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177 College Basketball Teams Since 2002 Are Better Than Syracuse's 2003 Championship Squad

Syracuse's lone national championship team is also its fourth-worst team since 2002, according to Glicko Ratings.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The 2003 Syracuse Orange might be SU's lone national championship squad in program history, but that group isn't even among the top 150 college basketball teams since 2002.

At least, that's according to rankings compiled yesterday by Ustreet of The Daily Gopher, Minnesota's SB Nation site. Ustreet used Glicko Ratings (similar to the Elo Ratings FiveThirtyEight uses) to rank every college basketball team since 2002, and the team that topped Kansas in the 2003 national championship game comes in at 178th-best.

Three Syracuse teams are ranked in the top 26, with SU's 2014 team leading the way as the 18th-best. The 2012 team immediately follows at 19th and the 2013 Orange is ranked 26th. Those rankings seem deserved; both the 2014 and 2012 teams were ranked No. 1 in the country for several weeks, while the 2013 team reached the Final Four.

But the actual validity of the Glicko Rankings is difficult to gauge, and it's not just because the 2003 NCAA champions are ranked 178th and 11th out of 14 SU teams. The 2015 Orange, which won only nine games in conference play, is ranked as the program's fourth-best team. Meanwhile, the 2009 team, at one point ranked No. 8 in the nation, is rated third-worst.

Here are five more noteworthy observations from the Glicko Ratings:

  1. Led by the 2015 Blue Devils, Duke and Kansas teams take 13 of the top 15 spots.
  2. At 287th, the 2005 North Carolina Tar Heels are the lowest-ranked national championship team.
  3. Georgetown's best team, the 2013 version of the Hoyas, is ranked only 125th.
  4. Kentucky's 2013 team ranks 43rd, making them the top team to have missed the NCAA Tournament.
  5. Of schools that played in the Big East from 2002-13, the Pittsburgh Panthers have the most teams (nine) ranked in the top 100.
Take a look at the entire rankings here.