument the other way around. Frankly, their own rankings are skewed for teams from conferences that have had conference tournaments, because each is worth 3 points. Looks like Georgetown had like 6 of those before the Big Ten even had one. And they rank only 3 points ahead. 

One can say "well, the Big Ten should have had one then" but in a comparison sense I don't see how that has anything to do with how good a team is. Georgetown had a great decade, but not really a lot before or after (in this level of ranking at least).  Louisville had 12 Metro Conference titles and 11 Tourney titles.  Not exactly the Big Ten or Big East or ACC.  And then they upgraded to Conference USA.  Their system is flawed. They can say success is success, but winning the ACC is a hell of a lot harder than in conferences like that.

I'd even say over 50 years you could create an argument against U-Conn...but they've been SO high for the last decade, and so good, I wouldn't try. Syracuse and Arizona aren't that far ahead with 1 title and four final fours either, but they've been consistently higher year in and year out.

UCLA, NC, Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, and Kansas are your basketball blue bloods.  They're what Michigan, ND, Alabama, USC, OSU, etc. are to football.

Having said all that, I'm fine with 13.  We are historically a borderline Top 10 program, and after the 15 years before the last couple, had to drop some.  People under a certain age just don't remember us being really good.


August 23rd, 2012 at 11:47 AM ^

I think with the sanctions and the years of rebuilding being fresh in everyone mind that we tend to forget all the success they have had.  I still believe it is ranked a litle high but thats based on the last 15 years or so for me.


August 23rd, 2012 at 2:58 PM ^

We were better than MSU for most of that time.  MSU fans consider Jud Heathcote a legend but really, outside of Magic Johnson's two seasons (1977-79), he really wasn't that successful.  After Magic moved on, they collapsed, and Michigan resumed being the top program in-state for pretty much the rest of Heathcote's tenure (and Izzo's first couple years).  

Izzo (and our collapse following the scandal/Ellerbe hiring) obviously changed the dynamic, but even given Izzo's tremendous success, Michigan and MSU have the same number of Big Ten titles all-time (13). 


Voltron Blue

August 23rd, 2012 at 11:57 AM ^

...vacated wins and sanctions.  Add those back and we're actually ahead of State.  

(and, no, I'm not suggesting we should sweep that stuff under the rug or shouldn't pay the price for the reasons for those vacated wins and sanctions, just noting for sake of discussion...)


August 23rd, 2012 at 1:14 PM ^

Michigan deserved what they got for the Chris Webber/Ed Martin scandal, but didn't deserve for Sparty to get ten years of "mileage" out of it.  If it wasn't for the scandal, Tom Izzo would be seen for exactly what he is: Jud Heatthcote with better hair.

Izzo is a decent coach, but would never have been a media star without ten years of waltzing into instate liviing rooms, saying "Fab Five Scandal," and strutting out the door with commitments.


August 23rd, 2012 at 1:44 PM ^

Don't give the scandal more power than what it had.  Fisher deserved to be fired.  But Brian Ellerbe was a terrible hire.  And either Amaker couldn't recruit, or he couldn't coach up the kids he recruited.  

Plus, the administration treated hoops like a stepchild.  Its facilities, including Crisler, were well behind State's.  

Remember, Fisher lost out on Mateen Cleaves in 1996.  And that MSU 2000 title team were full of players that were recruited without "Fab Five Scandal" being mentioned.  Considering we only had a two year postseason ban from 2002-2003, there was not a lot of years where "Fab Five Scandal" could be used against us. 


August 23rd, 2012 at 1:44 PM ^

I get a sense Michigan has the potential to move up this list in the coming years.  The future is as bright as it has been in close to 20 years.  Going to be exciting to see what the limit is for the present and future squads.  


August 23rd, 2012 at 2:11 PM ^

I mean, I think we were somewhere between #13 and #17 last year but now that the SEC has 14 teams there's no way ESPN would let us rank higher than #15 in CFB...


August 23rd, 2012 at 2:19 PM ^

13 is a bit generous but than again UNC is getting a free pass on it's current academic violations in regards to the Bball program so I'd say generosity is relative here.


August 23rd, 2012 at 5:14 PM ^

How are they getting a "free pass" wrt to the basketball program? Or are you just parroting that unsubstantiated/flat out inaccurate BS that Doyel wrote (for example, writing that "only Kansas and UNC have AFAM majors in the United States, and the common link is Roy Williams" when there are actually..90+ such programs in the US)?