The Race to 2000 NCAA Victories

| Background | Current Chart |


Collegiate basketball is an extremely competitive sport with the spoils of victory not just confined to single seasons, but to overall success among competing programs. In Division I, there are generally six programs which historically have distinguished themselves above the rest in terms of overall accomplishments. In order of all-time wins they are the University of Kentucky, the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), the University of Kansas, Duke University, University of California (Los Angeles) and Indiana University. Below is the complete listing of the top-10 leaders in all-time wins.

List of Top-10 All-Time Leaders in NCAA Division I History Victories
(List as of the end of the 2008-09 Season)
YearsWonLostTiedWin %
2North Carolina1911991,982703073.8
7St. Johns (NY)19081021,686868066.0

One important milestone is the race to be the first program to win 2000 victories. In recent years it looked like Kentucky had built a considerable lead and would be the first program to hit the mark. However given recent struggles, which prompted and included a coaching change from Tubby Smith to Billy Gillispie and now to John Calipari, Kentucky has faltered relative to their rivals and their historic averages.

Meanwhile the University of North Carolina under Roy Williams and the University of Kansas under Bill Self have surged and made up significant ground.

Graph showing a three year rolling average of the winning percentage of top programs

While it's hard to believe that the race for 2000 wins will get any more intense (or stranger) than the race for 1000 wins (won by Kentucky over Kansas by a hair), it's certainly possible. If the trends hold out (see graphs below), all three programs will be in position to hit the mark as early as the first half of the 2009-10 season. Kentucky has already made plans to commemorate the occasion.

Current Chart

The current chart includes the most recent season (2008-09). As the 2009-10 season begins, this chart will be updated periodically. To check the most current win and loss totals for this year, you can check the current standings at a commercial site like ESPN.

Chart which will be updated periodically during the season.

Graph showing the total wins of the top programs as they aim for the 2000-victory plateau.

The graph below shows the top programs in a broader range since 1980.

As reference, below is a wider time frame showing the top programs going back to 1900, around the time most programs began playing basketball. The graph illustrates just how close these schools really are.

If there is any additional information you may have, feel free to with any corrections or additional information.

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