ESPN has finished up their list of the 50 greatest basketball programs in the last 50 years, and unsurprisingly, Syracuse has made the Top 10, finishing eighth on the list.
Syracuse finished with 431 points, edging out UConn, who finished 9th with 423. While UConn may have a 3-1 edge in national championships, it's Syracuse's consistency that was its greatest asset in this ranking:
Positives: Incredibly consistent over the long term, ranking in the top six for NCAA berths and win percentage points, with no losing seasons since 1969. No Big East team totaled more points than Syracuse’s 353 in the Jim Boeheim-era (since ’76-77). Three top-10 NBA picks in the past four drafts is topped by only Kentucky.
ESPN has been assigned each team 50-in-50 rosters:
50 in 50 starting five (1962-present):
G – Sherman Douglas (1985-89)
G – Dave Bing (1963-66)
F – Billy Owens (1988-91)
F – Carmelo Anthony (2002-03)
C – Derrick Coleman (1986-90)
Top options off the bench:
Lawrence Moten (1991-95)
John Wallace (1992-96)
Gerry McNamara (2002-06)
50 in 50 coach:
Jim Boeheim (1976- )
I think the only swap I would have made is Pearl Washington for Gerry McNamara, but overall, they did a good job.
ESPN was a bit lazier in listing 1987, 1996, and 2003 as our three best teams all-time. While they have the three highest finishes, I would have taken the 2010 or 2012 Orange over the '96 Orangemen.
UNC finished first in the rankings, followed by UCLA, Kentucky, Duke and Kansas. Louisville is the only Big East squad to finish ahead of Syracuse, at six.
Elsewhere in the Big East, Georgetown finished 12th, Villanova 16th, Marquette 17th, Temple 18th, Cincinnati 24th, Notre Dame 29th, St. John's 40th, and DePaul at 45th.
In the ACC, we'll be joining #1 UNC, #4 Duke, #27 Maryland, #43 NC State, and #50 Boston College. Fellow Big East expatriate Pittsburgh failed to break into the Top 50.