ESPN ranks Indiana No. 7 in 50 in 50 series

  • 08/24/2012 10:03 am in 50 in 50 rankings: No. 7 Indiana

7. Indiana (442 points)

Positives: Won three national titles; also made six other Final Fours; 16 regular-season conference titles; nine first-team consensus All-Americans (13 total); six top-10 picks; fifth-most points of any school when Bob Knight was head coach.

Negatives: Lost seven points due to sanctions; just one conference title of any kind in past 20 seasons; has advanced past the Sweet 16 only once since 1993; three straight 20-loss seasons and a 8-46 Big Ten record from 2008-11.

Fun fact: Indiana’s 48 points in 1976 are tied for the most by any school in any season (2001 Duke, 2007 Florida).

Looks like the six ahead of IU will be, in no particular order, UCLA, Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and Louisville. That said, is No. 7 too low for the Hoosiers?

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  • Joe B

    Taking an un-biased, realistic point of view; I would say 6 or 7 is right the place for IU. But, I’m guessing, if they did this again in 10 years, top 3 or 4 will be the right place..

  • inLinE6

    IU’s higher if they count last 80 years. How about 80 in 80 rankings?

  • mrjonessodaandme

    You’d be hard pressed to find a large group who would take UL basketball over IU basketball (and this is coming from a born and raised Louisvillian.) I’m not saying they shouldn’t be ahead, but 442 to 547. That seems way too drastic.

    The one thing this countdown doesn;t take into account is difficulty of conference. (see: Princeton and Penn…both way too high.)

  • Arch_Puddington

    Louisville? Please. Its been a rough last 20 years or so for the Hoosiers, but Indiana continues to occupy a place in the basketball world that Louisville can’t touch. The Sampson debacle hurts, but let’s not forget: the sanctions were due to something so minor it isn’t even against the rules anymore.

    Let’s do this again in 10 years and see if we aren’t back in the top 5.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    In short, yes. While Louisville is a wonderful program, I’d still put IU ahead of it. And I’d argue that IU would edge out UCLA by virtue of being a more recent powerhouse during the Knight era than UCLA was during Wooden’s, but that one’s admittedly very arguable.

    Really, though, to a degree, we fans do a disservice to ourselves by insisting on a ranking. I’ve come to find that I like just thinking in terms of tiers. IU is a top tier program along with all of those other schools easily. When you think of tiers, you create a way to evaluate programs without getting into the minutiae about specifically whether they deserve to be 7th or 6th or something like that.

  • indyhoosier

    Maybe I am looking at this all wrong, but don’t we have 5 national titles?

  • Current success means a lot in these types of lists. They do this in 1988 and IU is 1 or 2. It’s inarguable that every other team on that list has had more postseason success than IU in the last 20 years. 7 is probably right if you consider a nod to recent success over historic success. Maybe you could make a case for UCLA, but I believe they won a title in the 90s didnt they? Louisville has done more than IU in the last 20 years IMO. Only one team past the Sweet 16 is not indicative of a top top tier program. If you are top of the top you win those matchups because you are a 1 or 2 seed. That’s not been Indiana.


  • Devout Hoosier

    This is only based on the past 50 years, not overall.

  • Captain Artic

    Coming from a UK fan – IU definitely needs to be higher on this list. 5 National Titles cannot be ignored. I have them ahead of U of L and Kansas. Every program on the list of Top 7 has had thier down periods. IU deserves to be in the top 5 with their rich history.

  • Devout Hoosier

    * East Coast Bias.
    * Strength of competition not accounted for.
    We’re in a tough conference, many national titles, and are the last UNDEFEATED team. I would not trade Indiana’s position/success with any other.

  • N71

    Hey…a bone.

  • Joe B

    Well only 3 of those titles were taken into consideration, since it was just looking at the past 50 years. In the same way not all of UK’s titles were taken into consideration.

  • MaceoBaston

    You guys realize there is a defined formula that these rankings are based on right? Now you can argue the scoring method (such as the fact that conference tournament titles get points, and big ten didn’t have one until 1998), but to say there is “East Coast Bias”, or “ESPN Bias” is stupid.

  • Captain Artic

    So very true. If they went back 10 years (or if they did the right thing and considered a programs entire body of work – good and bad) this picture would be much different for both of our schools.

  • N71

    Ah…appreciate the positive comments from a UK fan but forgive me, this is an IU board, so I feel obligated to also point out if you look forward three years from now UK will be minus at least one national championship assuming you don’t win another in the next couple of years. If Lance Armstrong can get stung for 7 titles, Calipari will surely get caught for this most resent run of cheating at UK. Just between the two of us, how do you tolerate Calipari, UK is a destination job where you should be able to get the best, win at a high level, and not need to cheat. If Mike Krzyzewski can turn sleepy little Duke into what its become, someone half the coach could do really, really well at UK.

  • Captain Artic

    Yes, an IU site that is a very good one. I respect IU and was expressing my opinion that they should be higher. UK knows very well what they got into with Cal and the history he brought. That being said, why are you so certain that we are cheating? Why would he have to cheat at a place like UK? Same can be said of IU.

