Everybody who follows basketball knows that programs like Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Kansas get most of the attention year after year. But those aren’t the only programs that have made their mark on the sport. After all, college basketball history dates back a long time. That got us thinking about some of the college basketball programs that have long been underrated and underappreciated but deserve a little more recognition.
Being located in the state of Indiana makes Purdue a basketball school. However, the Indiana Hoosiers and the other basketball powerhouses in the Big Ten tend to overshadow the Boilermakers.
It’s a shame because Purdue has long been one of the proudest and consistent programs in the Big Ten. In fact, the Boilermakers have won more Big Ten championships than any other team in the conference, which will surprise many but solidifies Purdue’s standing among the top programs of all time.
It’s easy to overlook Oklahoma basketball because the Sooners have long shared a conference with powerhouse Kansas. But the program had plenty of good years back in the 1930s and 40s and came alive again in the 80s, remaining an elite program ever since.
While the Sooners are still lacking a national championship, they’ve produced the likes of Blake Griffin and Trae Young in recent years, making it clear that Oklahoma is a destination for top talent and a high-profile program.
Believe it or not, this little school in Philadelphia has racked up the fifth-most wins in college basketball history. The Owls may not play in a major conference or appeared in a Final Four since the 1950s, but they’ve spent decades as a winning program and the crown jewel of basketball in the City of Brotherly Love.
The late John Chaney is the coach most associated with Temple’s success. However, the Owls have always had great coaches that have made Temple a winning program, which is why they’ve won nearly 2,000 games.
The Golden Eagles didn’t suddenly get good with Dwayne Wade or when they joined the Big East. Marquette has been a secret powerhouse for a long time. Coaching legend Al McGuire did amazing things during his tenure, including two Final Four appearances and the 1977 national championship.
Most of his successors have been able to maintain a similar level of success at the program, which is why the Golden Eagles don’t get nearly as much credit as they deserve.
At one of the most historic football programs of all-time, it’s easy for Notre Dame basketball to be overlooked. However, the Irish are quickly approaching 2,000 wins and 40 NCAA Tournament appearances. Notre Dame also won a pair of retrospective national championships.
Both Mike Brey and Digger Phelps did wonders for the program, but even before then, the Fighting Irish were a successful independent with a long track record of success.