  • DarkSouth

    When I saw Weber State in the top 40 above Florida and NC State, for example, I knew the formula may need to be tweaked. I like Murray State and Western Kentucky, but both in the top 30 programs of the past half century?

  • Jethro Troll

    All programs got thru dips, IU’s just happens to be the most recent. UNC had a 20 loss season just a little over 10 years ago, followed by a 15 loss season, and they’ve won 2 national titles since.
    The time is coming for IU to hang it’s 6th National Championship Banner. And when you factor in the pretigious history of the program and the depths that it recently sunk to that it’s now pulling out of, this is one diehard Hoosier fan that will have a hard time controlling his emotions when it happens.

  • mdn82

    I think this is fair. Louisville has won a few Big East titles recently, and none of the teams we have in front of us had the sanctions or losses we had. If this is taken as a whole over the last 50 years, I can understand where things stand. I know that isn’t popular, but it is hard to take into account how bad the Big 12, SEC or Pac 10 could be. We played in a power conference and that has cost us wins and conference titles. The Big 10 just doesn’t have down years. There are always 5-7 teams you could lose to on any given night. That and the sanctions put us where we should be.

  • HoosierFanaticFromUSI

    UNC and Duke are the only teams ahead of IU on this list that didn’t lose points due to sanctions.

    Kansas lost points for sanctions 3 different times during the last 50 years.

  • ace132

    thank you. so much truth in this statement. people please take note, theres no bias. its a formula.

  • How many formula points does a college team get for running the table and winning a national title without a loss? How many firmula points does a college team get for being the spoiler for preventing another college team going undefeated towards a national title?

  • Beard

    Major flaws in the formula. Picks in the draft are not based on the best college player ie hurley, calbert, coverdale are 3 of the 50 best college players I have seen in 20 years but drafted well below college value if at all. Conference Tournament champs should only count for the time period that everyone had a tourney. Conference strength should mean something as well. I have IU tied for 3rd with duke behind ucla and uk. I expect more out of people that get paid to follow sports for a living; come on guys these are obvious mistakes.

  • Oldguyy

    Look for the lack of sanctions to change regarding North Carolina, as the school becomes unsuccessful in limiting the African-American Studies fake classes scandal fallout to the football team.

  • hammer

    who cares– just go show them!

  • Hoosier Clarion

    Achieving the last collegiate undefeated season is alone worth the #5 spot.

  • 888

    Uk got sanctions in like 1989 when an envelope full of cash to Chris mills opened up in a postal service. Cals smart enough to hand deliver it now. Whats worse phone calls or cash? UNC is getting ready to get nailed and its just a matter of time before Cals kingdom is overthrown. Noel may be the straw that does it. The NCAA is really starting to look at his recruitment and if the right NBA job opens guess who will jump ship. If Miami or LA has a bad year hell be there.

  • MisterSlippery

    NBA players? Why does that matter? If its because they help you win or recruit, that’s already factored in.

  • Geoff_85

    Are you saying that you can’t create a formula that favors schools that you want to be higher? I don’t think there is a bias here, but due to ESPN’s east coast bias in everything else, that discussion is warranted in my opinion.

  • Geoff_85

    3 titles in 10 years is too optimistic for any program, but I don’t think there is a program hotter than the Hoosiers going into this season.

  • Trent

    Clearly, IU would be much higher on this list if it weren’t for Sampson and the damage he did to this program. But it’s unfair to look at only three years of a program’s history and knock it so low, ignoring the other 70+ years of basketball excellence. The last 20 years have not been the best for Indiana. The mid- to late-90s were rough in the last years of Knight’s IU career, and Davis never panned out to be a stellar coach like we thought. And then Sampson, who was expected to revitalize a solid – but not great – program crushed it. But if we look past that and see Indiana’s resumé as a whole, it’s far greater than anything Kansas or Louisville have achieved. The media is too focused on the here-and-now, and not on the actual histories of these schools. If we took the span from 1975-1987, no team achieved more than Indiana. But that wouldn’t be fair to other teams who had great history from before and after those years.

  • Captain Artic

    You are quite welcome. We loved that game much more than the IU fans will ever know. One of the classics ever played in the building.

  • millzy32

    I agree that IU should be ahead of Louisville but the teams ahead of us are mostly non-east coast. UNC and Duke are on the east coast but KY, Louisville, Kansas and by a 2000 mile stretch UCLA are not. If it was truly an east coast bias then UConn and Syracuse would be ahead of us as well.
    To be fair I would even consider Duke and UNC as “The South” as well.

  • esapata

    As someone from the NYC tri-state area, I can tell you that UNC and Duke are definitely viewed as Southern schools. That applies to much of the ACC. With that said, Duke does have a strong alumni-base in NYC. But so does Indiana (for a B10 school), and quite a few of the other schools listed ahead of IU. I think the formula was poorly thought out, and not a product of any east coast bias.